Everything you need to know to get your UK student visa


If you are thinking about studying in the UK, here are some pointers to help you get your visa sorted:


To apply for a Tier 4 – General (Level 4 – General) student visa you will need to:

  • be enrolled in any course
  • know how to understand, speak, read and write English
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course (the amount will vary depending on the circumstances)
  • be from a country which is not part of the European Community or Switzerland
  • meet other eligibility requirements


When to apply


The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before your course starts.

Normally applicants receive notice about their visa within three weeks, but it is best to check the visa processing time for your country.




The fee for application from outside the UK is £348. This fee is applicable to each person applying, and also any dependents.

You will also have to pay the health care surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.


How long can you stay?


You are eligible to arrive in the UK before your course starts:

  • up to 1 week before, if the course lasts 6 months or less
  • up to 1 month before, if the course lasts more than 6 months


The time you can spend in the UK legally will depend on the type of course you are taking and your completed level of education.


What you can and cannot do during the validity of your visa:


You can:

  • study
  • apply from within or outside the UK
  • apply to extend your stay
  • work most jobs – depending on the educational level of your course and the type of sponsor you have
  • bring family (dependents)


You cannot:

  • obtain public funds
  • perform certain work, for example, that of a professional athlete or sports coach
  • study at an academy or school funded by any local authority



You must have:

  • an unconditional place offer on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • enough money to support yourself and pay for your course


Knowledge of English

You must prove your knowledge of the English language when applying.


When applying for a visa, you must provide the following documents:

  • current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • proof of funds (that you are able to maintain and pay for your course)
  • parental consent or the consent of a legal guardian if under 18
  • proof of your relationship to your parents or guardians
  • evidence of valid tuberculosis vaccination (if from a country where deemed necessary)
  • note: your passport must have a blank passport page for both sides for your visa.


You may also need to provide additional documents depending on specific circumstances.

Your documents will usually be sent within 14 days.

To find out more and download the appropriate forms visit:



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