How to get a UK Student Visa | Apply Now 2024

UK Student Visa

Want to study in the UK? Find out whether you need to apply for a UK student visa, and how the UK student visa application process works.

UK visa requirements and general immigration criteria are managed by UK Visas and Immigration, which has an easy-to-navigate site to help you determine whether you need a UK student visa. While Swiss nationals and those from the EU/EEA states do not currently need a visa to study in the UK, all other international students are likely to need a student visa.

The result of the UK’s referendum on membership in the European Union (‘Brexit’) has led to some changes to the visa regulations to both EU and non-EU student visa applicants.

Types of UK student visa

In the United Kingdom, there are primarily two types of student visas:

  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: This visa is for students aged 16 or over who wish to study at a UK educational institution. To be eligible, applicants must have been offered a place on a course, prove their proficiency in English, and demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves during their studies. The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa allows students to stay in the UK for the duration of their course.
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa: This visa is for students aged between 4 and 17 who wish to study at a UK educational institution. Similar to the Tier 4 (General) visa, applicants must have been offered a place on a course and have the necessary financial support. Parents or legal guardians of children under 12 must also provide proof of their relationship and consent for the child to study in the UK. The Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa allows students to stay in the UK for the duration of their course.

UK student visa requirements 

Your course provider may be willing to help you apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course; ask to find out if this is the case. You can apply for your student visa up to three months in advance of the start date of your course. Check the average visa processing times for your country and be sure to allow plenty of time.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS): You must have an unconditional offer letter from a licensed UK institution, which includes a unique reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

English Language Proficiency: You must prove your proficiency in English by passing an approved English language test unless you are exempt. Accepted tests include IELTS, TOEFL, and others. The required score depends on the institution and the course you’re applying for.

Tuberculosis Test: If you’re from a country where a tuberculosis test is required, you’ll need to get tested at a clinic approved by the Home Office.

Academic Qualifications: You need to provide evidence of your academic qualifications, such as transcripts and certificates.

Parental Consent: If you’re under 18 years old, you’ll need written consent from your parents or legal guardian to study in the UK.

Criminal Record Check: In some cases, you may need to provide a criminal record certificate from your country of residence.

Proof of financial support can take the form of bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor, showing you can cover your tuition fees, accommodation and living costs. You must prove that you have £1,023 (~US$1,300) per month for living costs if studying in the UK outside of London, and £1,334 (~US$1,700) a month for living costs if studying in London. 

Further UK visa requirements include, producing documents showing your academic qualifications, and attending an interview or biometric test, which includes a digital scan of your fingerprints. Depending on your country of origin, you may also be required to have certain medical vaccinations or undertake a tuberculosis test. 

For the Tier 4 (General) student visa, if you are 16 or 17, you must have signed permission from your parents or guardians to live and travel on your own.

For the general tier 4 student visa, you must apply for a UK student visa online and make sure you read all the instructions. You have until three months before the course starts to apply.

Using your student visa for the UK

There is a stamp in your passport that says how long you are allowed to stay in the UK from the time you enter the country. In this case, if your study lasts 12 months or more, you can stay for the full course length plus four more months. You are not allowed to stay longer than this.

Before you go, you need to make sure you have all of your shots, and you should bring your record of shots with you in case the border agency worker at your UK port of entry asks to see it. Also, you should bring your school paperwork (like your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies number), proof of your funds, and proof of where you will stay.

UK Student Visa

UK student visa fees

The cost of a student visa is currently £490, which is about US$620. This is the price you pay if you apply from outside the UK or if you add to or change your student visa while you are in the UK. You’ll also have to pay extra each year to use the National Health Service (NHS) while you’re there. This will cost you an extra £470 (about $594) a year.

Getting a UK student visa with a partner and children

Partner and children of a student can only apply to come and stay in the UK if the student is a government-sponsored student starting a course that lasts more than 6 months or a full-time student on a PhD or other doctorate (RQF level 8) course or a research-based higher degree. Latest rules came into effect in 2024.

Working while studying in the UK

Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Holders: If you hold a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, you are generally permitted to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations. However, there are limits on the number of hours you can work:

  • You can work up to 20 hours per week during term time if you’re studying at degree level or above, or at a UK higher education institution.
  • If you’re studying at a publicly funded further education college, you can work up to 10 hours per week during term time.
  • You can work full-time during vacations.

Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa Holders: If you’re under 18 and hold a Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa, you can generally work up to 10 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacations.

Work Restrictions: It’s important to note that there are restrictions on the type of work you can do. For example, you cannot be self-employed, work as a professional sportsperson or entertainer, or take a permanent full-time job. Additionally, you cannot pursue a career as a doctor or dentist in training unless you are enrolled on a recognized foundation program.

Nationality-Specific Restrictions: Some nationals may have additional restrictions or requirements when it comes to working in the UK. It’s essential to check the specific rules that apply to your country of citizenship.

Internships and Placements: Some courses may include work placements or internships as part of the curriculum. These placements may have specific rules regarding work rights, so it’s essential to clarify this with your institution and check if any additional permissions are required.

Tax and National Insurance: If you work in the UK, you’ll need to pay tax and National Insurance contributions. Make sure you understand your tax obligations and obtain a National Insurance number if you’re eligible to work in the UK.

International students should ensure they comply with the UK’s immigration and employment regulations while working part-time to avoid any legal issues.

Rights and Responsibilities

Rights of UK Student Visa Holders

UK student visa holders have certain rights, including access to education and healthcare services, as well as protection under UK law.

Responsibilities Towards the UK Government and Educational Institution

Students are expected to comply with visa conditions, maintain satisfactory academic progress, and adhere to UK laws and regulations.


In conclusion, obtaining a UK student visa is a crucial step for international students aspiring to pursue higher education in the UK. By understanding the application process, eligibility criteria, and visa requirements outlined in this guide, prospective students can embark on their educational journey with confidence and ease. If you need more information about UK student Visa. We can help. Our team of immigration experts specializes in UK spouse visas.


  1. Can I work while studying in the UK on a UK student visa?
    • Yes, UK student visa holders are typically allowed to work part-time during term-time and full-time during vacations, subject to certain restrictions.
  2. Do I need health insurance to study in the UK?
    • Yes, health insurance coverage is mandatory for all international students studying in the UK to access healthcare services.
  3. What happens if my UK student visa application is rejected?
    • If your visa application is rejected, you may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply with additional documentation.
  4. Can I extend my student visa in the UK?
    • Yes, students wishing to extend their stay in the UK must apply for a visa extension before their current visa expires, providing updated documentation as required.
  5. How do Brexit changes affect EU students studying in the UK?
    • Following Brexit, EU students now face additional visa requirements and may no longer qualify for certain financial aid programs available to UK residents.