Migration of international students to UK is different with that of students inside the 28 countries inside European Union (EU) and countries under European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In that case, if your country falls outside the EU/EFTA region such as students from Asia, Africa, America and other parts of the world, You will need a UK student visa to migrate to United Kingdom.
But, for citizens among the European Economic Area (EEA), there is a free migration policy to study in any part of Europe. However, if the Brexit is signed against this policy, it will affect free movement of students from others parts of Europe to UK without a visa.
Consequently, if you are planning on leaving your home country to study in UK. There are basic UK student visa requirements you must obtain to aid your travelling. This post will help introduce you to those requirements and how to go about your application process from your country. All you need is to follow the official link in the post for application or inquiry.
Every foreign student applying for the UK student visa have to go through the UK Point Based System (PBS) to get a visa.
See also our Guide to US Student visa
What is UK Point Based System?
The UK point based system (PBS) is a body responsible for all the immigration of individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). According to the organization, the scheme has 5 different tiers of visa – Tier 1 to 5.
Each of the tiers is designed for different categories of visa entry. For the UK student visa, the visa route is through the tier 4. This route covers all the students travelling to UK from Non-EEA countries and covers all categories of schools including visa for colleges, Bachelors degree, masters degree and Ph.D.
Furthermore, the PBS system awards points to applicants based on their potentials to be useful in the improvement of the UK economy. In the PBS system, points are awarded by age of the applicants – Younger people gets more points than the advanced people. Also, their are points for English proficiency, Financial status and the Academic qualification.
Eligibility Requirements for UK student visa
The student visa requirements are factors that will qualify or make you eligible to get a UK student visa under the tier 4 category. Therefore,go through the requirements and try to gather the documents for the individual items as a proof that you are ready for the visa.
- For the Tier 4 (General), you will have to be a student who is from non-EEA countries and up to 16 years. If you are less than 16, the tier 4 (Child) is the ideal visa for you. The Tier 4 (Child) ranges from the age 4 to 17 years. But, you will need a document to show that your parents approve the travel.
- An admission from a licensed tier 4 sponsor from a UK school. You can get a comprehensive list of UK tier 4 sponsors here. You are to get a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) which will be an essential document in your visa application process. Note: visa application will be effective no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.
- A proof that you can take care of yourself and your school fees while studying in UK. For that reason, you will need to provide a financial bank statement not more than 3 months of issue or an asset that proof that you can sustain yourself without being a burden to the UK community.
- English Language Proficiency test to show you can speak, understand, write and read English language with ease. For higher education institutions, the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2 is required but CEFR B1 may be accepted for lower degrees. Examples of widely accepted secure English language tests (SELT) are IELTS and TOEFL. However, students that have degrees from countries that English is their official language are not to provide a SELT certificate.
- Current international passport or travelling ID with blank pages.
- Other documents such as a Degree certificate, transcript from a previous school and personal documents.
How to Apply for UK student visa
This is a step by step guide on what you need to do when you want to apply for a UK study visa. If you are ready to lodge a visa, follow the guidelines below. Though, it is always wise to consult the embassy for any additional information with regards to visa application.
The application process starts with visiting the UK official website to register a user account. Take your time to double check the type of visa that suits your travel intention.
The next step is to fill the online application form. Ensure that the information you supply are correct and true because wrong information may cost you the visa opportunity.
After filling the form, the site will automatically generate a GWF number for you, print because you will need it subsequently. The next thing is to book an appointment with a visa application center in your country
Note: The GWF number becomes invalid if applicant fails to finalize the application within 30 days.
To be able to monitor the success of your visa processing online, you will register with the TLScontact website. If you don’t register, you will not be allowed to attend your appointment.
Attend your appointment and submit your biometrics at a UK Visa Application Center. One of the important thing to keep in mind when attending your visa appointment is that you have to be there early, at least one hour before official time.
Remember to take these documents along when going for your visa interview;
- Current Travelling Passport or ID with blank pages
- Certificate of Secure English language tests (SELT) such as IELTS and TOEFL
- Proof of financial capabilities (Bank statements should not exceed 3 months of issue)
- A confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
- Printed copies of your online application form with the GWF number.
- Receipt of all the necessary payments such as visa fee
- Tuberculosis test result for some countries
- Other personal and academic documents
The last step is to wait for the arrival of the visa at the visa appointment center. It is important you track the success of the visa through the TLScontact website. The visa will have to be ready within 10 days to the date you gave for travelling to UK.
If you need clarification of any kind about the visa application or want to inquire about the UK student visa or available study options in UK, you can visit the official site now.