Everything You Need to Know to Get a UK student visa

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For most people, getting an education in the United Kingdom is a life-long dream. The universities in the UK are popularly regarded for their excellence in curriculum and teaching techniques. UK was ranked as the number 1 country for education in 2019, thanks to its world-class universities and wide range of over 50,000 courses in 25+ subject areas. Generally, the courses offered in the UK are shorter compared to other countries, which results in less expenditure and more accessibility for international students. The UK student visa acceptance rate is 98% for Indian students.

We will discuss everything you need to know to get a it and take the next step towards your career.

Types of UK Student Visa

There are primarily 3 types of UK student visa 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, studying short language courses or variant courses for their degree.

A tier 4 UK student visa

This is a standard UK student visa that is effective for the entire tenure of an education program. It is for those who enroll in a university for a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, PhD. and even for undergraduate studies. Once you have your admission letter from a UK university in place, you need to apply for your Tier-4 UK student visa. The primary attraction for this UK student visa is longevity. It is valid until your program comes to an end.

A dependent UK student visa

This is only valid for those students, who have a close family member living in the UK. This is largely opted for by those whose parents already work in the UK or their guardians live there.

Where to apply for a visa?

You can apply for a UK student visa at the embassy of the United Kingdom in your country. 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.

Visa Interview:

You will be required to attend an interview at the UK embassy as per the appointment slot selected while applying for the visa. On the day of the interview you are expected to submit the application form along with the documents mentioned below. You will also have to complete the biometric process of finger-printing and have a photograph taken to complete the process of your visa application.

When to get a UK student Visa?

It takes up to 3 weeks to process a visa application, so you must plan accordingly. Based on your country of residence, it is acceptable to get the process started, 3 months in advance. It is advised to apply for a UK student visa after you get the admission letter from the University of your choice. The acceptance letter is a necessary document required to apply for the UK student Visa.

Let us now take a look at all the documents required to apply for a UK student visa. These documentations are necessary for your UK student visa as well as your acceptance into the university.

The documents required to Apply:
  1. You must have a valid acceptance letter, also known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS from the university in the UK.
  2. You must have the Original mark-sheets and transcripts of your prior education.
  3. You must have either the exam results for English language requirement, such as IELTS or TOEFL, or a statement from your institution in the UK stating that you have been exempted from an English language requirement.
  4. You must complete the visa application form with absolute accuracy. 
  5. You must have a valid passport issued by the government.
  6. You must have proof of payment towards the UK student visa application which is GBP 348.
  7. You must have proof that you can support yourself financially during your study.
  8. You must submit 2 recent passport-sized photograph for the application process. You can check the requirements here 
  9. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a consent letter from your parents, to apply for a tier-4 UK student visa.
  10. You must pay an immigration surcharge fee for your health of GBP 150 per annum for each year of the term of your education.
  11. If you are applying directly through the embassy, then you must provide the self-assessment form in Appendix 8. This form is waived during the online application process.
  12. For certain countries, you must provide a report of a tuberculosis test. 
  13. Several countries may require further documentation.
  14. Additionally, you also have to show that you have enough funds to support yourself and your living expenses

These documents must be submitted to process your visa.

Conditions applied for a Tier-4 UK student visa:

There are also a few conditions applicable to be eligible for a tier-4 UK student visa:

  1. You must be 16 years of age or older. If you’re younger than 18 years, then a Written consent from parents in case you’re less.
  2. You must hold an acceptance letter from a licensed university in the United Kingdom.
  3. You must read, write, speak, and understand English. The English qualification exams are therefore necessary.
  4. You must have the appropriate means to support your education and survival in the UK during the term of your education. If your university is in London then your basic monthly cost will be approximately GBP 1334 pounds/month, i.e., approximately GBP 12000 (INR 11.5 lacs) for a regular 9 months Master’s Degree.

Whereas if your university is located anywhere besides London, your average monthly cost will be lower. You must have GBP 1023/month, i.e., 9207 pounds (INR 9 lacs) for a Master’s Degree

 Most UK universities require you to pay the tuition fees for one year upfront. Only then you’ll be allowed to apply for the student visa. 

For financial constraints, you can either opt for various scholarship programs or opt for part-time jobs permitted by the UK government for students. 

During the ongoing term, you can work part-time up to 20 hours a week while during the holidays,  you can opt for a full-time job. These rules are applied to ensure that the students are not distracted from their school during the term of their education.

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

Leap Scholar has now launched an online study abroad counselling program for the UK as well. 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. Leap Scholar is here to help you through the entire process. Enroll now! 

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Kanika took a detour from academics for the corporate world. Now she works as a senior editor specialising in content creation, marketing, and strategy.