For international students planning on attending a University in the United Kingdom, there is a lot of planning involved. One of the key elements of the process is to obtain a visa to allow you to study in the United Kingdom. As is the process in several countries, without an appropriate visa, you’ll be denied entry to the country. This will put you in a difficult position! Fortunately, we have the information that you’ll need in this article, feel free to post any questions in the comments below.
First and foremost, you need to apply to University in the UK. This article here will help you with any questions you have regarding the application process. Without having a concrete offer to study from a University, you’ll be unable to apply for a visa. Once you have applied and received an offer, you will be ready to go. The earliest you can apply for a visa is three months prior to the course starting. This generally will mean you should apply around June, as a general guide. Hopefully by this point you will be set on which institution you’ll be studying at. See the key dates of the application phase here.
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You will be applying for what is called a ‘Tier 4 Student visa’. So what are the requirements? As we mentioned, you’ll need to have proof of an offer from a UK institution. You’ll need to be able to speak, read and write the English language to an appropriate level. On some occasions, you will need to provide evidence that you have access to the sufficient funds to afford University. There have been cases where student’s have had to provide a bank statement showing around £60,000 in their bank account. While rare, you should be prepared. Finally, as should be obvious, this is only applicable for student’s from outside the European Union.
Before you apply, ensure you have your passport and any relevant travel documents available. If you’re under 18 you will need some form of consent from a guardian. In select circumstances, further details will be required. Once you think you’re ready and meet all of the above criteria, you will apply online. The associated costs are shown in the next paragraph. The link below this paragraph will take you to where you should apply. Please note the only country where you don’t apply online is North Korea. Details on this process, if you are a student from North Korea, can be found here.
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In terms of the fees, it costs £335 to apply for a visa from outside the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, you will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge. Please note this surcharge doesn’t cover your health insurance. How long your visa will last is dependent on the length of your course. However, in general, it’ll usually last three-five years. After applying for your visa, you will generally be contacted within three weeks with a decision. In general, as long as your application follows the correct guidelines, it should be fine!