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Student visa requirements for the UK

Applying for a UK student visa? Here’s help!

The UK Government provides an opportunity to all Indian students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first.

The visa you need will depend on your age and the type of study you wish to pursue in the UK. Here’s an overview* of the types of study visas and their application requirements:

Type of student visa

Who it’s for

When to apply

Arrival in the UK

Tier 4 (General)
student visa

Students aged 16 or over who have been offered a place in a course at a UK educational institution

Three months before the start of your course

Up to one week before if your course lasts six months or fewer.
Up to one month before if your course lasts more than six months

Tier 4 (Child)
student visa

Students aged between four and 17 who have been offered a place in a course at a UK educational institution with a valid Tier 4 sponsor, such as an independent fee-paying school

Three months before the start of your course

Up to one week before if your course lasts six months or fewer.
Up to one month before if your course lasts more than six months

Short-term study visa

Students who have offered a place in a short-term course in the UK, such as an English language course or training course

Three months before your date of travel to the UK

Depends on your nominated travel dates

Tier 4 (General)
student visa

Students who have been offered a place in a course at a UK educational institution with a valid Tier 4 sponsor

Three months before the start of your course

Up to one month before if your course lasts more than six months


*For detailed information, please visit the Gov.UK website

To be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa, you must:

  • Have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand English
  • Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course.

Documents required for Tier 4 student visa

When applying for your Tier 4 visa, you will generally need:

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • Evidence of funds to provide your living expenses for the duration of your course
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number and documents used to obtain CAS
  • Passport-sized colour photographs
  • Tuberculosis screening (if required)
  • Assessment documentation
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate (if required)

Additional documents may also be needed if you are:

  • Not a citizen of the country you are applying from
  • Under 18 years of age
  • Have family (dependents)

*Please note that these are the basic requirements, speak with your IDP counsellor for a detailed list of documents required for visa processing

If any of your supporting documents is not in English, you will need to have it translated. Each translated document must be dated, and include the translator's name and signature and confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document.

Applying for your visa online

You’ll have to apply for your student visa application online using the British Government’s official Gov.UK website. You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel to the UK. Remember, your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.

How can we help with visa applications?

If you’re an IDP student with an offer letter from any of our partner institutions in the UK, we can advise you on how to go about the entire process. We’ll make sure you are fully informed on the latest visa requirements and conditions; and also help you prepare the right documents for your submission.

Our team will direct you to the official websites and to authorised immigration representatives to ensure you have the latest applications forms and guidance. In fact, to reduce the hassle, we can also help with certifying, translating and couriering your documents.

Visa fee

As an applicant from outside the UK, you will have to pay £348 as your visa fee (do check the latest fee when applying here).

English language requirements

To gain your UK student visa, you’ll have to provide with an evidence of proficiency in the English language. This usually means passing a secure English language test to be able to prove your communication and correspondence skills.

IELTS for UKVI (link to IELTS for UKVI) is an IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) purposes. This applies to everyone coming from a non-English speaking country. While there is no change in the content, format or level of difficulty and scoring, IELTS for UKVI simply follows certain extra security protocols to ensure the authenticity of the test taker.

You may also have to appear for a personal interview at the UK embassy or consulate. 

Biometric residence permit

As part of your application, you must also obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP) from the UKVI. You will need to make an appointment with the UKVI to have your fingers and thumbs scanned and a digital photo taken of your face.

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