Your Guide to Applying for Student Visa in the UK
Getting your UK student visa is an essential part of the journey to fulfil your dream of studying in the UK. Applying for visa in the UK can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t know the UK visa requirements and important dates for application.
In this article, we will help you find all about applying for your student visa in the UK. Your IDP counsellor will also guide you in the application process and provides you with the latest information about the UK visa requirement. So, make sure to speak to them!
Here’s your guide to applying for UK student visa!
Do EU students need a UK Visa?
If you are an EU student, then you don’t need a visa to study or enter the UK. Having said that, it is important for you to know that there might be changes in visa regulations for EU students in the near future. As of now, this is the stance.
UK Visas for non-EU students
If you are a student from outside the European Union, then you will need a visa to study in the UK. There are two types of visas. The one that you need depends on the duration of your study program. Both visas have different application forms.
When you apply to a UK institution and get accepted, they send you a reference number known as the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). This is a highly important document since it is extremely c for your visa application.
Once you get the CAS, you will have to follow these 3 steps to apply for your UK Visa:
Step 1: Completing the online application form and paying the fee
Step 2: Going to a UK visa application centre and having your photograph and fingerprints taken
Step 3: Gather supporting evidence and printing the application
What type of information is included in your CAS letter?
CAS is a very important electronic document that contains confidential information. It has your personal details, details of your study program, and the payable fee amount. One section of the CAS document requires you to provide all of your current academic qualifications, like your high school transcript or bachelor’s degree. You will need to have the original documents for this part.
In addition to that, you might also need to sit for an English language test, such as the IELTS test, as part of your application. If the English language test is needed, it will be mentioned in your form. You will have to include this CAS form in the final application that you send.
Student Visitor Visa (Short-term study visa)
Students whose study program is less than six months will need what’s known as a student visitor visa, or short-term study visa in the UK. Students in possession of this visa are allowed to enter the UK up to one week before the start date of their study program. You can apply for this visitor visa online up to three months before you actually plan on entering the UK.
Tier 4 Visa
You will need this visa if your program is longer than six months. If the institution where you plan on studying at has a Tier 4 sponsor licence, then you will only qualify for this visa. On the UK visa point-based system, you will need a full 40-out-of-40 score to qualify for the Tier 4 visa.
If you’re wondering how the UK Visa point system works, then you should know that the first 30 points come from your CAS document. The information on your CAS and the other reference documents make up these points. The rest of the 10 points come from the financial statement which proves that you will be able to finance yourself fully during your study program.
Ideally, you should apply for this visa 3 months before the starting date of your course and 6 months after you receive your CAS. It is important that you are in your home country when you apply for this visa.
As the first part of the application for this visa, you should fill the online application form.
Another document by the name of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) also needs to be applied for if you are applying for a Master’s degree or a PhD program. If you have to apply for a Masters’ or PhD program, then you should do it a month before you apply for your visa.
Credibility Interview for UK visa
Credibility Interviews are required by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to ensure that only ‘genuine students’ are given a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of your visa application. In this case, it would be useful to know that the UKVI will generally consider the following points:
- Your reasons for coming to the UK
- Your education history, plans for study and after study
- Your immigration history in the UK and other countries
- Your personal and financial circumstances.
- If you have dependents who intend to join you in the UK, consideration will be given to their circumstances as well.
Your IDP counsellor can help you find out what to expect and how to prepare for your Credibility Interview.
Online Application for UK Visa
Applying for any of the above-mentioned visas means that you’ll have to fill the online form and create an account using a valid email address. A visa application fee of £348 needs to be paid right after you complete the form. After doing this, you will have to go to the visa application centre that is the closest to you to get your photographs and your fingerprints taken.
Once you get an appointment, you should reach the visa application centre at least ten minutes before the start of the procedure. This is a very important part of the process, so you should make sure that you are appropriately dressed. Make sure that you don’t have any cuts on your face and fingers, as that may leave a bad impression. Also, cover up any tattoos that you may have. Once you get done with this, you will receive a document that you should post with the completed application form.
Important documents for your UK visa
At the time of the completion of the application form, here are a few important documents that you will surely need:
- Passport details
- CAS number
- English language test scores
- Original academic documents mentioned on your CAS
- Financial details like the tuition fee
- ATAS certificate (if applicable)
- Translation of important documents (if there are any)
Also, be sure of the fact that you have your credit card available to pay the fee.
Here are a few additional things (apart from the ones mentioned above) that you will need when you post your visa application:
- Biometric information
- Two passport size photographs
- Proof of funding
- Bank statement
- Your sponsor’s information
Once you submit all of this information, you will have to wait for three weeks until the decision is made and communicated to you. We wish you the best of luck in your study endeavours.
- Chevening Scholarship:
The UK government offers these grants to people with high scholarly execution who exhibit high administration potential. Beneficiaries of the grants are chosen by the British Embassies around the globe. Future leaders get an opportunity to grow scholastically, make proficient systems, experience UK culture, and significantly more.
The grant program offers money for a master’s degree at any of the UK's driving colleges. There are more than 1,500 Chevening Scholarships per year.
- Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP):
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) presents grants and fellowships for the individuals who look for a master’s degree or Ph.D. and grow expertly. The grants are offered every year to people originating from the Commonwealth nations. Applicants are chosen dependent on their past scholastic history and their capability to help in building up a superior life for natives of their home countries. Each grant gives airfare to and from the United Kingdom, educational cost and assessment expenses, stipend, postulation award (if appropriate), and introductory landing remittance, among others.
Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships:
The Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships (SSS) is a program of scholarships offered by the Scottish Government in collaboration with Scottish universities in the areas of science, technology, creative industries, healthcare and medical sciences, and renewable and clean energy.
Picked scholars are individuals who prove to be influential leaders in the future. They furthermore, should have wide extending interests outside their studies and have the drive to improve their scholastic and personal grooming in Scotland.
The plan offers the grant of £8,000 to up to 50 students, towards education costs for any 1-year full-time study on a postgraduate master’s program at any of Scotland's education organizations. Grants are accessible to citizens of the accompanying nations: Canada, China (counting Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan and USA.
2. UK Universities Scholarships
Institutes other than government bodies also provide sufficient amounts of scholarships. There are certain top universities which have their funds for international students. There are scholarships available by the following universities.
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- Imperial College London
- Durham University
- University of Glasgow
- Kings College London
- University College London
These universities provide students with aid and scholarships based on their academic records and potential leadership skills. There are awards which are based on leadership skills. These awards are offered in the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford. On its behalf, the University of Cambridge offers Gates Cambridge scholarship for international students; it also provides the international students' scholarship. You can also check out for more university scholarships by surfing the official university pages.
3. Third-Party Scholarships
You should also try your luck with the third-party scholarship agencies. Here are some tips and third-party scholarship suggestions:
- Euraxess UK scholarship: It’s offered by the British Council and is planned for helping scientists in their profession improvement, supporting portability and going about as a helping instrument for analysts moving to another country or moving to the UK. Euraxess UK offers help, with the financing database giving a good source of subsidizing openings.
- Global Study Awards: The association between Study Portals, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), and the British Council urges youngsters to think about travelling abroad, as well as encountering and investigating new nations, societies and dialects.
A grant of 10,000 GBP will be offered two times per year to two future international undergraduate students who are focused on extending their intercultural understanding and to improving society. Students with outstanding academic backing are selected for such an award.
Rhodes Scholarship: It’s one of the oldest global grant programs, built up in 1902. It’s also one of the most renowned scholarship programs. Directed by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, the program offers 100 entirely financed scholarships every year for postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the UK – one of the top world universities.
The Selection Committee for the Rhodes Scholarship looks for extraordinary youthful pioneers who are spurred to draw in with worldwide difficulties and to advance global comprehension. In simple terms, the Selection Committee looks for youngsters of exceptional astuteness, character, with strong management skills, responsibility, and who show a solid inclination to develop as 'pioneers for the world's future.
4. Organizations Scholarships
If you are currently working and aim to study abroad, you have another option you can look into. Many companies and big organizations have certain funds and loans for their employees who wish to study abroad. You can ask your organization to give you funding to study abroad at the university you get selected, in return for the promise that you'll work for them for a certain number of years. Interestingly, this bond system is prevalent worldwide.
5. Home University Funding
If you are currently a student in your home country, then you must check out the scholarship programs that your university offers for international programs. There are various offers which university provide as they are partners with universities abroad. They may provide you with the opportunity to study in the partner university in the United Kingdom for a semester or even a year without paying a single extra penny. Thus, you should look for summer schools and semester exchange programs hosted by your university. This will not only help you achieve your aim to study aboard but also will elevate your chances for good, fully-funded scholarship options in the future in case you feel like studying again.
These were a couple of options you all perspective candidates can avail to go abroad and fulfil your dream. But be careful! You need to give your best shot via your application. So if the process requires essays to be written; follow the guideline for perfect essay writing. If you need to sit an interview, be confident and prepare beforehand & if you need to write a personal statement, then be expressive as to what you aim to achieve. Remember, you can achieve what you strive for!
And of course, you can get your IDP counsellor’s support in how to write the perfect personal statement and other tips to study at the best UK universities and help you in your university application. Contact us today!