Right from the very beginning UK has been the prime destination for quality education in the fields of science, humanities and commerce. Here are the rules for obtaining student Visa to the UK:
While students from EU (or Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein) do not need to apply for the visa, entry clearance is needed for those from other nationalities. There are two types of UK student visa: Short Term Study Visa and Tier 4 Student Visa.
- Short Term Visa: It is sufficient for short academic courses and for most English courses.
- Tier 4 Visa: For longer academic courses, students need to apply for a Tier 4 Visa. This is divided into two categories: Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child). Tier 4 visas are issued under the provisions of the UK Points Based System (PBS).
In order to be objective and transparent, the visa system for UK follows a point-based rule. It is necessary to gain 40 points to be eligible for applying the student visa.
Requirements for a Tier 4 Visa
- The student needs to obtain a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the institution where they intend to study. Normally, an institution will issue a CAS only when they have confirmed and secured the admission by paying a substantial deposit.
- The Institution should be recognized by the UK Government. This has become even more essential as in the past, several non-recognized institutions had mushroomed which were known to lure students .
- For those students who are over 18 and want to study an academic course in UK, the courses must be at NQF Level 3 or above (e.g. A Level or University Foundation).
- The students must prove that they are financially secure to continue their studies in UK. As a minimum, they need to have sufficient funds to pay their first year’s tuition fees in full, plus a monthly maintenance allowance of £820 (£1,020 in Central London). For longer courses, the maintenance allowance requirement is capped at 9 months.
- For Government Sponsored Students or those who have secured a scholarship from the University’s side, a Financial Guarantee Letter from the sponsor will be sufficient. In other cases, they will be asked to produce bank statements and/or a bank loan confirmation letter.
- The students need to pass an approved English language test before they apply for their visa. English tests are mandatory if they are studying below degree level and may be required at degree level or above. Even universities in UK secure admission only when the students obtain more than 6.5 in their IELTS examination. The score requirement differs from university to university.
Working Rules under Tier 4 Visa
If the student has a Tier 4 Student Visa, he/she may be allowed to work full time during vacations and part time during term time, but it depends on the level of course he/she is studying and the type of institution that has sponsored their student visa.