If you are an international student looking to study in the UK, you are required to apply for a Student Visa. Once you have received an offer letter from the university you applied to, the next step would be to apply for your student visa!
As international students, this is an important step in achieving your goal to study at your chosen university in the UK! Your Student Visa allows you to stay and study in the UK for the duration of your studies, without this, you will not be able to enter the UK.
Naturally, you need to have important documents prepared when filling out your visa application, let’s find out!
Applying for Student Visa
First You must fill out an application through the Student Route. Some documents required for a visa application include
- Valid passport
- Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
- 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, if you’re under 18
- Proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian, if you’re under 18
- Your healthcare surcharge and Tuberculosis certificate
How much does it cost? Applying for a Student visa from outside the UK costs £348.
When should I apply for it? We strongly recommend you apply for your visa 6 months before studies are due to begin. A decision should be made within 3 weeks. It is also possible to expedite this process through the priority service, but it comes at a cost. A decision will be made within 5 working days, however not all visa centres offer this service.
How Long Can I Stay in the UK with a Student Visa?
The length of your course will determine how long you can stay. Normally, you can stay in the UK for up to 5 years if you’re older than 18 and studying for a degree. If your qualifications are below a bachelor’s degree, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.
Entrance into the UK is not allowed before the start date of your visa, however you can arrive before your studies commence. This is usually a week before the start of your studies if on a course lasting 6 months or less. If studying on a course for 6 months or longer, you can arrive a month before the start.
- Work as a sabbatical officer for a student union
- Potentially work, depending on your studies and whether outside of class
- Extend your visa to continue your studies in the UK
- Convert to a graduate visa — lasts 2 years after bachelor or master’s degree, or 3 years after PhD
- Receive public cash (benefits) or a pension
- Engage in specific occupations (e.g. professional athlete or sports coach)
- Be self-employed
- Attend an academy or a local authority-funded school (a.k.a. maintained school)