If you are not from the UK or EU, obtaining a Visa is a mandatory requirement and process that you will have to complete prior to your arrival to the UK. The process itself is done online and is quite simple if you read the information displayed in this article.
Even though the application is done by oneself, if any questions or problems arise during your application, do not hesitate to contact Edu4u for further advice and support.
You can check if you need a UK Visa at: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
Before applying for a UK Visa, you should read the full guidance as it contains vital information about the Visa processes. It is crucial that you read the guidance as it covers information about English requirements and the documents you must provide when applying for a UK Visa.
Applying for a UK Visa
You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa here:
You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).
You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre as many offer a fast-track option (for a fee).
Apply in the UK
Check if you can apply from inside the UK to:
- Extend your existing Tier 4 (General) student visa:
- Switch to this visa from another visa:
Tier 4 Visa
You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:
- have been offered a place on a course
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- meet the other eligibility requirements
You must have:
- an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor (Institutions licensed to sponsor migrant students under Tier 4)
- enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
A list of the current UK Institutions that are registered as Tier 4 sponsors (2018) can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/718794/2018-06-22_Tier_4_Register_of_Sponsors.pdf
You can do a course that’s one of the following:
- full-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level 6 on the Ofqual register
- part-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level 7 on the Ofqual register
- an overseas course of degree level study that’s equal to a UK higher education course and is being run by an overseas higher education institution
- full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organized daytime study, leading to a qualification which is at least level 3 on the Ofqual register
- a recognized foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist
Postgraduate doctors and dentists
You can apply for this visa if you’re sponsored to do a recognized foundation programme and you’ve:
- finished a recognized UK degree in medicine or dentistry
- received that degree from a registered Tier 4 sponsor
- spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK
It costs £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.
You must pay £348 per person for any dependants.
You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.
How long you can stay
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:
- up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months
How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.
What you can and can’t do
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
- apply from inside or outside the UK
- apply to extend your stay
- work in most jobs – depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have
- get public funds
- work in certain jobs, for example professional sportsperson or sports coach
- study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school
When to apply
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course.
You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You can check visa processing times for your country here:
Confirmation of acceptance for studies
Your education provider will send you a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once they’ve offered you a place on a course. You’ll need to enter this on your visa application.
You must apply for your visa no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.
If you’ve studied in the UK before
You can only get a CAS in certain situations if you’re applying from within the UK.
If you’re continuing your studies
You can get a CAS if you’re:
- re-sitting exams or repeating modules
- applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that lost its Tier 4 sponsorship
- applying to extend your stay to complete your studies because you’ve done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme
- completing a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
- applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
- continuing your medical, dentistry or medical science degree after completing an intercalated course
If you’re starting a new course
You can get a CAS if your course is one of the following:
- at a higher academic level than your previous course
- at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations – it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI)
- intercalated to a medicine, dentistry or medical science course you started studying under a Tier 4 (General) student visa
If you’re applying to work in the UK
You can get a CAS if you’re applying to either:
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
- stay in the UK to look for work after you’ve finished your PhD or doctorate – the ‘Doctorate Extension Scheme’ (DES)
Other type of student Visas
- Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application
- Short-term study visa
- Tier 4 (Child) student visa
More detailed information on these types of Visas can be found on: