Quick information about UK Tier 4 Student Visa

Indian students looking to visit the UK to study abroad should know about the different types of student visas available and requirements to apply for a student visa. Short term visas cannot be extended. Long term Tier 4 Student visas have several eligibility requirements.

Meta: Indian students looking to visit the UK to study abroad should know about the different types of student visas available and requirements to apply for a student visa. Short term visas cannot be extended. Long term Tier 4 Student visas have several eligibility requirements.

The UK Tier 4 Student Visa

Indian students who want to apply to study abroad in the UK can apply for different types of student visas depending on the level of education they are pursuing. Here is a look at some important facts about applying for a student visa to study in the UK.

Types of UK Student Visas

There are two types of UK student visas:
  • Tier 4 student visa
  • Short Term Study visa

The type of visa a student needs will depend on their circumstances.

Students who are interested in short term courses such as academic courses or English language courses will need to apply for a Short Term Student visa. This is also the type of visa needed for students going to the UK for a short period of research as a part of their degree course in India or elsewhere. With this visa, students above the age of 18 can stay 6 months for any short course (including English language courses) or 11 months for an English language course. This visa does not allow students to bring dependents, work during their stay in the UK, study at a state school. The Short Term Student Visa cannot be extended.

The Tier 4 (General) student visa is necessary for students over 16 who have been accepted into a course at a UK school or university. This visa lets the student work as a sabbatical officer for a student's union, work in most jobs, extend the visa and more. Students can also bring dependents or family members on the Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Tier 4 (Child) visas are also available for young students between 4 and 17 years old, who want to study at a UK school. The duration for which this visa is applicable depends on the student's age.

Eligibility for a Tier 4 Student Visa

Before obtaining a Tier 4 Student Visa, students should make sure that they meet certain requirements. These include the following:
  • Receiving a letter of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the school or university applied to. Most institutions send students this document after a deposit has been paid.
  • The UK government should recognize the institution as a valid sponsor with a sponsor's license.
  • Students over 18 should only apply for courses that are NQF level 3 or higher. According to the UK higher education framework, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3 are GCE A levels or AS levels or university foundation courses.
  • Availability of funds, at least enough for the first year's tuition fees plus a maintenance allowance of around £1,015 (if you are staying in Central London you should be able to afford £1,265 monthly allowance). For long courses, you will need to show the availability of enough funds for monthly allowance for 9 months. If a government is sponsoring your education, you should show a Financial Guarantee Letter from the sponsor. If you provide a bank statement as proof of financial ability, make sure that the funds have been in the account for at least 28 days before application.
  • There may be proof of English language proficiency tests to take and provide the test scores for, before students can apply for a visa.

The Tier 4 student visa can be extended from within the UK, as long as the student shows academic progression (i.e. the new course should be at a higher NQF level than course completed. After you have studied in the UK for six months, you can extend your visa with only 2 months of maintenance allowance in your bank account.

Irrespective of the study tenure, every Indian student has to go through a Visa interview. While the thought of facing immigration officials can be daunting, there is nothing actually frightening about the interview. As long as all the documents are in order, there should be no problem in getting a UK Visa.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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