Student Visa for the UK

Student Visa for the UK

You will probably require a student visa if you are an overseas student hoping to study in the UK (Wales, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, etc.). We will walk you through the entire process of applying for a student visa in this post. Including what kinds of visas are available if you need one for the duration of the course, what you need to apply for, how to apply, and how much it will cost.

In the UK, there are two primary categories of student visas. The (i) short-term study visa and the (ii) student visa (previously referred to as the Tier 4 General). In this essay, we will discuss the long-term student visa.

  • All students who are 16 years of age or older and intend to study in the UK for a period longer than six months must get a student visa. You can work full-time during breaks from your studies and part-time during those times with this visa. It is valid for as long as your course lasts, plus an extra period, often four months. 
  • For non-EU students who plan to study in the UK for no more than six months, a short-term study visa is available. With this visa, you have no rights to work in the UK, and it cannot be renewed.

You do not need to apply for a visa if you receive pre-settled status under the EU settlement program as a result of your application and a longer stay in the UK before June 30, 2021.

General Requirements for a Student Visa to the UK

The earliest possible time to apply for a student visa to the UK is six months before the start date of your study, as stated on your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Study). What you’ll need to apply for a student visa is as follows:

  • A passport that is currently valid for at least six months. 
  • A UK college or university’s Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). 
  • Prove that you have the resources to sustain yourself while you study. You can demonstrate this by presenting a letter from your sponsor or bank statements. The funds had to have been in your bank account for a minimum of 28 days in a row. This time had to have ended within 31 days of your visa application. 
  • Proof of your fluency in English, if mandated by your university or course. This is usually complete before you apply to a college or university. You must demonstrate that you are at least CEFR level B2. 
  • Depending on your program of study and university, you might also need to produce other papers, such as academic transcripts or diplomas. Students who wish to study disciplines like military technology will require an ATAS certificate. Those who are under the age of eighteen must provide documentation and the approval of a legal guardian.
  • A tuberculosis (TB) test result if you were born in a country where the disease is prevalent.

Application Process for Student Visa

In the UK, there are two ways to obtain a student visa. You have two options for submitting your application. Online at the official UK government website or the UK embassy in your country.

To apply for a student visa, you need to follow these steps:

Get Acceptance

  • The first step is to get acceptance to obtain admission to a UK-based school. You will not be able to get a student visa if you do not qualify for a UK institution. Finding and applying to a school you wish to attend is the first step. 
  • Following your acceptance, a UK institution or university will sponsor your visa by providing you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Following your acceptance into a course, your institution will provide you with a special reference number known as the CAS. A crucial component of your student visa application is the CAS. It includes crucial details regarding your course, such as the start and conclusion dates, the total cost, and your course provider’s information. 

Proceed with the online application

  • Proceed to the UK government website and complete the online application form. 
  • To receive access to the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom (UK) during your stay. You must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and the visa application fee. 
  • Make a commitment at a VAC (visa application center) to turn in your paperwork and submit your biometric data, which includes a photo and your fingerprints. As an alternative, you can use UK Immigration for this. Use the ID Check app to see if you have a Hong Kong or EU biometric passport. 
  • Attend your VAC appointment and bring the necessary paperwork and biometric data. 
  • You are awaiting hearing back on your visa application. Typically, you receive the decision in three weeks, but you may be able to pay for expedited processing. Depending on the period of the year and your place of origin, the length of time it takes to complete a student visa can differ. To prevent delays, you ought to apply for your visa as soon as possible.

To ensure that you have sufficient funds to meet all of your expenses. You must demonstrate that you have the funds necessary to pay for your tuition for one academic year. This information will be on your CAS. Furthermore, you must demonstrate your ability to maintain yourself and pay for your living expenses, unless you are a resident of a country where it is not necessary. 

The monthly living expense requirement is £1,023 for courses outside of London and £1,334 for courses held within the city, where living expenses are high.

Student Visa Cost for the UK

Depending on your place of origin, the duration of your study, and whether you are applying from within or outside of the UK. The cost of a student visa may change. The cost of applying for a visa is £490 as of 2024. An additional tax is the Immigration Health Surcharge. 

If you are a student studying in the UK under a student visa, you must include payment for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) with your visa application. This gives you access to the National Health Service (NHS) while you are pursuing your education. For the duration of your visa, you will need to pay the full annual fee of £776 for the IHS. If your application for a visa is rejected or withdrawn, you will receive a refund. 

In addition, while applying for a student visa to the UK, citizens of the EU and Switzerland must pay the IHS. However, when their visa has been approved,. Students who have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and do not plan to work in the UK can ask for a refund of IHS. Please be aware that if you plan to operate in the UK, you must have IHS coverage.

Travel to the UK after Getting your Visa

If your course is longer than six months, you can enter the UK one month in advance of the start date. If it is shorter than six months, you can enter the country up to seven days in advance. The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or CAS, contains the commencement date of the course. 

Your visa sticker or approval letter will indicate the start date of your visa. It is not advisable for you to try to enter the UK before the commencement date of your visa, as you’ll most likely turn away. There will be an expiration date on your visa. You must apply for a new visa or renew your current one before it expires if you want to remain in the UK after this date. You will be able to apply for a two-year post-study work visa after earning your degree in the UK. Which will let you remain and work there for a maximum of two years. 

At the UK border, you will be required to provide both your passport and your visa upon arrival. In addition, documentation of your study program, your housing plans, and your ability to pay for your stay may be required of you. 


Although the process of applying for a student visa to the UK might seem challenging. It can go more smoothly with prior planning and preparation. The procedure of obtaining a UK visa is rather simple and may be completed by our EU students with simplicity. To guarantee a prompt decision, don’t forget to verify the prerequisites for your particular course and university and apply for your visa as soon as possible.


When will I be able to obtain my study visa for the UK? 

You can anticipate hearing back about your application within 21 days, as the processing period for UK visas can last up to three weeks. Delays can be avoided by making sure your application has all the required supporting materials. 

Can a UK student visa holder bring their family members? 

The Home Office has modified the rules for the entry of family members into the country on a student visa. While on a student visa, most students’ “dependents,” or spouses and children, cannot travel to the UK.

There are a few exceptions to this, though. Dependents may enter the UK with students who are engaged in postgraduate courses classified as research programs, such as PhDs, other doctoral degrees, or master’s programs that require research and original work production.

What time should I apply for a student visa to the UK?

You can begin the application process as early as six months before the commencement of your course if you are applying from outside of the UK. The timeline for returning application responses is three weeks. This may vary according to the current volume of applications received.

The earliest you can apply is three months before the start of your course if you are applying for a new visa from within the United Kingdom. Your new course must start within 28 days of the previous expiration date. You must apply before your current visa expires. After that, you should hear back from us within eight weeks of submitting your application.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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