The UK stands out as one of the best places for study abroad students. Even the relatively high tuition fees are mitigated by the quality of the universities, the high standard of living and the political stability of the country.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the educational system in the UK is well-organized and very well-structured. Many other countries use the template of the UK education system as a guide.
All international students coming to the UK most possess a student visa. The only exceptions are students from Switzerland and the European Union.
Student visas are only issued to full-time degree students. Students visas cannot be issued for part-time courses. Eligibility for a student visa is calculated on a points-based system. Applicants must score at least 40 points before they can get the visa.
How the points are awarded
Letter of confirmation (30 points)
Before your visa application is considered, you must have an official letter of admission from a recognized University in the UK.
Known as the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), this letter is worth 30 points. All universities in the UK must have a ‘Highly Trusted Status’ rating to be able to issue CAS letters.
If you are in doubt, find out from the school of your choice if they are on the Highly Trusted Status list.
Financing (10 points)
Students must show evidence of being able to fund their studies in the UK. Funding here implies both tuition fees and living cost for the duration of the study.
For the living costs, you must show evidence that you have enough funds to take care of yourself for at least 9 months. The figure is calculated based on about £1000 per month.
Banks statements from your sponsor would be needed as proof.
Other requirements and supporting documents
- Details of your travel passport
- A recent passport-sized photograph
- Proof of proficiency in the English language. However, students
from English-speaking countries do not need to show this especially if they have a degree equivalent to UK degrees.
- Academic qualifications
- Proof of vaccinations against certain diseases. This depends on your country of origin.
Method of application
Type of Student Visa for University Students
Students wishing to study in the UK must apply for a Tier 4 student visa. This visa is applicable to full-time University students who should generally be over the age of 16.
Students who are 16 or 17 must obtain a letter from their parents or guardian giving them full permission to travel independently
Student visa fees
Short-term study visa
- 6 months – £89
- 11 months – £178
Long-term study visa – the cost of the Tier 4 student visa for long term students is £328. A further £150 is charged as health care fees per year. This makes it possible to have access to health-care through the National Health Service (NHS)
For students already in the UK, the cost of the visa is £439 by post or £839 if you would rather take it to their office in person. This fee does not include the Immigration Health Service Charge
Traveling to the UK
At the airport or any port of entry into the UK, the immigration officials would have to stamp your passport. The stamp would show the duration of your stay in the UK.
You are allowed to stay an additional four months after the expiration of your stated duration. Citizens from some countries would need to register with the UK police within seven days of their arrival.
Other documents you might need to show at the port of entry to immigration officials include:
- Immunization card or record
- Admission letter from your university
- Proof of finances
- Proof of accommodation
Work and Study with the Tier 4 student visa
Holders of the valid UK Student visa attending publicly funded universities are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the school term.
However, they can work full time when schools are on break for the Christmas and Easter holidays.