UK Tier4 Student Visa

Overview


A points-based system was also introduced for international students wanting to study in the UK. The Tier 4 visa replaces the old UK Study visa.

To apply for the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa), students will require a university or other qualified UK educational institution to sponsor them. Students are also required to score points in order to be accepted as an international student in the UK.

Students coming in to the UK on a student visa will be allowed to work for 20 hours a week during his/her course of study and 40 hours a week during his / her holidays. The student visa is valid till the end of completion of applicant's course.


There are five types of student visas under the Tier 4 points based system


Adult student UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) - This category is for students coming to the UK for post-16 education

Student Visitor UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) - Visitors over 18 years wanting to do a 6 month course in the UK can apply under this category. However, they cannot work nor can they switch into the student visa category while they are in the UK

Child student UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) - Students between the age of 4 -17 can come to the UK to be educated at an independent-fee paying school.

Child Visitor UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) - This category is for applicants who are 17 years and over, wanting to do a 6-month course in the UK. However, they cannot work nor can they switch into the student visa category while they are in the UK.

Prospective Student UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) - This category is for applicants who want to come into the UK to decide which course to study or to plan a course of study within six months. Applicants are allowed to switch into an adult or child student visa category.


Adult Student Visa


Students wanting to study a course NQV level 3 or higher in the UK can apply for the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa). To be eligible to apply for the student visa, the applicant needs to meet 40 points on the following criteria

  • Sponsorship from approved education provider
    - 30 points will be granted if the student obtains an offer from a college or university eligible to sponsor. University and colleges should obtain a license to teach international students in the UK. Students should check if the college is on the Tier 4 register of sponsors to earn points.
  • Maintenance Funds
    - 10 points are awarded to students who show that they have sufficient funds to cover their course fees and monthly living costs.
    The applicant should possess qualifications equivalent to National Qualification Framework (NQF) in the UK education system
    The applicant should have a proven track record of his studies before reaching the UK.

Educational Institutions


Educational institutions offering courses to overseas students will need to attain the status of approved sponsors. To do so they need to demonstrate that they are bona fide establishments, rather than non-accredited or purely commercial operations.

Certificates of sponsorship act as verification from a college or university that students making UK visa applications will abide by the rules and requirements of their course. Educational institutions will also be obliged to report non-enrolment and non-attendance


Basic features of the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa)


  • Foreign students can gain recognised qualifications from reputable and government approved universities and colleges in the UK
  • Applications can switch from one course to another at the same time, without submitting a new application.
  • Students can undertake limited employment during their study
  • Students can switch into categories like Tier 2 and other categories upon successful completion, without leaving the UK
  • UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) can be extended if the course of study is over 4 years
  • Dependents of student visa holders can migrate to the UK
  • Dependents are granted a visa for the same length of time as the applicant

Duration


The duration of the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) would depend on the length of course undertaken


  • If the applicant is pursuing a graduate course or above he is permitted to stay for full length of the course, up to 4 years.
  • If the course the applicant has undertaken is longer than 4 years then he/she can apply for UK visa extension to complete the course.
  • If the applicant is pursuing an undergraduate course he/she will be allowed to stay for a period of 3 years.
  • The applicant who is a child student can stay in the UK will be shortest of the following
    • Period of time child asks for
    • Full length of the course
    • The maximum time the applicant can be allowed ( six years for applicants below 16 years and 2 years for applicants aged 16 or 17)

Dependents


Applicants can bring their dependents provided they are married partners and demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to meet their maintenance requirement with out having recourse to public funds.

Dependents are granted a visa for the same length of time as the applicant.

There is no provision for dependents to migrate to the UK when the applicant is a child student.


Work Rights under the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa)


The maximum amount of part-time work you can do during term time is:

  • 20 hours per week if you are studying a course at or above UK degree level or a foundation degree course, and/or if you made your Tier 4 (General) application on or before 2 March 2010; or
  • 10 hours per week if you are studying a course that is below UK degree level and is not a foundation degree course, and you made your Tier 4 (General) application on or after 3 March 2010.

On the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa), applicants cannot be self-employed, provide services as a professional sports person or entertainer or conduct business.


Switching Visa Categories


The UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) is a non-immigrant visa category and will not lead to British Naturalization or UK citizenship.

Once the student completes their course of study, eligible applicants can stay on in the UK by switching to the Tier 1 Post Study work visa or Tier 1 visa or Tier 2 visa.

The applicant will be able to change from one course to another at the same establishment without submitting a new application

The applicant can switch to Adult student category provided he/she has been previously given permission to stay in the UK as Post study worker, skilled worker (tier2 general, intra company transfer (tier 2) minister religion (), child student (tier 4), prospective student, student, student re appearing for examinations, student nurses, student union sabbatical officer, work permit holder, a post graduate doctor or dentist and participant in science and engineering graduate scheme.


Application Fees for UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa)


Inside the United Kingdom by post - £357

Inside the United Kingdom at a Public Enquiry Office (PEO) - £650

Outside the United Kingdom - £220


MAINTENANCE FUNDS FOR UK STUDENT VISA (TIER 4 - UK STUDY VISA)


The applicants of UK Student Visa (Tier 4 - UK Study Visa) can be sponsored by a financial sponsor who may be home government of the applicant, the British council, any international organization, company, university. The duration stay of the applicant in this case will be at the discretion of the sponsor. If the applicant is sponsored for part of the study then he/she needs to show sufficient funds to meet rest of their expenses.