UK Student Visa 2023: Eligibility, Documents & Application Process

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Whether you’re planning to visit the UK to visit a family member or you’re planning to study there, the first thing you will need is a visa. The type of visa you require depends on your intent.

There are different types of UK visas, including a visitor visa, student visa, work visa, and family and spouse visa  

If you intend to study in the UK and have received university offer letters, you should immediately start the UK student visa application process. 

There are different types of student visas. The one you should apply for will depend on your age and the duration of your stay. 

The UK student visa acceptance rate is 98% for Indian students.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about a UK student visa.

Types of UK Student Visa

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UK Student Visa 2023: Eligibility, Documents & Application Process

There are primarily 3 types of UK student visas for which you can apply:

A short-term UK student visa

This type of visa is valid for 6 to 11 months. This is ideal for students taking on a research program, student exchange program, and studying short language courses or variant courses for their degree.

Tier 4 UK student visa

This standard UK student visa is effective for the entire tenure of an education program. Tier 4 UK student visa is the most common visa international students apply for. 

If you plan to enrol for a Bachelor’s, Master’s degree, or PhD, you must apply for this visa. 

Once you have your admission letter from a UK university, you can apply for a Tier-4 UK student visa. 

UK Student Visa 2023: Eligibility, Documents & Application Process

Dependent UK Student visa

This is only valid for students with a close family member living in the UK. This is largely opted for by those whose relatives already work in the UK or whose guardians live there.

Child Student Visa

This student visa is for children aged 4-7 years moving to the UK to study in an independent school. 

Tier 4 UK Student Visa: All you need to know! 

Tier 4 UK Student visa is the best for you if you plan to pursue higher education in the UK. It applies to undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies.

The Tier 4 UK student visa costs £363 or ₹38,396 in India.

The best time to start applying for a Tier 4 UK visa is once you receive an admissions offer from a University. You can apply for a visa as early as 6 months before the start of your course. 

Once you have filed an application, it may take about 3 weeks to receive your visa. If you’re on a degree level, you can stay in the UK for up to 5 years on a student visa. 

Tie 4 UK student visa allows you to work part-time up to 20 hours a week while you can opt for a full-time job during the semester breaks.

Tier 4 UK Student Visa Eligibility

You must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Tier-4 UK student visa.

  1. You must be over 16 years of age. If you’re younger than 18, you must submit written consent from your parents.
  2. You must have a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) letter from a recognised university in the United Kingdom.
  3. You must submit proof of your English proficiency, such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE scores. 
  4. You must provide proof of funds, showing that you have the funds to support your education and survive in the UK.
UK Student Visa 2023: Eligibility, Documents & Application Process

How to apply for a UK Student Visa? 

You can apply for a UK student visa at your country’s embassy in the United Kingdom. Based on your country of citizenship or residence, you may have to process your biometrics for the visa. 

You can also apply for your student visa application through the British government’s official website here.

Here is the step-by-step guide to applying for a UK student visa.

  • Obtain a CAS: CAS is mandatory for UK student visa applications. Procure a CAS from the university once you receive a conditional admission letter.
  • Ready your documents: Gather all required documents for a UK visa application. Ensure all your documents are up-to-date and valid. 
  • Biometric details: You can submit your photograph and fingerprints at a visa application centre or scan it via UK Immigration: ID Check app.
  • Submit the application online: Create an account on the UK Visas and Immigration website, complete the online application form.
  • Complete visa payment: You can pay via the following methods: 
  1. Standard Chartered Bank
  2. Demand Draft
  3. Pay at the visa application centre
  4. Pay online via Visa, MasterCard credit/debit cards
  • Attend an Interview (if required): An interview, typically conducted via a video call, may be necessary.

Once your application is processed, you will receive a decision in 3 weeks.

Also read:

Documents Required for UK Student Visa

The following documents are mandatory for UK Student Visa. Some documents may vary, so confirm the requirements on the official website before applying. 

  • Valid acceptance letter, also known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS, from the university in the UK.
  • Original mark sheets and transcripts of your prior education.
  • English proficiency test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • If you have a statement from your institution in the UK stating that you have been exempted from English language requirements, you need not provide IELTS or TOEFL marks. Click here to get a list of universities that are exempt from IELTS.
  • A valid government-issued passport.
  • Proof of payment towards the UK student visa application
  • Maintenance of funds:
    • £1,334 or INR 1,40,885 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London.
    • £1,023 or INR 1,08,040 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London.
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs for the application process. You can check the requirements here 
  • If you are under 18, you must have a consent letter from your parents to apply for a tier-4 UK student visa.
  • Immigration surcharge fee for your health
  • If applying directly through the embassy, you must provide the self-assessment form in Appendix 8. This form is waived during the online application process.
  • For certain countries, you must provide a report of a tuberculosis test. 

If you’re in the early stages of applying to a university, Leap Scholar can help you apply for a UK student visa without all the hassle. Our experts will help you every step of the way and ensure maximum chances of securing a visa in time! 

Final Thoughts

UK universities rank on the top for their impeccable level of quality education. You will learn excellence in your field of study while learning confidence and real-world skills. 

Before applying for a student visa, make sure you read the guidelines thoroughly and, if necessary, get expert advice.

Leap Scholar has also launched an online study abroad counselling program for the UK. All Indian students who wish to study in the UK can avail expert guidance from our experienced counsellors. You will receive end-to-end assistance from shortlisting colleges to applications to IELTS classes to visa applications. Book a free call to learn more about how we can help you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I apply for a UK student visa?

A. To apply for a UK student visa, follow these steps:
-Obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your chosen university.
-Complete the online application form on the UK Visas and Immigration website.
-Pay the required application fee.
-Schedule and attend a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints and photographs.

Q. What are the eligibility criteria for a UK student visa?

A. You must submit a valid government-issued ID and meet the following requirements.
-CAS letter
-Proof of funds
-Proof of English proficiency

Q. Can I work while I study on a UK student visa?

A. Yes. As Tier 4 student visa holder, you can work part-time during the term, which is up to 20 hours per week. During the holidays, you can work full-time. However, it’s always best to check with your university if they have any additional rules about working while studying. UK limits work hours to 20 hours per week to ensure you prioritise your studies.

Q. How long can I stay in the UK on a student visa?

A. The duration of your stay in the UK depends primarily on the duration of your education. If you are over 18 and you are pursuing a degree-level education in the UK, then you are allowed to stay for up to five years in the UK. If you are under 18 and not on a degree level, you can stay up to 2 years. If you wish to stay beyond this period, you must extend your visa.

Q. How soon can I move to the UK after getting my student visa?

A. The timeframe varies depending on the duration of your course. If your course is longer than six months, you can move one month before your course starts. If your course duration is less than six months, you can travel to the UK one week before your course starts. No matter what, you must not travel to the UK before the start date mentioned on your visa.

Q. How much funds do you need to show for a UK student visa?

A. To avail of a student visa, you must prove to the UK government that you can afford living and study expenses. This proof of funds is called “Maintenance of funds” and differs from place to place. Here is the amount of funds you need to have for a UK visa
£1,334 or INR 1,40,885 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London.
£1,023 or INR 1,08,040 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London.

Q. Is IELTS required for UK student visa?

A. Yes. Typically English proficiency scores are required for a UK student visa. IELTS scores are mandatory for most UK universities. Without meeting this requirement, you may not get an admit. A CAS letter is mandatory for a UK visa application. There may be some universities that waive English proficiency requirements, in which case you need to submit a letter from the university to the visa office saying you’re exempted from English language requirements.

Q. How much does a UK student visa cost?

A. The cost of a UK student visa varies depending on factors like the length of your course, your location, and whether you’re applying from within the UK or outside. For Indians, a tier 4 UK visa will cost £363 or ₹38,396.

Q. How long does it take to get a UK student visa?

Q. In India, a UK student visa takes about 3 weeks to arrive. The processing time for a UK student visa depends on various factors, including your home country, the time of year, and the complexity of your application. You can apply for a visa as early as 6 months before your course begins.

Q. What do I do if my UK student visa application is rejected?

A. UK Student visa can be rejected due to various reasons including:
-Inadequate funds
-Disqualification based on academic reasons
-Gap years
-English proficiency
In case your visa gets rejected, you can reapply for it. But make sure you address the problems in your application.

Q. Is getting UK Student visa easy?

A. Getting a UK Student Visa can be easy if you meet the requirements. Make sure that you have a valid offer letter from a recognised UK university, and that you have enough money to pay tuition and manage your. Additionally, getting a good score in English proficiency tests can be beneficial. Plan ahead, apply early, and seek visa guidance if needed.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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