If you are 16 or older and want to study in the UK, you will need a Student visa.
- have been accepted into a program by a registered student sponsor
- be financially stable enough to afford both your living expenses and your tuition – The sum is conditional on the specifics of your case.
- can communicate, read, write, and comprehend English
- If you are 16 or 17, you must have parental consent; proof of this will be required when you apply.
If you want to go to an independent school in the UK and are 16 or 17, you might be able to get a Child Student visainstead.
The Tier 4 (General) student visa has been changed to this one.
If you or a member of your family is a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein,
If you or a family member arrived in the UK before December, you may be eligible for the free EU Settlement Scheme.
For most people, the application deadline was June. You can still apply if either of the following conditions is met:
- you have a later deadline, such as visiting a family member in the UK
- you have “reasonable grounds” for missing the application deadline, such as illness or domestic violence.
When to apply
When you can submit an application depends on whether you are submitting it from within or outside the United Kingdom.
Applying from outside the UK
Six months before your course starts is the earliest you can apply for a visa.
Most of the time, you’ll hear back about your visa within 3 weeks.
Applying from inside the UK
You can apply up to 3 months before the start of your course.
You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must start no more than 28 days before the end of your current visa.
Most of the time, you’ll hear back within 8 weeks.
How long you can stay
The length of your course and the studies you’ve already completed in the UK will determine how long you can stay.
If you are 18 or older and studying at the university level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it is less than a degree, you can usually stay in the UK for up to two years.
Staying longer in the UK
You may be able to:
- You may be able to get your visa extended, for example, if you want to keep studying in the UK.
- If you are already in the UK, you can switch from another visa to a Student visa.
- If you want to stay in the UK for at least two years after you finish your course, you should switch to a Graduate visa.
When you can travel to the UK
You can get there before class starts. This could mean:
- up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- if your course lasts longer than 6 months, up to 1 month before.
No matter when your course starts, you can’t go to the UK before the start date on your visa.
- From outside the UK, it costs £363 to apply for a Student visa.
- From inside the UK, it costs £490 to extend or change a Student visa.
For each person who comes with you, you must pay the visa fee.
As part of your application, you’ll also have to pay a fee for health care.
How much you pay is based on how long your visa is good for. Before you apply, find out how much you’ll have to pay.
Your partner and children
You might be able to bring your spouse and/or children with you.
What you can do and what you can’t
What You can:
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
You might be able to work, but how much depends on what you’re studying and whether you’re working during or outside of term time.
What You cannot:
- claim money from the government and pensions
- work in some jobs, like as a professional athlete or sports coach.
- be your own boss
- attend an academy or a school supported by the local government (also known as a maintained school)
If your application is approved, you will be informed of what you can and cannot do while on a Student visa.