The United Kingdom has always attracted students across the globe for its quality education and top-notch universities. UK is truly multicultural which offers great education opportunities, high class campuses and endless research facilities which helps students to grow in their respective fields. The country welcomes thousands of international students every year to invest on the preparation of their future career. As a foreign national student planning to pursue a course of study in the United Kingdom, the most important aspect is to obtain a UK Student Visa.
If you want to study in the UK but aren’t sure where to start from, then we can help you find out everything you need to know.
Types of UK Student Visa
The UK Student Visas are issued under 3 categories depending on the duration of your course. The three categories are as follows:
- Short-term Study Visa
The Indian students who have received an acceptance letter from the university where they plan to study in the UK for a duration of 6 months or lesser must apply for this type of visa. The visa allows the applicant who is at least 18 years or older and want to pursue a course for the duration of up to 6 months. This visa is valid up to 6 months for most of the short term courses and can be extended for a stay up to 11 months for English language courses. It is also valid for undertaking research work as part of a degree if you are studying abroad.
- Tier 4 (Child) student Visa
Indians students between the age group of 4-17 years are required to apply for the Tier 4 (child) student visa application. To apply for this visa the applicant needs to provide an acceptance letter from the institute, a consent letter from parents/guardians, evidence of sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the course in the UK.
- Ties 4 (General) student Visa
The Tier 4 (General) student visa is the standard UK student visa required for courses with duration of more than 6 months. An applicant can apply for this visa if he/she have been offered a place on a course. To be eligible for this UK student visa, he/she must pass the English language test (SELT) to prove their knowledge of English language.
How to apply for UK Student Visa
To apply for your UK Visa, all you have to do is follow these simple steps and obtain your visa in the most effortless way:
Step 1: Check if you qualify
- To qualify, you must show the acceptance letter from the university where you will be studying in the UK.
- Sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee and other expenses during your stay in the UK.
Step 2: Get your documents ready
The UK student visa application process requires a set of documents to make you eligible to apply for the visa. You might be asked for some additional documents to strengthen your visa application and increase your chances for getting your visa approved.
Step 3: Apply Online
To start with your visa application process, first you need to register and create an account online on the official UK Visa website. Once you have completed the application form online, take a print and sign your completed form. Make sure you use the online appointment calendar to book an appointment at Visa Application Center (VAC). Once you have completed the online application process, you will receive an email containing your application number.
Step 4: Visit the VAC
This is the final step towards obtaining your UK Student Visa. This step requires you to visit the visa application center (VAC) on the appointment date as part of the UK visa requirement. On the day of your appointment you will need to personally visit for your documents and biometrics (fingerprint and digital photograph) submission.
Documents Requirements for Visa Application
- Passport with at least 6 months of validity with minimum 2 blank pages
- Letter of acceptance from the university on the official letterhead with details of course and duration
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee and cost of living in the UK (bank statement for last six months and any other proof if you have)
- Contact details of parents/guardian (in case of minors)
- Details of your accommodation
- Academic transcripts (diplomas, degrees, certificates etc.)
When to apply for the UK Student Visa
The earliest you can apply for your UK Student Visa is 3 months before your course commence. Then you get a decision on your student visa within 3 weeks.
Also Read: All About UK Transit Visas For Indians
For how long can you stay in UK
A student can arrive in UK before the course starts:
- Student can arrive up to 1 week before the course starts, if the course is for 6 months.
- In case your course lasts for more than 6 months, then you can arrive 1 month before.
Working while studying in the UK
All EU, EEA, and Swiss students can work while studying in the UK. Students of publicly funded education institutions on Tier 4 student visas are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during their semester time and can work full-time during semester breaks.