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Tier 4 (General) Student Visa - UK

Tier 4 - General Student Visa UK

Outlined below is information about the process of obtaining a UK Tier 4 (General) Student visa:

Tier 4 Student Visa - Eligibility

To be eligible for the Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. Offered Place - You have been offered an unconditional place in a course, with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.

2. English Ability - You have a good standard of English ability, and have sat an English test. You need a test score in CEFR level B2 if you are studying at a degree level or higher. If you are not studying at a degree level, then you need to sit the SELT test in reading, writing, listening and speaking and score CEFR level B1.

3. Funds - You have sufficient funds available to support and accommodate yourself and pay for your course.

4. Non EEA Country - You are not from an EEA country or Switzerland.

What is a Licensed Tier 4 Sponsor?

To be a Licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, the UK Institution must be on a List of institutions licensed to sponsor migrant students under Tier 4. The Register of Sponsors provides the following information:

  • Sponsor's name
  • Their Primary location, and location of any additional centres
  • Their Sponsor type. For example, Independent School, Higher Education Institution, Private Provider
  • Status rating - such as Tier 4 Sponsor or Probationary Sponsor
  • Sub-Tier they are licensed for, such as Tier 4 (Child) or Tier 4 (General)

What type of course can you study?

You can study the following type of course:

  • Full-time course, leading to a qualification that is at least level 6 on the Ofqual register
  • Part-time course, leading to a qualification that is at least level 7 on the Ofqual register
  • An overseas course of degree level study that is equal to a UK higher education course and is being run by an overseas higher education institution
  • Full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study, leading to a qualification which is at least level 3 on the Ofqual register
  • A recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • An English language course at level B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

What is the Student visa Application process?

1. CAS - Once you have been offered a place in a course, your Education Provider will send you a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

2. Fingerprints - Once you have received your CAS, you can apply online for the Tier 4 (General) Student visa. You will then need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

3. Biometric Residence Permit - Collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you arrive at a later date).

4. Time to Apply - The earliest you can apply for a Tier 4 Student visa is 3 months before you start your course. Usually, you will get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

5. Pay Healthcare Surcharge

6. Stay Duration - You can arrive in the UK, up to 1 week before your course starts, if your course lasts 6 months or less, and up to 1 month before your course start date, if your course lasts more than 6 months. The duration of your stay depends on the type of course you will study.

Post-Study Work Visa - (launch for the 2020/21 intake of students to University)

The new "Graduate" route will be open to all international students, including those from India, who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.

Often referred to as a "Post-Study Work visa", the new Graduate route will launch for the 2020/21 intake of students to university. After the two years, they will be able to switch onto the skilled work visa if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route. Further details will be announced in due course.

The visa will offer opportunities to work or look for work after graduating. However, unlike the route which closed in 2012, this new route will also include safeguards to ensure only genuine, credible students are eligible.

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