Tier 4 Student Visa

Individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who wish to study in the UK can do so by applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa so long as they fit the necessary criteria.

Under this category such visas are only for those looking to study a full time educational course in the UK. Our immigration team are highly experienced in dealing with such applications on behalf of prospective student entrants.


What are the main requirements for a Tier 4 Student Visa?

If you are over 16 years of age and you wish to study in the UK, here is some useful information on applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa:

  • Applications are only considered for those who have already been given an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • Prospective applicants must be able to show that they have enough funds to support themselves and pay the fees for their course. The exact amount of funds required will vary dependant on each applicant’s personal circumstances
  • Those wishing to apply must be able to prove their knowledge of the English Language. (This will often be in the form of passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) and the type of test taken will depend on the level of the course to be studied)
  • Such tests must be taken through establishments that are included on the official list of approved test providers
  • Applicants do not need to prove their knowledge of English if they have already gained a qualification that is equivalent to a UK degree or are a national of one of the countries on the exemption list. Please contact our Immigration team if you are unsure and need clarification as to whether you fit into this criteria.
  • Applicants for a Tier 4 Student Visa are also exempt from proving their knowledge of English if they have studied previously in the UK under a Tier 4 (Child) Visa

When can I apply for this visa?

Those wishing to apply for a Tier 4 (Student) Visa can do so at the earliest 3 months prior to the date their course of study is due to commence. Processing times for applications will vary dependant on the country you are applying from. Our Immigration team can guide and advise you with regards to this and your specific circumstances.
Individuals who have been being given an unconditional offer of a place on a course from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor will be sent a unique reference number known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you will need to enter as part of your visa application. You must apply for your Tier 4 Student Visa no more than 6 months after receiving your CAS. Please note only in certain situations can applicants applying from within the UK obtain a CAS.

I have been granted a student visa. When can I come to the UK?

Applicants who are successful in obtaining a Tier 4 (Student) Visa are permitted to enter the UK prior to the commencement of their course of study:

  • Up to 1 week before the start date, for those undertaking a course that lasts 6 months or less
  • Up to 1 month before the start date, for those undertaking a course that lasts 6 months or more

What am I permitted to do under this visa?

Once in the UK students are entitled to study and are permitted to gain work within most job criteria dependant on the type of sponsor and level of course they are studying. No applicants under a Tier 4 (Student) Visa are permitted to claim any public funds.

Can I extend my stay in the UK under a Student visa?

For those individuals who may seek to extend their stay in the future either to continue their course or study a new one, this may be possible so as long as you continue to meet the original criteria are remaining in the UK and have the necessary sponsorship in place. As with original applications this must be applied for no more than 6 months after obtaining a CAS and before the expiration of your current visa. Applicants who wish for dependant family members to join and remain with them may be able to do this but must satisfy specific criteria.

For further expert and professional advice and assistance in relation to Tier 4 (Student) Visas, including with regards to fees and charges, application processing times and the necessary requirements for extending your visa, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team who are ready and able to help you.

Please be advised that Immigration Rules are always changing. Contact us for the latest help, advice and information with regards to your query.

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