Student Visa in the UK: Thanks to the work-friendly immigration laws of the UK, studying in the UK is an attractive proposition for many international students. The country’s universities offer the world’s top education, and English is the universal language. But with so many people vying for the same spots, it can be hard to know how to go about getting into a good British university. To find your perfect university and get accepted, you need to understand how the system works.
And that’s where we come in. Here’s everything you need to know about applying to a university and getting a student visa.
What is a Student Visa?
A student visa is a type of visa that allows you to travel to the UK and study for a period of time. Your visa will last for the duration of your course of study, and the length of time you’re allowed to stay in the country depends on the type of student visa you’re applying for.
To be able to apply for a student visa, you must usually be enrolled in a course of study that is recognized by the UK government and is wholly or mainly at a recognized educational establishment in the UK.
To be able to stay in the country, you are also expected to maintain a minimum level of full-time, part-time, or summer-full-time study while in the UK. You’ll also be expected to keep your level of study up while in the country. If you choose to drop below full-time study, or if your course of study is not wholly or mainly at a recognized educational establishment, you may be subject to a fine.
Certain universities have a lower tuition fee for various courses, along with provisions for financial assistance for International Students. Read more about Affordable Universities for Indian Students in the UK.
How to Apply for a Student Visa in the UK
The first step to getting a student visa in the UK is to find a university you’d like to attend. Once you’ve found a few institutions you like, it’s time to apply. The application process for a student visa in the UK is similar to that of an application for a tourist visa: you must submit your application to the British Embassy/High Commission in your home country, along with all supporting documentation.
Find the correct application form for your visa type from the British Embassy’s website. If you’re applying for a student visa, you must submit a complete application, along with all supporting documents.
You can submit your application online, by post, or through a visa appointment. In addition to the application form, you will need the following supporting documents to submit with your application: Passport: Original and photocopy Passport information: Name, gender, date of birth Education documents: School grades, transcripts, certificate of enrolment, and degree certificate Employment documents: Letters of recommendation, and salary information If you will be residing with a family member while in the UK, you must submit the following documents:
The application form, along with the supporting documents for your visa type (i.e. your partner’s employment documents, tax returns, and a letter from him or her stating that he or she is financially responsible for you during your stay in the UK.
It is an attractive destination for Indian students looking for quality education and a high standard of living. So, if you are interested in studying in the UK, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you with the requirements to study in the UK for Indian students.
How Long Does a Student Visa Take to Process?
Most visa applications in the UK take between six and eight weeks to process. You’re allowed to submit your application at least two months before your course starts, so make sure to apply at least two months before you plan to start your studies.
If you’re planning to start your studies at a university in another country, you can also submit your application as part of your university application process. Most institutions will allow you to apply for a student visa while applying to study abroad.
It is important to note that some visa types (such as a postgraduate visa) require a longer application process, and you may have to wait longer than eight weeks to hear back on your application.
Types of Visas You Need to Study in the UK
- Short-Term Study Visa (for 6 or 11 months) – for students who plan to study a short language course or take up a short period program.
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – for students who enroll in an academic degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.). It doesn’t have a fixed period of availability; the length of your studies determines the length of the visa.
Documents Required for a UK Student Visa
- Visa Application Form
- Passport or Valid Travel Documentation
- Passport-Sized Photograph
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider.
- Parental consent, if you’re under 18 years old
- Tuberculosis test results (for citizens of certain countries)
- Provide Evidence of Your Previous Qualifications
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate
- Official Financial Sponsorship Letter
- Financial Evidence
5 Tips for Applying for a Student Visa in the UK
- Make sure your application is error-free. Mistakes in your application can delay your visa application and increase your processing fee.
- Have all of your documents ready to submit. Do not leave any documents until your application is submitted. Mistakes in these documents can delay your application, increase your processing fee, or cause your application to be rejected altogether.
- Submit your application at least two months before your course starts. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you can expect to receive notification of its acceptance or rejection.
- Be prepared for the possibility that your visa application will be delayed. Visa applications are subject to a number of delays, and you may have to wait several weeks before receiving notification of the results of your application.
- If you are accepted for your visa type, but your course does not start for another two months, you still have time to make travel arrangements for your move to the UK.
Studying in the UK is a great option for students from around the world. The country’s universities offer the world’s top education, and English is the universal language. But even with these advantages, getting in is a challenge, and obtaining a student visa is no exception.
To be able to apply for a student visa in the UK, you must usually be enrolled in a course of study that is recognized by the UK government and is wholly or mainly at a recognized educational establishment in the UK.
It’s important to apply as early as possible, and make sure your application is error-free. You must also have all of your documents ready to submit, and submit your application at least two months before your course starts.
One way to ease your expenses would be by availing of a scholarship that covers your expenses for studying in the UK.
Various such scholarships are offered by private organizations, the UK government and the Indian government. Find out more about Scholarships for Indian students to study in the UK and Study abroad scholarships offered by the Indian government on our blog.