Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
If you are a non-EU national and you wish to study in some of the world’s most reputable and prestigious universities, colleges and schools in the world, then the United Kingdom (‘UK’) is the perfect student destination for you.
There are two types of Tier 4 student visa routes
- Tier 4 child student visa – This is for students under 18 years of age who have been offered a place at a UK educational institution. The institution must be in possession of a Tier 4 sponsorship license and is usually a fee-paying school.
- Tier 4 (General) student visa – This is for students 16 years of age and older who have been offered a place at a UK higher educational institution. This visa covers degree level courses and level 3 courses, including A levels.
In order to be granted a student visa, you would be required to score 40 points under the criteria of the Points Based System (‘PBS’).
Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (‘CAS’) – 30 points
You must have received an offer on a course from an educational institution with a Tier 4 sponsorship licence.
Once the educational institute have offered you a place on a course, they will provide you with a CAS reference number. You will be required to state the relevant CAS reference at the time of submitting your Tier 4 (General) Visa application.
You can find the UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’) list of Tier 4 student visa sponsors relevant to Tier 4 student visas (link of sponsored providers) here.
Maintenance – 10 points
If you are starting a new course, you must show that you have enough money to pay for your course fees for the first year of your course up to a maximum of 9 months, or for the entire course, if it is less than a year long. You must also have enough money to support yourself whilst studying in the UK. The money that you will need for living costs will depend on the length of your course and where you will study.
English language requirement
Apart from scoring 40 points under the PBS, you would also be required to satisfy the English language requirement.
If you are studying at degree level, you would be required to have successfully passed a minimum Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) B2 level.
If you are however intending to study on a course below degree level, you will be required to have successfully passed an English language test at a minimum CEFR B1 level.
You will however be exempt to satisfy the English language requirement if you are a national of a majority English speaking country, e.g. USA.
When to apply
The earliest you can apply for Tier 4 (General) student visa is 3 months before your course start date.
How long can I remain on a student visa?
You can only remain on a Tier 4 student visa on studies above degree level for a maximum period of 5 years
The Tier 4 (General) category does not lead to settlement in the UK and as soon as you have completed your studies, you will be required to switch to another visa category if you wish to remain in the UK.
If you do fail to meet the requirements in order to switch into another category, e.g. Tier 2 (General) category, you will must leave the UK prior to the expiration of the visa.
Can I work whilst on a student visa?
If you are granted a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you will be granted permission to work on a part-time basis. The number of hours which you will be permitted to work will depend on your course.
Family members of Tier 4 students
The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa allows dependent family members to join you in the UK or remain with you if you’re already in the UK.
However, in order to bring your dependent family members to the UK, you should satisfy at least one of the criteria below:
- You are sponsored by the UK government on a course that lasts at least 6 months;
- You are sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 1 year or more; or
- You are studying on a Doctorate Extension Scheme
General grounds for refusal
Your application could be refused if you have been convicted of,or admitted an offence for which you received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record within 12 months prior to the date on which your application is decided.
- Assess your suitability for a UK Tier 4 visa;
- Provide you with an advice on how to meet the financial requirements;
- Provide a comprehensive document checklist;
- Complete any application as necessary on your behalf;
- Draft any affidavit as necessary on your behalf;
- Book your biometrics appointment; and
- Prepare a complete bundle to be sent to UK Visas and Immigration on your behalf including a detailed cover letter.
If you would like to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, please contact us on 0161 826 6922 for a free consultation.
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