UK Student Visa is required by citizens who do not belong to the European Union but plan to study in the UK. There are different types of UK student visas that depend on the applicant’s age, type of course selected for study, the duration of the course and the type of college or university selected for study.
- Child Visitor Visa: This visa is applicable for those students who are 17 years old or under and wishes to take up a study course in the UK for duration of up to 6 months. The duration of the course can be of 12 months if the student accompanies an academic visitor.
- Student Visitor Visa: This visa is applicable to students who are 18 years old or above and wishes to take up a study course in the UK for duration of up to 6 months. If the applicant wants to study purely English language courses, he or she can apply for an extended student visitor visa of up to 11 months.
- Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa: This visa is applicable to those students who are between 4 years and 17 years of age and wishes to take up a study course in the UK for duration of more than 6 months. The course must be at a school, college or university on the register of licensed sponsors. Additionally, if the applicant is between 4 years and 15 years of age, he or she must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent, fee-paying school.
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: This visa is applicable to those students who are more than 16 years of age and wishes to take up a study course in the UK for duration of more than 6 months. There are certain eligibility requirements that have to be met for obtaining this type of visa.
The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa follows a point based system. To apply for this kind of visa an applicant has to fill up VAF 9 form. This Tier 4 student visa is granted for a fixed duration or maximum time limit. The maximum time limit is 3 years for study courses that lead to a qualification below degree-level. The maximum time limit granted for a degree-level course is 5 years.
Eligibility Criteria for UK Student Visa
To be eligible for UK Student Visa you need to fulfil a few conditions and prove to the UK migration authorities a few things.
- Your age must be 16 years or more
- You must have a valid passport
- You have been offered a place on a course from a designated learning institute in the UK
- You have enough financial resources to pay for your course and support yourself during your entire period of stay in the UK
- You intend to leave the UK at the end of your course of study
- You can read, write, speak and understand English really well
In order to be eligible for a UK student visa you may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. This can be done by passing an approved English Language Test.
Steps to follow to apply for UK Student Visa
Once you are sure about your eligibility to apply for a UK Student Visa, you need to follow the procedure mentioned below to apply for the visa.
Step 1: Obtain your confirmation of acceptance for studies
After a learning institution offers you a place on a course of study and you accept their offer, you will have to pay the required fees for the course of study. Once this is done, you will be provided with a reference number called the confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) by the institution. This number has to be entered on your visa application. Note that you must apply for your UK student visa no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.
Step 2: Fill the student visa application form online
Complete the visa application form VAF 9 online. There are guidelines available to fill the application form. Read the guidelines carefully before you start filling in your details.
Step 3: Pay the student visa application fee
Make payment for the student visa application fee. You will be required to pay the visa fee online using Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards or via e-wallet.
Step 4: Get an appointment date
Submit your online student visa application form to get an option for an appointment date. Book an appointment.
Step 5: Print out the application form
Take a print out of the application form and complete it. Gather all the supporting documents needed along with the application form.
Step 6: Submit the visa application form
Submit your visa application form along with all supporting documents in person at the British Embassy/High Commission or your local visa application centre for UK. You will be required to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your visa application procedure. This is to provide as biometric information about yourself.
Step 7: Track the application’s status online
Keep track of your visa application status online. Return to the visa application centre to collect your visa and passport when the online status shows that a decision has been reached for your visa application.
Extension of UK Student Visa
You may extend your visa by applying before the current visa expires. To do this you must meet the eligibility conditions of visa extension and you should be present in the UK.
Required Fees for UK Student Visa
Visa Fees for Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – GBP 310 (INR 30,879.05)
Extended Student visit visa (between 6 & 11 months) – GBP 150 (INR 14,941.48)
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your visa application is refused.
- The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates which may change.
UK Student Visa Waiver Program
Citizens of some of the countries and territories of the world do not require a visa to enter the UK and study there for duration of up to 6 months if they fulfil a few conditions (in case of the citizens of the Republic of Ireland the visa exempt is for up to 3 months).