Applying for a UK Student Visa under the new immigration rules
Under the new Student Immigration routes, students applying for the UK Student visa after 5 October 2020 must achieve 70 points, earned through receiving an offer from a UK school or university, being able to speak English, and being prepared to support themselves financially during their studies in the UK.
Students will also now be able to make a visa application up to 6 months before their course starts, compared to 3 months under Tier 4 (General) Student Visa route. And there will continue to be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK.
The new Graduate Route for international students in the UK will begin in summer 2021. This will allow eligible migrant students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees to stay for two years and those who have completed a PhD to stay for three years to work or search for employment in the UK. Students who were required to commence or continue their studies via distance or blended learning due to COVID-19 will be eligible to switch into the graduate route on a concessionary basis even if they spend some time studying outside the UK.
What are the requirements of the new Student Visa route?
You will need to demonstrate that you meet the following criteria to be eligible to study in the UK under the new Student visa route:
- You are aged 16 or over and you;
- You have been offered a place on a course by a Home Office approved licensed student sponsor;
- You meet the financial requirement which includes supporting yourself and paying for your course;
- You meet the english language requirement for your level of study. This usually means passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT). This must be from an approved provider.;
- If you’re aged 16 or 17 you will need consent from your parents.
You do not need to prove you have enough money to support yourself if you’re a British national overseas or from one of the specified countries. If you do need to provide it, you’ll be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) after you’ve submitted your application. Please contact one of our experts for what evidence you will need to apply.
When can I apply for a study visa and how long does it take?
If you are applying from outside the UK, You can apply up to 6 months before your course begins and you will usually get a decision within 3 weeks of lodging your application. And if your course is more than 6 months, you can arrive in the UK up to 1 month before your course begins.
However, if you are applying from within the UK the earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires and your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. The processing time for an in-country UK Student visa is normally up to 8 weeks.
How long can I stay on a Student Visa?
How long you can stay depends on the length of your course and what study you’ve already completed. If you’re 18 or over and your course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years. If it’s below degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 2 years. You may be able to If you are eligible you can extend to continue your studies in the UK
What are the costs involved for a study visa?
The total cost of your UK Student Visa will depend on the length of your study as well as the location of your study in the UK. In addition to having enough money to support yourself and paying your course fee, the following are the costs involved:
- Home Office application fee. This will be £348 to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK and £475 to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK. The same fee will apply to each dependent that joins you;
- You’ll also have to pay the Immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) as part of your application;
- Document translation fees;
- English language test fees.
Can I bring my spouse and children as dependents on a UK Student Visa?
Your partner and children may be eligible to apply for dependant visas if:
- Your course is full-time, at postgraduate level and at least 9 months long OR
- You are a government-sponsored student on a full-time course that is 6 months or longer. This means you are being financially sponsored for your studies by the UK government or an overseas government.
What are the restrictions of a UK Student Visa?
If your application is successful, you’ll be told what you can and cannot do on a Student visa, otherwise, you cannot:
- claim public funds or benefits from the UK Government and pensions
- work in certain jobs, for example as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- be self-employed
- study at a local authority-funded school
What documents are required to apply for a Study Visa to the UK?
The documents you are required to submit will depend on your personal circumstances and you may be required to submit additional documents. Some documents you must provide when applying to study in the UK are:
- Your current passport;
- A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your Home Office approved course provider;
- Proof that you meet the financial requirements, such as bank statements;
- Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18 and proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian;
- your tuberculosis test results if required;
- written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months.
How do I apply to study in the UK in 2021?
The following steps are involved in applying for a UK Student Visa:
- Check that you meet all of the eligibility criteria for studying in the UK. If you are not sure whether you meet the requirements, we recommend that you seek advice from an experienced professional;
- Prepare your documents demonstrating that you meet the requirements of this route. Also the documents that you will be submitting are an acceptable form of evidence to the Home Office;
- Complete the UK Student Visa online application on the UK Home Office website;
- Pay your application fee. You may pay online or in person at the visa application center;
- Upload your documents to the Visa Application Centre’s website;
- Book your visa application appointment;
- Attend your appointment on the selected date to submit your application and biometric information.
Why Whytecroft Ford Immigration Lawyers for your UK Student Visa application?
If you instruct our expert immigration advisors, we will carry out all of the work on your application until a decision is made by the UKVI. This will involve the following:
- A free assessment of your Student Visa application eligibility in consideration of your circumstances including assessment of meeting the financial requirement;
- Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your application for a Student Visa;
- Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your Student route application;
- Assessing your documents to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Home Office UKVI Immigration Rules;
- Completing and submitting the online application form to apply for studying in the UK by gathering all the relevant information from you and your dependents (if any);
- Booking your appointment with the visa application centre for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics;
- Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your Student Visa application;
- Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents before you attend your appointment for enrolment of your biometrics;
- Liaising with the Home Office UKVI for a timely decision.