How to apply for a student visa for UK | Detailed 5-step guide!
Last Updated on May 28, 2021 by iSchoolConnect
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a student visa for UK. Get details on how to receive a CAS from a UK university, the visa application process, required documents, the latest COVID updates, and more!
One of the most popular destinations for international students, UK drastically changed its immigration policies in 2020. Now, the country not only provides top-quality education but also allows international aspirants to stay back for 2 years after graduation and work! But before you get there, you need to know how to apply for a student visa for UK.
How to apply for the UK student visa
Here’s a general round-up of the things that you need to take care of before applying for your UK visa.
1) Pick your course and university
The selection of universities and colleges in the UK is different from the rest of Europe.
Here, you need to pick the course or program you want to pursue before selecting the university.
Then, based on your program choice, you can search for the universities offering degrees in that particular discipline.
2) Applying through UCAS
The University and College Admission Service (UCAS) is the portal through which you can apply to UK universities.
You have to write a personal statement to describe why you are opting for that particular course in roughly 500 words. This statement is pretty crucial in ensuring that you stand out among other candidates of similar grades and backgrounds.
Students can use a single personal statement to apply to five institutes at a time through the online portal of UCAS. As of now, UCAS respectively charges £20 and £25 for the applications to single and multiple universities. If you are accepted by a university, UCAS will send you a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) form that you will need at the time of visa application.
UK university applications for courses in January 2021 and September 2021 are officially open and being processed.
3) Immigration health surcharge payment
Once you receive your CAS, you will need to pay £150 for health coverage as an immigrant for the first year. The receipt of this payment will also be required while applying for a student visa for UK.
4) Visa application
After sorting out all the UK student visa requirements, you are now all set to go through with the application process.
If you have been accepted to a full-degree program, then you will require a Tier-4 (General) student visa. After this, you need to pay UK student visa fees of £348 per person.
Important Note: Dates play a crucial role when you apply for a student visa for the UK. For instance, you need to submit the visa application at least three months before your classes commence. Similarly, make sure you apply within six months after receiving the CAS form.
5) Documents required
You will need to bring the following documents at the time of the visa interview.
- Tuberculosis screening certificate from a UKVI-approved TB Test Centre (applicable for some countries)
- Financial proof (for funding your studies)
- Receipt of immigration health surcharge payments form
- Academic certificates and transcripts mentioned in the CAS form
- English language proficiency test (IELTS) mentioned in the CAS form
- Current passport
- Two photographs (passport-size)
- Original birth certificate (with translation for non-English document)
New UK visa facts, stay back options, and more
Like most students, your visa is the final factor that stands between you and your study abroad dreams. If you’re one of the students who wish to work in the UK after they finish their education, you’re in luck!
What is the new UK student visa like?
The new student visa is open to an unlimited number of international students, including those from Europe coming to study after the Brexit transition period ends.
This follows the government’s commitment to introduce a points-based immigration system in 2021. It aims to extend equal opportunity to all foreign talent in the post-Brexit UK.
How can I qualify for the new UK visa?
Students who apply to UK need to have 70 points to be granted a visa to study at a UK university. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they:
- have been offered a place on a course
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course
The UK’s Post-study work visa
- Bachelor’s or master’s level graduates will be able to stay in the UK and work or look for work for two years
- Ph.D. level graduates will be able to stay for three years
- The visa fee is £700 + £624 per year for the Immigration Health Surcharge
- While on this visa you can switch to other visas such as Skilled Worker, Start-Up, Innovator, or Global Talent, among others (you can switch at any time before the expiry date of your Graduate Route Visa)
- Applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route.
- There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs, and develop their careers as required.
We asked experts how this new policy helps students. Nadia Ibrahim, Career Coach & University Lecturer at the University of Cincinnati, USA, says,
The launch of the new Graduate route shows that the government is continuing to deliver on its key manifesto promise to implement a points-based immigration system, which will attract talent and ensure that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to drive the economy forwards.
Studying in UK during COVID-19
When the COVID pandemic hit, UK universities tried their level best to provide safe, high-quality education to students.
The UK government also assisted in these initiatives. They extended the student visas of all international students whose visas expired by July 31st and offered a one-month ‘grace period’ for them to find employment or return to their countries.
Even now, students who are applying to study in the UK are being offered lectures online as well as on-campus with all the safety measures in place.
With the second wave of COVID-19 having hit multiple countries across the world, the UK has been maintaining a Red List. This is a list of countries that impacts the student visa appointment availability and travel plans of international students.
Update: the UK added India to the list on May 17th, 2021, and will revise it again soon.
Once you receive your student visa for UK, all you have to do is pack your bags and get ready to fly!
They can guide you every step of the way to fulfill your dream of studying in Great Britain.