Study in the UK
Your choice of visa category will depend on your age, length of and level of course.
Read on to see which category is most suitable for you.
Short-term Study Visa
If you are doing a short course of study in the UK, such as an English Language course, training course or a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad then this is the category for you.
You can stay in the UK for 6 months for any short course or short period of research and 11 months for an English Language course. You will need to show that you have been offered a place on a course at an accepted place of study and that you can financially support yourself without needing to rely on public funds.
Tier 4 General Student Visa
If you are an adult student and want to enter or remain in the UK for your post-16 education on a full-time course then this is the category for you.
To qualify for a UK Tier 4 Student visa you must have been accepted by any Tier 4 approved university, school, college or education establishment in the UK and show evidence of a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (also known as a CAS). You must also show evidence that either your tuition fees and/or maintenance and accommodation have been prepaid or that you and/or your parents have sufficient funds to cover these costs.
Please note: If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework (also known as NQF) level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child) – you should discuss this with your Tier 4 sponsor. However, if you want to study for an English Language qualification you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.
Tier 4 Child (under 17) Student Visa
If you wish to apply for a UK Tier 4 Child Student visa and are between the ages of 4 and 17 years old then this is the category for you. If you are between the ages of 4 and 15 years old then you must be educated at an independent fee-paying school. You cannot study at a publicly funded school.
If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework (also known as NQF) level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child) – you should discuss this with your Tier 4 sponsor. However, if you want to study for an English Language qualification you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.
Tier 4 Student Visa Dependents
If you are the family member of the UK Tier 4 student and wish to accompany them to the UK then this is the category for you.
You will need to provide evidence of your relationship with the student and show proof that you can financially support yourself. This can be a complex process, depending on your situation. You can use savings, income, UK government benefits or property to show you have enough money to support yourself.
Please note: only new students sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at UK NQF level 7 or above lasting 12 months or more, and new Government-sponsored students following a course that is longer than six months, will be able to bring their partners and/or children (also known as dependents) to the UK with them.
View the current UKVI Processing Times.
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