Student visas fall under tier 4 of the points based system. Foreign students could enter the UK under one of the following categories .
- Adult Student visa – This visa is designed for adult students who are coming to the UK to study in higher education (post -16 education);
- Child student visa – This visa is for children who are between 4 and 17 years old;
- Student visitor visa – This visa is designed for those people who are 18 years old over over, want to study in the UK for up to six months and do not want to take any permitted employment (20 hours per week) in the UK. For further details please check visiting the UK section; This route remains outside the Points Based System.
- Prospective student visa – This visa is for people where they want to come to the UK and to look for a course to study ; This route remains outside the Points Based System.
Child visitor visa – Child visitor visa is for children who are 17 years old or under and they want to study in the UK for up to 6 months only. This route remains outside the Points Based System.
Adult student visa
Under tier 4 of the points based system an adult student can enter the UK on a student visa to study for his/her post 16 education. An adult student visa allows to take of the below mentioned type of courses:
- Degree level or above where the length of course is 12 month or more;
- Degree level or above where the length of course is 6 months or more but less than 12 month;
- Pre sessional course to prepare you for study where the length of course is less than 6 months
- Short course (not related to pre sessional studies) where the length of course is less than 6 months
- Below degree level course where the length of course is 12 months or more
- Below degree level course where the length of course is six months or more, but less than 12 months
In order to obtain an adult student visa it is necessary to score 40 points. The points can be scored in the following sections:
- 30 points – The course that the applicant is going to enroll is with an approved education provider in the UK; In order to score 30 points the applicant would need to obtain a visa letter from the approved education providers confirming the course details (type, length etc) that the applicant will take.
- 10 points – Maintenance. The applicant would need to prove that he/she has sufficient money to pay the course fees and monthly living costs in the UK.
Approved education providers are the ones who registered with the UK Border Agency and holds a valid license to teach international students in the UK under the tier 4 of the points based system. Please see the list of approved education providers (this list will be updated from time to time).
The UK Border Agency have determined how much money students need to have in order to prove that they can pay for their studies and also have suffiicent money to maintain themselves.
It depends on the length of the course and whether the student will be studying in London or in other cities of the UK.
If studies are going to be conducted in London then for a nine months or less course the applicant must show that he/she has enough money to pay the course fees and £800 for each month of the course while for more than 9 months courses it is mandatory to show the first year of fees and £7200 to cover the first nine months living costs.
For outside London courses it is as follows:
- Duration of the course (9 months or less) – course fess and £600 for each month of the course;
- Duration of the course (9 month or more) – first year of course fees and £5400 to cover the first 9 months.
For those who have completed a six months (and more) course in the UK in the last four months under the child student, adult student , postgraduate doctor/dentist, students (under the old immigration rules etc), they would need to prove the following
Nine months or more (length of course) – First year of tuition fees and £1,600 of maintenance fee for 2 months
Nine months or less (length of course) – Course tuition fees and £800 of maintenance fee for each month
Outside of London
Nine months or more (length of course) – First year of tuition fees and £1,200 of maintenance fee for 2 months
Nine months or less (length of course) – Course tuition fees and £600 of maintenance fee for each month
The visa letter is an official offer letter which the education provider gives you. You must provide the visa letter with your application form as part of your documents and proof. It shows that you are studying a course (at an acceptable level) with an approved education provider and are able to get 30 points.
Adult students visa holders are entitled to work part time (20 hours a week) during term time and full time during vacations.
Child Student Visa
This visa type is designed for children who are 4 to 17 years old and they want to study in the UK.
It is mandatory to score 40 points in order to obtain a child student visa. The points can be scored in the following sections:
- 30 points – The applicant needs to prove that he/she has been enrolled to do an acceptable course with an approved education provider. Please see below full list of the approved education providers (Please note that this list can be updated from time to time).
- 10 points – Maintenance & study costs; It is necessary to prove that there is sufficient money to cover the course fees and monthly living costs.
The child (or his/her parents) would need to prove all arrangements have been made to prove the maintenance and living costs before applying for a child student visa. This requirement must meet one of the below requirements:
Children who are between 4 to 15 years old could only take courses at independent fee paying schools and applicants between 16 to 17 years could study at National Qualification Framework level 3 or above.
Students (between 16 to 17 years) that want to study English language at level A2 of the Common European Framework would need to obtain the the Tier 4 (General) Student visa.
Applicants would need to apply for an entry clearance at the British Consulate General/High Commission in their country of origin/residence before they could enter the UK.