TIER 4 Student Visa UK
From 05 October 2020 this category includes two sub-categories:
- Student Visa – for those who are coming to the United Kingdom for the post-16 education;
- Child Student Visa – for children between 4 and 17 years old coming to the UK for their education to study at independent schools.
The new graduate immigration route
Students of 16 or 17 years old should agree with the chosen educational establishment either to apply for Child Student Visa or Student Visa. It depends on the course level. If the course is considered as NQF Level 3 or above, the educational provider should advise a student on the applicable sub-category.
Please note that the students allowed to spend no more than 2 years in the UK studying below UK bachelor’s degree level since the age of 18.
Educational provider means any educational establishment in the UK that is approved by Home Office and has been given a licence to bring overseas students to the United Kingdom under the Student Visa.
There is a new 'genuiness' test, where the Home Office will check that applicants are genuine and they intend to meet the conditions of the leave they apply for.
The Home Office now has the power to refuse the applications where the applicant cannot speak English.
Scoring Sections - Attributes
The applicant should successfully claim 40 points in total i.e.:
30 points – for having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Your approved education provider (sponsor) must provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is a unique reference number electronically issued by a sponsor via the Sponsor Management System to an applicant for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain as a Student Visa Migrant
10 points – for having enough money to cover your course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds). You must show that you have held the money for at least a consecutive 28 day period (i.e. the funds must not fall below the required amount in this period). The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
Your approved education provider will provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course of study.
Courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) will be restricted to sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by the ACCA.
The CAS must be issued no more than six months before you apply.
Having a CAS does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the immigration rules and policy guidance in respect of the Student visa category.
Maintenance or Funds
The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you will be studying in or out of London. The address given in your CAS will be used as proof of your main study site.
You must show that you have held the required amount of money every day for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than 31 days before the date of your application. There is a declaration on the visa application form requiring students to declare they hold and will continue to hold the required maintenance funds to cover their course fees and living costs, and that these funds will remain available to them to support themselves in the UK while they study and to pay for their course.
If you are using overseas currency, you must clearly mention the exchange rate applied and money in GBP.
You must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs (not including fees):
- £1334 per month if you are living in London;
- £1023 per month if you are living outside London.
If you have already paid some of your fees or accommodation before applying for your visa, this amount will be taken away from the total amount of money you need to show. However, the amount taken away cannot exceed a maximum of £1265, even if you have paid more in advance for accommodation. This only applies if you are staying in university or college arranged accommodation.
Changes to financial requirements from 05 October 2020
- There is more flexibility as to where the funds can be held. While the rules as they are now indicate funds must be in cash, it will now be more about whether they can be immediately withdrawn. So funds can be in pension and investments accounts, for example, as long as the funds can be accessed immediately. Shares, bonds, credit cards won’t work
- Financial institutions where the funds are held must use electronic record keeping
- Students who are applying for permission to stay in the UK and have already been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of application won’t need to meet the financial requirement
- Students applying for leave as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer or to study on a recognised Foundation Programme also won’t need to meet the financial requirement
In general, where the course is below degree/foundation degree level or below NQF/QCF level 6 and where the student is not from one of the English-speaking countries listed in the Immigration Rules a student will need to show a knowledge of English language equivalent to level B1, or above, of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning (unless coming to study English, in which case the course must be at level B2). For those coming to study at degree level, foundation degree level or NQF/QCF level 6 or above will need to show a knowledge of English language equivalent to level B2, or above, of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning. For those students studying at Higher Education Institute (HEI), the Institute can decide how it assesses the student’s English language ability and vouch that the student has attained the necessary English level – a Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate need not be supplied.
Changes to English language requirement from 05 October 2020
- An applicant will meet the English language requirement if they have a GCSE, A level, or Scottish Highers in English in the UK which they obtained while under 18
- The list of English countries is expanded to include Malta and Ireland
Only those students studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses lasting more than 12 months, or more than 6 months for government-sponsored students studying at any level, and Doctorate Extension Scheme students are permitted to bring dependants with them.
Dependants with existing leave wishing to extend their stay in the UK will be allowed to extend provided they apply at the same time as the main applicant applies to undertake a course of study that is longer than 6 months in duration.
Dependants will now be able to apply from within the UK for initial leave as a PBS dependant, as long as they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or release.
Right to Work for Dependants
If the main applicant’s grant of leave is for less than 12 months, the dependants will not be allowed to work in Great Britain, unless the main applicant is sponsored by Government.
If the main applicant’s grant of leave is for a course of study below degree level, the dependants will not be allowed to work in Great Britain, unless the main applicant is sponsored by Government.
If students or their dependants have permission to work, they’ll no longer be prevented from working as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in training.
Additional documents and proof for students under 18 years old
All students under 18 years old will need to get their parent(s) or legal guardian’s written consent to the care arrangements for their travel to, reception and care while in the United Kingdom, before permission to enter or stay will be given.
As a child or adult student, you are allowed to do extra courses, for example, evening courses or other course relevant or irrelevant to your main course of studies. You do not need permission from Home Office to do extra studies, and you do not need to tell your approved education provider but you must make sure that the extra course does not get in the way of the course that you have permission to stay for.
Only those students at studying at higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges will be allowed to work.
What is a higher education institution (HEI)?
An HEI is a recognised body, or a body in receipt of public funding as an HEI from the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales or the Scottish Funding Council. This is essentially Recognised Bodies, University Colleges and small number of other institutions. Institutions, including further education colleges, which receive some public funding to deliver higher education courses do not fall within this definition of an HEI.
Recognised bodies are all those institutions or bodies, including universities, which have their own UK degree awarding powers.
How many hours can a student work?
Those studying at an HEI at degree level can work no more than 20 hours per week during term time and any hours during holidays. They must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy.
Those studying at an HEI below degree level can work no more than 10 hours per week during term time and any hours during holidays. They must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy.
Those studying at any academic level at a publicly funded further education college can work no more than 10 hours per week during term time and any hours during holidays. They must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy.
All other students, i.e. those at privately funded colleges, are not permitted to work.
You can switch in to the adult student category if you have, or were last given, permission to stay in the following categories:
- Tier 4 (General) student under old immigration rules
- Tier 4 (Child) student under old immigration rules
- Tier 2 Migrant under old immigration rules
Extension of staying
You can apply to extend your permission to stay while you are in the United Kingdom, or you can apply to extend your permission from outside the United Kingdom. A student’s eligibility to apply inside the UK is based on the type of visa in which they are already in the UK and the type of Student visa sponsor at which they are currently in the UK. If eligible to apply inside UK, there must be less than 28 days between the current visa expiry date and the start date of the new course. If more than 28 days, student must apply from home country regardless of their eligibility to apply in the UK. In case of overstaying the student can apply in the UK within 28 days of when that period of overstaying began.
From 12th November 2015 there is no more “Established Presence” provisions and those students who extend their Student visas must show the maintenance as specified above.
Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)
If you are currently a PHD student with a Student visa sponsor that is a UK Higher Education Authority then you can now apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme to stay in the UK for 12 months after your course has ended. The Scheme allows you to work and gain further experience in your chosen field, seek skilled work or make plans to become an entrepreneur.
Requirements of the DES;
- you must have permission to stay as a Student visa holder to study a course that leads to the award of a PhD qualification ;
- you must be studying with a Student visa sponsor that is a UK HEI; and
- you must not yet have completed your course; and
- you must have a CAS from your Student visa sponsor confirming that they expect you to complete your course on the stated expected course end date and that they will sponsor you during the 12 months you are on the scheme; and
- you must be applying no more than 60 days before the expected course end date specified on your new CAS.
The DES is a sponsored scheme which essentially means that your Student visa sponsor must agree to sponsor you while you are on the scheme. This includes maintaining contact with you, there must be at least two contact points while you are on the scheme. If you miss these without reasonable explanation then your sponsor will withdraw their sponsorship and inform the Home Office of this. Your Student visa sponsor will also have to inform the Home Office if you finish your course without completing your PHD or if you are awarded a lower qualification.
Short-term student visa
This category is for those who wish to study in the UK as a short-term student for up to and including 6 months or, for persons aged 18 and over, for up to and including 11 months for English language study only.
English language study means study on a course that is entirely English language, not one that includes study of other subjects.
Educational establishment should have one of the following accreditations:
- a sponsor licence for Student visa; or
- valid accreditation from Accreditation UK, the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS), the British Accreditation Council (BAC) or the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC);
- valid and satisfactory full institutional inspection by one of the following bodies: Bridge Schools Inspectorate; Estyn; Education Scotland; the Independent Schools Inspectorate; Office for Standards in Education; the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education; the Schools Inspection Service or the Education and Training Inspectorate Northern Ireland.
The applicants should meet the following requirements:
- be aged 18 or over
- not intend to study at a state-maintained school or institution
- not intend to study in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive periods as a short-term student
- not intend to take employment, including paid or unpaid work, a work placement or work experience in the UK
- not intend to undertake self-employment or engage in business activities or any professional activity in the UK
- have enough funds to meet the cost of his return journey
- be maintained and accommodated adequately out of funds available to him
- not have recourse to public funds.
The applicants must leave the UK at the end of the study or at the end of 6 months (or 11 months respectively) whichever is sooner.
Short-term student (child)
This subcategory is for the students aged under 18. All requirements are the same as for a Short-term student listed above.
In addition, a short-term student under 18 must demonstrate, that:
- suitable arrangements have been made for his travel to, and reception and care in the UK
- he has a parent or guardian in home country or country of habitual residence who is responsible for his care and who confirms that they consent to the arrangements for the applicant’s travel, reception and care in the UK
- he holds a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for entry as an accompanied short-term student (child) and is travelling in the company of the adult identified on the entry clearance, who is on the same occasion being admitted to the United Kingdom; or the applicant holds a valid United Kingdom entry for entry as an unaccompanied short-term student (child).
Please note that students under 18 cannot take a short-term course more than 6 months length.
Parent of a Child student visa holder
If you have children aged under 12 and wish to come to the UK to stay with your child during his studies, you can apply for Parent of a Child student visa holder.
You have to meet the following requirements:
- you are over 18 years old
- you are genuinely seeking leave to enter or remain for a period of the whole studies of your child (until the child turns 12 years old) to be the sole carer for their child who is under 12 years of age and attending or seeking to attend an independent fee paying day school in the United Kingdom
- you will maintain and accommodate yourself, the child and any other dependants adequately out of resources available to your without recourse to public funds or taking employment
- you can provide satisfactory evidence of adequate and reliable funds for maintaining a second home in the United Kingdom
- you are not seeking to make the United Kingdom their main home
- you do not intend to take employment, to produce goods or provide services within the United Kingdom including the selling of goods or services direct to members of the public
- you do not intend to study in the UK
- if you are seeking leave to remain you must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded.
From 01 December 2020 parents are granted the same length of leave to remain in the UK as the child, meaning that they will not be required to re-apply every 12 months.
However, it is necessary to note that this arrangement can end sooner if the child turns 12 years old in the meantime.
If the entry clearance or leave to remain applications are refused, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision. This does not apply to applicant applying under a short-term study visa. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.
It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.
What services we can offer?
- We can find a proper educational establishment for your or your child’s education.
- We can arrange an interview and testing at the selected educational establishment(s).
- We can carry out the enrolment procedure.
- We can advise on the law, procedure, requirements and merits of making an application to the Home Office / British diplomatic post.
- We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters.
- We can make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s leave to remain or entry clearance application, respectively, is refused.
Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of the immigration matters of our clients.back to top