Details on UK student visa for international students, types of student visa for the UK, the application process, visa requirements, latest news, new rules for Indian students, and documents required to apply for a student visa.
The UK student visa is one of the most important requirements for international students willing to pursue their higher education from the UK. Around 30,000 Indian students go through the student visa process in order to study in the UK. The student visa fees in Indian rupees are around 31,323 INR.
International students who are above 16 years of age and have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor can apply for a student visa in the UK to be able to live and study in the UK. Students who have enough money to support themselves and pay for the course of choice and can speak, read, write and understand English are also eligible to apply for a UK student visa. Students who are 18 and above and are pursuing a course at degree level can stay in the UK for up to 5 years. Students studying below degree level can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years.
International students applying from outside the UK are advised to submit the UK student visa application 6 months before the start of the course. The student visa processing time in this case is approximately 3 weeks. Students applying for a student visa from inside the UK should apply at the earliest of 3 months before the start of their course. The student visa application process should be completed before the current visa expires. The UK student visa processing time in this case is about 8 weeks. International students can extend their student visas in the UK if their new course start date is less than 28 days after the current visa expiry date.
Table of Contents
- UK Student Visa Types
- UK Student Visa Application
- UK Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students
- How Long can you Stay in the UK on a Student Visa?
- When you can Travel to the UK?
- UK Student Visa: Do's and Dont's
- UK Point-based Visa System
- UK Student Visa Fees
- Can I Work in the UK on a Study Visa?
- UK Student Visa News
- Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in the UK
UK Student Visa Types
Non-EU students are eligible for three types of UK student visas. The visa types depend on the choice of program. Most international students who are enrolled in full-time courses require a Tier 4 student visa for studying in the UK. The details of the three UK student visa types are given below:
- Short-term Study Visa: The short-term student visa for the UK is for the duration of 6 or 11 months. International students over 16 years of age are eligible to apply for this visa and should be enrolling in a 6-month short course in any UK educational institution or an 11-month English Language Course. This UK student visa fee is 97 GBP for 6 months or 186 GBP for 11 months.
- Tier 4 Student Visa (General): This UK student visa is valid for one month over the duration of the program. International students over 16 years of age enrolling in any course longer than 6 months duration are eligible to apply for this UK student visa. This visa costs 348 GBP.
- Tier 4 Student Visa (Child): This student visa UK is for students between 4- 17 years of age. The duration of the student visa for applicants under 16 years of age is 6yrs + 4 months and the visa duration for applicants between 16-17 years of age is 3 yrs + 4 months. The cost of this visa is 348 GBP.
UK Student Visa Application
Students can apply for a UK student visa from India either by visiting the UK Embassy or can apply online through the official website of the UK Government. Non-EU students can apply for a student visa for UK nearly 6 months before the start of the course. The visa decision is out within 3 weeks of the application date. International students should pay £348 to apply for a UK student visa from outside the UK. The detailed UK student visa application process is explained below:
- Applicants should first enroll for Biometrics at a visa application center to obtain a Biometric Residence Permit
- He/ she should then complete the online application form
- The students should submit a negative Tuberculosis test result
- The applicant should then pay the UK student visa fees of 348 GBP
- Finally, the international student should appear for the interview
- UK student visa process takes about 3 weeks from the day of the application
Documents Required for UK Student Visa Application
International students applying for a student visa UK are required to attach the supporting documents along with the application. These documents act as proof of details mentioned by the applicant in the UK student visa application. Listed below are the important documents needed to apply for the UK study visa:
- Completed UK student visa application
- Passport details/ Valid travel document
- Criminal record check
- Tuberculosis test results
- Proof of funds- 1,265 GBP/month to live in London and 1,015 GBP/month for the rest of the UK
- Proof of payment of the UK student visa fees
- Immigration health surcharge of 150 GBP for one year of study
- Applicants under 18 are required to submit letters of consent from parents/ legal guardians
- Recent passport size photograph
UK Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students
The Tier 4 student visa for the UK is offered to international students who are at least 16 years old and want to pursue higher education in the UK. Some other UK student visa requirements for Indian students are as follows:
- The student should be over 16 years of age
- He/ she should be able to read, speak and understand English
- The candidate should have enough funds to support their studies in the UK
- The applicant should have an unconditional offer letter from a licensed university in the UK
- The student should have passed the Secured English Language Test (SELT) to prove knowledge of spoken and written English
- Students studying at degree level or higher should meet the CEFR level B2 of language proficiency
- The minimum IELTS score for a UK student visa is 4.03 overall for Tier 4 (General) student visa below degree level and 5.53 overall for degree level and above
- The UK student visa financial requirements for courses in London is around £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months). For courses outside London, it is £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months).
How Long can you Stay in the UK on a Student Visa?
You will be allowed to stay in the UK based on the length of your course and previous studies in the UK. In general, you can stay in the country for five years if you're 18 or older and studying at an undergraduate level. It is possible to stay up to two years in the UK if your educational level is below a bachelor's degree.
Staying Longer in the UK
Following are the possibilities of staying longer in the UK:
- Obtain an extension of your visa if you are eligible, for example, to continue your studies in the United Kingdom
- You can switch from another visa to a student visa if you are already in the UK
- To continue to live in the UK for at least two years after completing your program, switch to a Graduate visa
When you can Travel to the UK?
You can arrive in the UK before the beginning of your course. Keep the following points in mind:
- Arrive in the UK at least one week before if the duration of your course is 6 months or less.
- Arrive in the UK at least one month before if the duration of your course is more than 6 months
It doesn't matter when your program begins, you shouldn't travel to the UK before the start date specified on your visa.
UK Student Visa: Do's and Dont's
Once your student visa application is approved, you will be informed of what you can and cannot do on a UK student visa.
- Work as a student union sabbatical officer
- There is a possibility that you can work - how much depends on the type of your course and whether you're working during or after term time.
- Claim public funds and pensions
- Work in specific jobs, such as a professional athlete or sports coach
- Be self-employed
- Attend an academy or a local authority-funded school
UK Point-based Visa System
It is important for students to know that the UK student visa utilizes a point-based visa system, and it is imperative that they satisfy all the requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 total points.
Students must hold a valid CAS from a fully licensed Tier 4 sponsor
Students must have sufficient funds to cover program fees and monthly living expenses
UK Student Visa Fees
The UK student visa fees in Indian rupees are approximately INR 33,349. Students can pay online either through MasterCard or Visa card. One can also pay through a demand draft or cash at the visa application center or selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank. The details of the UK student visa fees are given below:
- The UK student visa fees for students applying from outside the UK is £348
- Students willing to extend or switch to a student visa from inside the UK are expected to pay £475
- Short-term UK student visa fees are £97 for 6 months and £186 for 11 months
- Students are expected to pay an immigration health surcharge of £300 per year
- The charges for biometric verification is £19.20
Can I Work in the UK on a Study Visa?
Holders of Tier 4 visas can work up to 20 hours a week during their course and full-time during semester breaks. An internship or work placement that is part of a degree or program is acceptable as well.
You need to apply for a Tier 2 visa if you want to work in the UK after completing your education. Highly-skilled workers are entitled to this type of visa. In general, you do receive a work permit along with your student visa. Hence, you must apply separately for a work visa.
UK Student Visa Latest News
The UK has introduced a points-based immigration system for international students. This immigration system treats both EU and non-EU citizens equally and is aimed at attracting students who can contribute to the UK’s economy. International students can work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 years if they are a Ph.D. graduate.
Reinstatement of the Two-year Post-study Work Visa
The UK Government has offered the reinstatement of the two-year post-study work visa for international students. International students planning to pursue their higher studies in the UK starting from 2022-23 will benefit from the new immigration rules. This new rule applies to graduates of all higher education providers that are recognized as 'licensed visa sponsors'. At present, international students pursuing various bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the UK can stay back only for a period of four months. International students pursuing studies in select 27 UK universities can stay back for six months.
Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in the UK
Thousands of international students study at UK universities every year. To reduce their financial burden, students can apply for a variety of scholarships in the UK. These scholarships are provided by the government, private organizations, and universities. Some of the UK scholarships for Indian students are listed below:
- Commonwealth Masters Scholarships
- Chevening Scholarships
- Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarships
- Goa Education Trust Scholarships
- Rhodes Scholarships
- Sir Ratan Tata Scholarships
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships
- Coventry Academic Performance Scholarship
- Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship
- Clarendon Scholarships
- Warwick Chancellor’s International Scholarships