Secure a Student Visa in the UK: The Guide for International Students

January is nearly here and the UK’s universities are preparing to welcome international students from all around the world — and that means if you’re planning to become an international student in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a visa. Read on to learn how to secure a student visa in the UK with our helpful guide and FAQs.

Eligibility Map

The UK points-based visa system makes it easy to determine if you’re eligible to apply for a student visa, based on three criteria:

  • Are you from within or outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland?
  • Are you 18 years+?
  • Do you have an accepted offer from a UK university?

If you answered yes to all three criteria, you’re ready to apply for your student visa. However, if you’re from the EEA or Switzerland, you’ll be subject to different set of rules.

The UK Student Visa Application Process

Before applying for a visa, you’ll need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your university which confirms your degree and that you’re eligible to study it at the UK university. Once you’ve got your CAS ready, you’ll need to fill out the student visa application form, produce relevant documentation and make sure your passport is up to date.

Documents you’ll need to provide

When applying for a student visa for the UK, you’ll need to provide several documents to the UK visa authority. You’ll be required to submit:

  1. Your passport
  2. Your CAS reference number
  3. Your tuberculosis (TB) test results (only applicable if you’re from certain countries)
  4. Two recent passport-sized photographs
  5. Evidence of your financial ability to fund your studies and stay in the UK (bank statements, for example)
  6. Proof of your English language capabilities (usually in the form of a language test from an approved provider)
  7. Evidence of any existing leave already granted by the Home Office

Keep in mind that depending on where you’re from, you may have to submit additional documentation and updates on the status of your application may take up to twelve weeks.

Cost of UK student visa

The fee for a UK student visa is £348 (or ₹30400 in Indian rupees). Depending on your home country, you may also need to pay £348 per family member who’s coming to the UK to accompany you while you study. It’s important to check the government website and to budget accordingly.

Additional Factors to Consider

Before applying for a student visa in the UK, it’s important to research the specific requirements you’ll need to meet — they can vary depending on your background and the country you’re from. For example, some countries have additional health requirements, such as tuberculosis screenings, that you’ll be expected to meet and provide documentation for.

Can I work with a UK student visa?

Fortunately, the UK student visa allows you to take up employment for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. However, this will all depend on the institution you’re attending. Some universities may have restrictions on the kind of jobs you’re allowed to take on, or the ability of students to change jobs throughout the year.

Do I pay UK taxes while studying?

This largely depends on your citizenship and the amount you’re earning — if you’re an overseas student, you’ll likely be exempt from UK taxes. However, the rules can change depending on your circumstances, so make sure to do your research before finalizing your job.

FAQs

Q1. How long can I stay in the UK with a student visa?

You can usually stay in the UK with a student visa for up to a maximum of three years.

Q2. Can I bring my family to stay with me in the UK with a student visa?

Yes, you can bring family with you to if you’re coming to the UK on a full-time student visa. If you’re looking to bring your partner to the UK, they usually need to apply separately and must be able to prove that they’re financially able to support themselves.

Q3. Is there a minimum salary requirement for working in the UK?

Depending on the visa you’ve applied for, you can find out the minimum salary requirement for working in the UK by checking the UK visa authority’s website.

Conclusion

Securing a student visa in the UK is an important part of planning for your international studies. The visa can be complicated to apply for, especially if you’re an international student — so make sure to take the time to research and fill out all the required documentation.

To make it a bit simpler, here’s a checklist to keep in mind when applying for a student visa in the UK:

  • Apply for a CAS from your university.
  • Gather the necessary documents.
  • Double check the fees you’ll be expected to pay.
  • Widen your research to include any specific requirements that may vary based on your home country.
  • Understand the limitations of the visa, such as the minimum salary required for working in the UK.
  • Check out the website of the UK visa authority for up-to-date information.

Folloing this guide to Secure a Student Visa in the UK: The Guide for International Students should help make the process a bit easier — remember to stay organized and you’ll be able to get your visa secured in no time. Good luck!