Study Abroad

UK Student Visa


If you are 16 or older, you can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have been accepted into a course by a licensed student sponsor.
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself and pay for your course. The required amount will vary based on your personal circumstances.
  • You can speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • You have parental consent if you are 16 or 17 years old, and you must provide evidence of this when you apply.

For those aged 16 or 17 who wish to study at an independent school in the UK, the Child Student visa might be more appropriate.

This visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa.


When to Apply

Applying from Outside the UK You can apply for a visa up to 6 months before your course starts. Decisions are typically made within 3 weeks.

Applying from Inside the UK You can apply up to 3 months before your course starts. Ensure you apply before your current visa expires, and your new course must start within 28 days of your current visa's expiration. Decisions are usually made within 8 weeks.


Duration of Stay 

The length of your stay depends on your course length and any previous studies in the UK:

  • If you are 18 or older and studying at degree level, you can typically stay for up to 5 years.
  • For courses below degree level, the usual stay is up to 2 years.

Refer to the official guidance for specific details on how long you can stay.


Extending Your Stay You might be able to extend your visa if eligible, for example, to continue your studies in the UK. You can also switch to a Student visa from another visa if you are already in the UK or switch to a Graduate visa to remain in the UK for at least 2 years after completing your course.


Traveling to the UK 

You can arrive before your course begins:

  • Up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less.
  • Up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months.

Do not travel to the UK before the start date specified on your visa.



  • The application fee for a Student visa from outside the UK is £490.
  • The fee to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK is also £490.

Each dependent must pay the visa fee.


Healthcare Surcharge 

You must pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. The amount depends on the duration of your visa. Check the specific amount before applying.


Bringing Your Partner and Children

You may be able to bring your partner and children (dependants).


Permitted Activities 

On a Student visa, you can:

  • Study.
  • Work as a student union sabbatical officer.
  • Possibly work, depending on your course and whether it is term-time or vacation.



On a Student visa, you cannot:

  • Claim public funds (benefits) or pensions.
  • Work in certain jobs, such as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • Be self-employed.
  • Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school.

Successful applicants will receive specific details about their permissions and restrictions.


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