There are a number of UK visas which permit study, but the main student routes are Tier 4 and Short Term Study. Most students coming to the UK for programmes of more than six months will apply for Tier 4 General.

Please note that whilst all of this information was correct at the time of writing and we have only used the information on the UK government website, as you can imagine, rules and regulations change from time to time. For this reason, we will keep this page always up to date with our latest advice and suggestions.

However, here’s a summary of what you need to know.

students at table

How to apply for Tier 4 General

You will need to make preparations to apply for your Tier 4 visa well in advance of your arrival in the UK, taking note of the conditions in your offer letter. When you have met all of the conditions of your offer, you will be sent a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). If you have all of the additional supporting documentary evidence you require, plus your CAS, you can apply for your Tier 4 visa.

When can you apply?

You can only apply for your Tier 4 visa three months before the start of your programme at the earliest. Processing times vary from country to country and different levels of service may apply for an additional fee.

How long can I stay in the UK?

You will normally be granted some time on your visa to allow you to enter the UK one to four weeks before the start of your programme. Tier 4 visas have an additional period at the end the programme to allow you to wrap up your affairs in the UK, or to give you time to apply for another visa.

What can I do in the UK?

Tier 4 visa holders can study the programme for which their visa was granted with their Tier 4 sponsor. Tier 4 visa holders may be able to work in the UK, subject to the conditions of their visa.

Arriving in the UK

When you apply for your visa, you will receive a vignette (sticker) in your passport to allow you to enter the UK. If your Tier 4 visa is longer than six months, you will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit card on arrival in the UK.

When applying for your student visa, we understand that you'll be really excited to continue with the rest of the process. You want to begin studying in the UK while creating new experiences and memories in the city you'll call home where you'll see for yourself just why the UK is a popular choice for international students.

Other than your visa to finalise, you'll need to know the specifics of studying in the UK. This can range from budgeting as an undergraduate university student to the best and cheapest ways to travel and see some magnificent sights.

Get One Step Ahead With Your All-in-One Guide to Studying in the UK

We understand that heading to a brand new country to study can be a little bit daunting at first. But thanks to the social clubs, vibrant city and world-class education, life as a university student in the UK are some of the best years of your life.

To help you ease in, we’ve created an all-in-one guide about everything you need to know when studying at a UK university. It has plenty of useful tips on how you can budget at university, the best ways to travel around the country to take in the wonderful sights, the types of universities available and so much more. You’ll be glad you had this on-hand to help you settle in

To get your free copy, click on the link below.

Guide to Studying at a UK University