Tier 4 Visa for UK

Tier 4 Visa for UK

Students who aspire to pursue full-time courses at UK universities are eligible for a Tier 4 student visa. A key requirement for students wishing to study in the UK is to apply for their student visas at least three months before the start of their courses. The UK Tier 4 visa is an immigration permit for students. A document of utmost importance in this process is the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from a UK educational institution with a current UK Tier 4 sponsoring license. This document is a must-have for applying for a Tier 4 student visa, as it proves your acceptance into a UK university. 

Every student needs to be aware that the UK Tier-4 visa receives through a unique point system. Students must complete every requirement and score at least 40 points to be eligible for this system, which aims to assess applicants’ eligibility. Interestingly, 30 points were awarded for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a Tier-4 sponsor with authorization, and the final 10 points were rewarded for proving that there were funds available for both the course and living expenses. Understanding this point system is crucial for a successful visa application.

Eligibility Criteria for Tier 4 Visa

In order to be eligible to apply for a UK student visa, a candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Students who have accepted an offer of admission from a reputable university have taken advantage of the chance to study in the UK. 
  • Students can afford to sustain themselves and pay for their courses. 
  • Learners who can read, write, speak, and comprehend English. 
  • Individuals from countries outside the European Union, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area.
  • When a 16- or 17-year-old student applies for a UK student visa, they must provide proof of consent.

With a UK Tier 4 visa, students can: 

  • Study and work as a temporary officer for the student union. 
  • Apply from both inside and outside of the United Kingdom. 
  • They might be eligible to work depending on their learning and whether they work during or outside school.

Applicants who are using a UK Tier 4 visa to remain in the country do not have the right to:

  • Demand your right to pensions and public funds. 
  • Perform specific tasks.
  • Work for yourself.
  • Study at an academy or a school supported by the local government.

Under certain circumstances, those now in the UK on a student visa may also have the right to bring their dependents. The UK immigration department’s website mentions these requirements.

Students with Tier 4 visas must study for at least 15 hours per week and be self-sufficient in covering their living expenses, tuition, and other costs. It could be costly for the students, as they cannot work in school. As a result, most students take out an education loan to pay for their living expenses and tuition while studying in the UK.

The application fee for Tier 4 visas in the UK

Applying for a student visa from outside the UK costs £490, and also pay £490 to renew or convert from a UK-based student visa. Each person must pay the visa charge.

To apply for a visa, you must pay the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS). In less than thirty minutes, you must finish the payment and return the immigration application. The healthcare surcharge must be paid using a debit or credit card.

The duration of your visa determines the precise amount you must pay. A visa could be valid for an extended period beyond your study or work term.

It is necessary for you to pay the healthcare surcharge: 

  • £776 annually for Youth Mobility Scheme participants, their dependents, and students; for instance, £1,552 for a two-year visa.
  • Applicants for visas and immigration who are under the age of eighteen at the time of application must pay £776 annually. 
  • £1,035 annually for any other applications related to visas and immigration; for instance, £3,105 for a three-year visa.

Processing time for Tier 4 Visa in UK

Whether you apply from within or outside the UK will determine when you can apply.

Applying from outside the United Kingdom 

Six months before the start of your study is the earliest you can apply for a visa. Usually, you’ll hear back about your visa decision in three weeks.

Applying from within the United Kingdom 

Three months before the start of your course is the earliest you can apply. Before the expiration of your current visa, you must apply. Within 28 days after the expiration of your current visa, you must start your new course. Usually, you’ll hear back within eight weeks.

Documents Required for Tier 4 Visa

It would be best if you were prepared with a list of documents to apply for a Tier-4 student visa. Ensure you consult the required papers list before attending the visa interview.

  • A properly completed application form.
  • Acceptance Letter

 A letter of acceptance is the document your authorised education provider sends to certify your enrollment and course of study without any strings attached. They give you a visa letter in addition to the acceptance letter, which will be sent no later than six months before the commencement of the course. 

Visa and acceptance letters over six months old will not be acceptable. Although having a visa letter does not ensure that your application will be successful, you must still fulfil all conditions set forth by immigration laws and the Tier-4 student visa. 

Evidence of Funds

If the course is shorter than nine months, you must show that you have the funds to pay for your living expenses and tuition for nine months. Whether you live in or outside of London, as well as whether you are an adult or a child, will determine how much you must prove.

In the event of self-funding, you must demonstrate that you have kept the money in your account for at least 28 days. This 28-day period can expire up to one month before the date of your visa application. As proof of funding, if you display any loans or scholarships, be sure to have all the necessary paperwork. The following indicates how much you have to include as living expenses.

  • If you want to live in London for nine months, the cost is £11,385. 
  • If you want to stay out of London, you may remain in town for nine months for £9,135.
  • Verification of Visa Payment.  
  • Scores on required tests, such as the GMAT and IELTS.
  • Paychecks
  • Mark Sheets and Provisional (Original) Certificates
  • Certificate of Tuberculosis Test-You must complete the test and present the results at the time of application to be eligible for a visa.

UK Tier 4 Student Visa Rules 

The so-called “Student Route” has replaced the prior Tier 4 (General) Student Visa as of October 4, 2020. The UK’s new student visa, known as the Student Route, will be accessible to EEA citizens as well, who were exempt from needing a visa to study in the country before Brexit. 

The British Government claims that there is no limit on the number of students who can be granted a visa under the new Student Visa program. 

The following are some of the primary modifications to the UK Student Visa that took effect on October 5, 2020:

  • It is split into two categories: the Student Route (for adult students 18 years of age and up) and the Child Student Route (with the replacement of the Tier 4 Child Student Visa for pupils 4 to 17 years of age). 
  • If an EU or EEA national plans to enter the country after January 1, 2021, they must also apply for a visa. 
  • Instead of three months, you can apply for a student visa up to six months before classes begin. 
  • There is a point-based system that determines your eligibility for a visa. To win, you must accrue 70 points. 
  • By summer 2021, graduates of British universities will be eligible to apply for a post-graduate visa, which will grant them the ability to work or search for work in the UK for a maximum of two years.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and English language competency standards are still the same for the Tier 4 Student Visa.

The application process for a Tier 4 Visa

Accept the institution’s unconditional offer letter, which includes the course name, duration, and university. If the university needs you to pay your tuition in advance, please do so. 

Verify that the offer letter is error-free. Inform the university’s administrators of any inaccuracies you find. You will get the conditional acceptance of your studies (CAS) in five working days after confirming that the acceptance letter’s information is accurate.

Make sure that the tuition deposits and scholarships you were awarded have been noted in your CAS. Please carefully review it since you must provide evidence of finance to demonstrate the outstanding cash. 

Arrange every document in the order specified in the document list. Apply online for a Tier-4 student visa to the UK. You must pay the £490 visa application charge or more to use priority visa services. 

You must schedule a personal appointment to visit the Visa Application Center and turn in all required paperwork in addition to filing your online visa application. Additionally, you have to provide your biometric data. 

To use the National Health Service (NHS), you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. Throughout your visa, this will set you back £300, plus an extra £150 a year. 

After completing all the procedures, a Vignette Visa Sticker will be issue on your passport, allowing you to enter the UK for 30 days. In addition to the vignette visa sticker, the UK Visas and Immigration office will send you a confirmation letter. Once you arrive, you must submit the confirmation letter and the vignette visa at the UK border.

You will print your visa on the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You must pick up from the institution or authorized post office within ten days of arriving in the UK. 

Apply outside of the UK 

You will be need to provide identification as a part of your application. Completing this varies depending on your passport type and place of origin.

You’ll choose to:

  • Provide biometric information at a visa application centre, such as your fingerprints and photo.
  • Create or log into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account. Scan your identity document with the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app. 
  • When you apply, you will be inform that the necessary steps. 
  • You can save your application form and finish it later once you’ve started it.

Apply Inside to the UK 

Possibly, you could apply to: 

  • Prolong your visa for students
  • Change from one sort of visa to a student visa 
  • You can pay to receive a decision more quickly.

Following your application

If your application is complicated and will take longer, we’ll get in touch with you because: Your application must be validated and you must appear for an interview to discuss your specific circumstances (such as a criminal conviction). If you need to make changes to your submission after it has been submitted, contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

By contacting UKVI, you can request that your application be withdrawn. Only if UKVI has not yet begun processing your application will your fee be reimbursed.

Following the decision-making process 

If your application is accepted, you will either: A biometric residence permit if you provided your biometric data at a visa application centre; if you utilized the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app. A digital immigration status that you can examine and verify online


International students can study in the UK under the Tier 4 General Student Visa category. It is a well-known fact that the UK has a lengthy history of education. Nearly all international students are familiar with Cambridge and Oxford. Other notable universities in the Russell Group include Durham University, the University of Bristol, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Furthermore, technical colleges and other higher education institutions are widely disperse nationwide. A student must fulfil several stringent standards to enter the UK. Nonetheless, the government is trying to make it simpler for students to join the UK because of the significant cultural and economic contributions that overseas students bring to the UK.


Can I switch from a Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 Visa?

Under the current immigration regulations, switching from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa is possible. The new points-based system (PBS) will take effect on January 1, 2021, and for skilled migrants, it will be much easier to do so than it was previously (if you already have a job offer). The new PBS will also treat EU and non-EU citizen Tier 4 students equally with other individuals in different immigration categories. Finally, as of October 5, 2020, additional changes have been made to the immigration system for students.

Now called the Student Route, the Tier 4 route has changed names to make it easier for non-lawyers to grasp. For instance, “student immigration permission” is now used instead of “tier 4 leave.”

Are part-time courses eligible for a Tier 4 Visa? 

Tier 4 Visas do not cover part-time university courses under Level 7 on the OFQUAL register. The government’s non-ministerial Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation is OFQUAL. Students primarily seeking to enroll in full-time courses in the UK are the target audience for a UK Tier 4 Visa; part-time courses are typically not covering unless they complete the study as mentioned above requirements.

How can I apply to go from Tier 4 to Tier 2?

Reapplying for this tier 4 to tier 2 change does not require you to leave the country. In reality, you can apply to change your visa from within the UK before your current study visa expires if you still want to take full advantage of your position as a student. Another alternative is to submit a quicker application in person, but there’s no assurance it will be accepted, and you’ll have to pay an additional charge. 

Your new employer must pass the Resident Labor Market Test and issue you a restricted certificate of sponsorship (CoS) before they will sponsor and hire you. Thus, applying from outside of the UK might put you at a little disadvantage. It is unlikely to be a problem if you can alter your visa before your tier 4 visa expires and within three months of the program ending, even if you must apply from outside the UK. In the unlikely event that you are in a rush, we provide a service that enables you to expedite your application and finish the procedure in less than a week.

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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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