How to Apply for UK Student Visa
The United Kingdom has always attracted students across the globe for its well respected standard of teaching. As an international student planning to pursue a course of study in UK, it is important to obtain a visa to stay in the country. Students from India should apply for the UK student visa depending upon their duration of study and age. Students applying for graduate/ post-graduate/ doctoral programmes should apply for Tier 4 (general) visa.
How to apply for UK student visa - requirements
The UK Border Agency manages all the procedures related to immigration and visa applications. All prospective applicants have to fulfill the point based system to get a study visa. One must obtain 40 points to be eligible for a tier 4 visa. To achieve this, you should have received a letter of confirmation or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the university you have applied for studies. The concerned university should be recognized by the UK Border Agency. A typical CAS statement should give the following information:
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- A 14 digit reference number, which is to be used in the visa application form.
- Sponsor license number of your institution
- Course details such as start date, course title, tuition fees, accommodation fees
- Details of the qualifications based on which the offer to study the course was made.
Also, it is essential to provide information about funding towards your tuition fees and living expenses.
Essential documents for visa to study in UK
Every document attached in the application must include the original document and a photocopy. You should provide the following documents at the time of applying:
- A copy of the passport.
- A signed copy of completed visa application. For Tier 4 (General) visa, use tier 4 appendix 8 form.
- One passport size photograph (colour). Please refer photo guidance rules on the official website of UK border agency.
- Qualifications: You must submit original mark sheets/ certificates or transcripts listed by the institution that issued you the CAS. In addition to this, the CAS statement should also include assessment of your English language ability.
- Unless stated in your CAS, you need to submit a document proof of your finances. If you have a official financial sponsor (the UK government or your home government, the British Council or any other organization), you need to obtain a document stating the total contribution towards your tuition fees, maintenance etc.
- Evidence of permission to be in the country.
- Previous travel evidence, in case of previous passports.
All documents must be in English. In case the documents are in other language, you should get it translated. The visa application form should be provided with correct information. Failure to do so, may lead to rejection of the application. Applicants should note that they need to provide the CAS number as evidence to score under the Tier 4 point based system.
Know more: TOEFL test for English Proficiency
When should you apply?
You should apply for visa three months before the start date of your course. Students should note that the CAS statement is valid for six months only. Therefore, the application should not be made later than six months after it was issued.
How to apply?
You can submit your visa application form online at www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.
You will be required to create an account to fill the visa application form online. Once you fill up the form and submit it online, you will be required to generate a hard copy of the completed application form. Applicants must book an appointment at the visa application centre using the online calendar. Please note that the appointment must not be later than 90 days after the date of submission of the online application form.
UK student visa application fees
The visa application fee under Tier4 is Rs. 31,300 or £ 289.
You can make the payment via any of these modes:
- Demand draft from a nationalized bank or foreign bank; The demand draft must be made in favour of 'The British High Commission', payable at New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. You must carry the demand draft with you while submitting the application at the centre. The bank services charges will vary.
- Payment at Standard Chartered Bank; you can make payment at some branches of the Standard Charted bank at New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. This service is free of charge.
- Payment at visa application center; you can visit the centre and pay fees at the Standard Chartered bank facilities located at the centres.
- Payment online; you can make payment of application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
Visa application centre
The visa application will not be processed without providing biometric information i.e. your facial photograph and fingerprints. You must take an appointment at the nearest visa application centre of the UK embassy to submit the application and biometric information.
Applicants should note that to be able to enroll biometric information your they can enroll their fingerprints if fingertips are cut or damaged or have put on any temporary decoration on them (such as henna).
"Apply for a UK student visa", http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/india/02-student/?langname=UK%20English
"Applying for a Tier 4(General) visa", http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Preparing -- planning/Visas-and-immigration/Applying-for-a-Tier-4-General-visa/
"UK Student visa (Tier 4) requirements",http://www.studylondon.ac.uk/application-advice/uk-student-visa-information
"Visa application fees", http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/india/fees1/?langname=UK%20English
"Photo Guidance", http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/visa-photo-guidance.pdf
"Tier 4 appendix 8 form", http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/visas/vaf9-app81.pdf