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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.

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