Student visa UK

Introduction to Student visa UK

The category of student visa is divided between minor and adult students. An adult student is someone who would like to study in the UK for post-16 education under Tier 4 (general). A child student is a person aged between 4 and 17 years.

Entry Clearance

All Tier 4 students must apply for Entry Clearance from the UK High Commission in their own country.

Education Body

The educational body where they want to study must be an approved education provider.

Requirements for Point Based system

Under Personal Immigration Law;

  • The students must be registered or enrolled with an approved education provider and this will provide 30 points
  • Must have the required funds and this will provide a further 10 points
  • The applicant must when required to do so on examination or at interview prove the proficiency of English language of a standard to be expected from such individual as specified in his/her CASS
  • The Entry Clearance officer must also be satisfied that the student is a genuine student.

CASS: The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

The students must obtain a CASS letter, which is issued by an approved education provider. Each CASS has a unique reference number. The CASS also provides information about the intended educational course for which it is issued and other personal details.

Entry clearance or leave to remain must be made no more than three months before the start of the course. A CASS will expire if it is not used for entry clearance or where it is left unused for six months from the date of issue. More importantly, a CASS can be used only once.

Re-sitting Examination

Students can only re-sit for an examination or repeat a module once. Where a student has to re-sit the exam again or repeat the module a second time, he/she is expected to leave the UK and revise in his own country and then apply as a Student Visitor to take the re-examination.

Academic Requirements

The course which is pursued by a student must meet the Home Office’s minimum educational/academic requirements and must be a full-time course of study and must take place on the premises of the education provider (college /university) except where the applicant is on work placement.


They must also hold sufficient funds to maintain themselves in the United Kingdom, this will provide you with 10 points.

Living Costs

You must show that you have £1,265 per month for living costs if you are studying in London. Where your place of study is outside London you have to show £1,050 per month. You must show that you have money for your
living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

Supporting Documents

The student has to provide documentary evidence that he has access to or the funds have been available to him for a consecutive period of at least 28 days and within the last 31 days before the date of application. Following documents are accepted by Entry Clearance officers and Home Office.

  • Personal bank or building society’s statement
  • A building society’s passbook
  • A letter from the bank confirming the availability of the funds
  • A letter from another financial institution that is regulated by the FSA etc.
  • Where they are sponsored by any government or other institute or organization, the details must be available either through CASS or a letter is required from the sponsoring body. The letter must confirm the length of the sponsorship and that it will cover their all financial obligations.

Extending limited leave

Where a student who is already in the United Kingdom and has finished his course would like to continue further and wishes to take another course, he is allowed to do so. However, he has to follow and meet the same requirements as he did for entry clearance with the only exception being the maintenance fund;

Length of the new course


Amount of maintenance required

2 months or less

Inner London

Course fee + £1020/each month for living costs. Required for the 2 months

2 months or less

Outer London and anywhere else in the UK

Course fee + £820/each month for living costs. Required for the 2 months

More than 2 Months

Inner London

First year’s course fee + £2040 to cover the living costs for the first 2 months

More than 2 Months

Outer London and anywhere else in the UK

First year’s course fee + £1640 to cover the living cost for the first 2 months

Time Limits on the Stay of Student

Time Limits on the length of Stay for Student;

Type of Qualification

Maximum Stay

Qualification below Degree Level

 3 years

Qualification at degree or above level

5 years

Masters Degree

1 further year may be allowed in certain circumstances


2 further years and 8 years in total after graduation  

Rights of Student

  • A student can fill the position of a sabbatical officer.
  • May include work placements as long as the work placement is an assessed part of the course.
  • A student is entitled to take supplementary classes, for example, evening or weekend classes, no permission is required to embark on these studies and a student does not have to inform his/her sponsor.

Work Entitlement

  • A student is allowed to work 20 hours per week during the term time where he is studying for a degree or higher-level qualification and his sponsor is a UK Higher Education Institution
  • He/She is allowed to work 10 hours per week during the term time where he is studying for a level that is lower than a degree and his sponsor is a UK Higher education institution.
  • He/She is allowed to work 10 hours per week during the term time where he is studying a course at any level with a sponsor which is a publicly-funded further education.

Prohibited Work

  • A student cannot be self-employed, or
  • Employed as a doctor in training, or
  • Professional sportsman, or
  • Employed as an entertainer.

Family members of Tier 4 Student

  • Only a student sponsored by a higher education institution (university) on a course which is of Masters level or above and where the duration of the course is for more than 12 months, a student is allowed to bring his family upon the fulfillment of certain conditions.


  • A Government-sponsored student, where duration of the course is more than 6 months, is also allowed to bring his family to the UK on the fulfillment of certain conditions.

Maintenance funds for Partner

He/She has to fulfill the requirement of maintenance as he did for himself. For a student who is studying at a Masters’s level or above in INNER LONDON and wishes to bring his/, her partner must show a maintenance fund of £ 615 /each month and up to a maximum of £5,535 in addition to funds for himself.

If they are studying or wish to study in a University which is outside London, he/she has to show a maintenance fund of £460/per month and up to a maximum of £4,140 in addition to funds for himself.


Ali wants to bring his wife from Pakistan while he will study a master’s degree in an inner London University.

Ali will need;

First year’s fee (if the Masters is for more than 1 year)

Maintenance fund for himself = 9 months× £1020 = £9,180

Maintenance fund for his wife = 9 months× £615 = £5,535

First-year fee (just an example) = £12,000

Total Amount to show = £9,180 + £5,535 + £12,000= £26,715


To bring any child the student has to fulfill the same requirements as he/she may have done for a partner and maintenance is the same as for a partner.


Ali also wants to bring his only child as well. He must show;

Total Amount to show = £9,180 + £5,535 + £5,535 + £12,000= £ 31,715

Entitlement to Switch

The following immigrants who are already in the UK are allowed to switch from their current category and apply for leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) Student;

  1. Tier 2 General Migrant.
  2. Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Migrant.
  3. Tier 2 Minister of Religion.
  4. Tier 4 Child Student.

Students under Tier 4 (General) are also allowed to switch their status to the following categories;

  1. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant.
  2. Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant.
  3. Tier 2 Migrant.
  4. Switch to, the spouse, or civil partner, or the same-sex partner of a person settled in the UK.

Where a student switches to another category that leads to permanent settlement in the United Kingdom, he/she is not allowed to count the time spent as a student towards the time needed to qualify for settlement.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legallex does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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