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How to Get Student Visa of the UK in 2021 – Full Guide

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Studying abroad is always a good option as it provides you more exposure and better value for your money in terms of education. Specifically study in the UK is a better option than the US, Canada, and Australia as tuition fees are lower in the UK as compared to these countries.

Along with the lower cost of education some other benefits of studying in the UK are High quality and globally recognized education, Cultural diversity, Direct access to Europe, Thousands of subject options, improving your English by studying in English studying country and desirable to employers.

How to Get Student Visa of UK?

International students outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland wanting to study in the UK needs to get a student visa to stay and study in the UK.

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We will discuss step by step process of how to get student visa of the UK.

Step 1: Types of Students Visas:

Types of Visa and Get Student Visa of the UK

The first and foremost thing is to determine the right type of visa for you. According to United Kingdom Visas and Immigration there are three types of student visas of the UK which are the following.

  1. Short-term study visa
  2. General student visa (Tier 4)
  3. Child student visa (Tier 4)

The type of visa you need depends on your age and what you want to study. Although the
requirement for each visa type is different, the process is very simple for all three of them.

Each visa type is explained in detail below.

1. Short-term study visa:

If you intend to do a short course such as an English language course, a training course in
the UK, or want to do a short period of research as part of a degree course then you can
apply for a short-term study visa.

This visa is valid for 11 months for an English language course and 6 months only for other short courses. The fee for this type of student visa is £97 for a 6-month visa and £186 for an 11-month visa. You are not allowed to work under short-term study visa.

Required Documents:

The completer documents list required for this type of visa are as following

  • Current passport or other valid travel identification.
  • Evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months.
  • Details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you should not pay for
    accommodation or travel until you get your visa.
  • Your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take
    the test and you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months.
  • Contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (if you’re
    under 18 years old).
  • You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in
    English or Welsh.
  • You need a blank page in your passport for your visa.
  • Complete details about the cost and requirements of this visa type can be seen on government of the UK website.

2. General student visa (Tier 4):

The requirements for this type of student visa are a bit more than a short-term study visa. If you are 18 years and over and intend to study a course (duration will be more than 11 months) in the UK, General student visa (Tier 4) is the right category for you.

This type of visa is point-based you will have to secure 40 points. Once you have been offered a place in the course by recognized education Institution (licensed Tier 4 sponsor), they will issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which carries 30 points.

You must also provide proof that you have enough funds to pay for both your course tuition fees and your monthly living costs for the complete duration of your study it carries 10 points.

The cost of living in the UK for international student calculated by the UK government home office is £1,265 per month if you will study in London and £1,015 per month if you are studying outside London or anywhere else in the UK.

You are allowed to work whilst studying under this category of student visa in the UK. However, you cannot rely on this income to support yourself in place of other maintenance funds.

The conditions in which you can work are following.

  1. During term time you are allowed to work part-time up to 20 hours per week.
  2. During academic holidays you are allowed to work full-time.
  3. You may not work in some occupations, including professional sports and entertainment.
  4. General student visa (Tier 4) is available for part-time studies also, but you must be studying full-time in order to work.

Required Documents:

A list of documents required for a general student visa (Tier 4) is mentioned below.

  • Valid Passport.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you are a national of a country where tuberculosis is frequent (in case of Pakistan it is mandatory).
  • Criminal record certificate. Taken from Your local police station.
  • Maintenance funds for your entire period of stay in the UK explained above.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency. (not required for English speaking country)
  • Unconditional written consent of the sponsor to the visa application.
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme Clearance Certificate, if applicable.
  • The fee for this visa category is £348 from Pakistan. The fee may vary according to your
    needs and country of residence, you can calculate your visa fees at the UK government
    home office website. Complete eligibility criteria and requirements for a General student
    visa (Tier 4) are available to download on the UK Government visas and
    immigration website.

3. Child student visa (Tier 4):

If your age is between 4 and 17 years and you want to go to the UK for study purpose you
will have to apply under the Child student visa (Tier 4) category. For this category you must have a place on a course in an independent school in the UK, have the consent of your parent or guardian, and have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs. Like a General student visa (Tier 4) you will be issued Confirmation of Acceptance for
Studies (CAS) by an independent school in which has applied.

Required Documents:

The documents required for a child student visa (Tier 4) are as following

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation.
  • Proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances.
  • Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent.
  • Proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian.
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you are a national of a country where tuberculosis is frequent (in case of Pakistan it is mandatory).

Conditions:

Under child student visa (Tier 4) you are allowed to work under following condition.

  1. During term time you are allowed to work part-time up to 10 hours per week
  2. During academic holidays you are allowed to work full-time.
  3. On a work placement as part of your course (but not for more than 50% of your course time)
  4. Allowed to work for up to 2 years as student union sabbatical officer.

The fee for this visa category is £348 from Pakistan. The fee may vary according to your
needs and country of residence, you can calculate your visa fees at the UK government
home office website.

Step 2: prepare the required documents

Once you have determined the right category for yourself to get the student visa of the UK,
things get very simple. The second step is to gather or prepare the required documents and the necessary things for your specific type of visa.

prepare the required documents

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After preparing all the required documents you have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply, you will have to pay health surcharge only if you intend to live more than 6 months in the UK.

Step 3: Online Visa Form

Now you will move to the third step which is to apply for a study visa for the UK, for this purpose you need to fill an online visa form. Upon successful submission of your online visa application you will be given a date on which you will visit the assigned visa application Centre where your fingerprints and photograph (known as “bio-metric information”) will be taken.

If you apply for a Child student visa (Tier 4) and a Short-term study visa no interview will be conducted by the Home office of the UK visas and Immigration. Whereas if you have applied for a General student visa (Tier 4), then you have to go through a skype interview to satisfy the visas and immigration officer that you are a genuine student and purely going for study purposes to the UK.

Things You Should Know:

The thing that comes to mind is, when a student can apply for the visa and how long does it take to get the student visa of the UK?

Well you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK and you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply.

Approximately between 2nd and 3rd week (the time may vary case to case) after filling online application you will get an email from assigned visa application Center stating that you can come to collect your passport on date and time mentioned in the email.

When you reach the assigned visa application center and following the procedure told by them to collect your passport, you will get your passport with a decision letter on your application to enter the UK.

If, for some unfortunate reason your application is refused and not granted a visa you have the option of applying for an Administrative Review but, you don’t have a full right of appeal.

You will get an Administrative Review request notice and guidance notes along with the refusal notice. If your application is successful and get the student visa of the UK you should prepare for travel as soon as possible. You can arrive in the UK up to one month before your course begins.

Whole Duration:

Initially your visa will be issued as a short-term entry permit. This will allow you to enter the UK for up to 30 days whilst you collect your longer-term bio-metric residence permit.

You should normally collect your BRP from your university and do so either within 10 days of arriving in the UK or before your short-term entry permit expires (whichever is later).

Conclusion:

Now as we have guided you about the complete process of how to get the student visa of the UK, you can start working on Visa Type, Prepare your Documents and can apply, although the process is easy and can be done by an individual it always good to get the help of professional education consultants to get proper guidance and counseling advice about your future.

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Peter Habib
An MBA Degree holder having 2 years Research Experience in the Field of Study Abroad.

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