Student Visa

The Student Visa category is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.

If you are between 4 and 17 years old and wish to study at an independent school in the UK, you should apply for a Child Student Visa instead.

Requirements for a UK Student Visa

In order to qualify for a UK Student Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 16 or over;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on an approved course with a licensed student sponsor;
  • You can read, write, speak and understand English to at least CEFR Level B2 (if studying at degree level or above) or CEFR Level B1 (if studying at below degree level);
  • You have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds;
  • You have the consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian if you are 16 or 17 years old;

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

Course Requirements for a UK Student Visa

Student Visa applicants can apply for a visa to study the following courses:

  • A full-time course that leads to a qualification below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study;
  • A full-time course that leads to a qualification that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8);
  • A full-time course that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8), that is equivalent to a UK higher education course and is being delivered as part of a longer course overseas;
  • A part-time course leading to a qualification that is above degree level (RQF level 7 or above);
  • A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists (if you have finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry, received that degree from a registered student sponsor and spent your final year and at least one other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK);
  • An English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Who else can apply for a Student Visa?

You can also apply for a Student Visa if you are:

  • Applying to extend your stay on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (you must currently have permission to be in the UK on a Student visa (or a Tier 4 (General) Student visa) and your course must lead to a PhD);
  • Taking up a full-time elected position as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.

Place of Study Requirements for a UK Student Visa

Unless you are on a course-related work placement, a study abroad programme overseas, or a pre-sessional course, all study that forms part of the course of study must take place on the premises of your student sponsor or a partner institution.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Once you have been offered an unconditional place on a course of study, your education provider will send you a CAS reference number. You must apply for your Student Visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must not have been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and the education institution must not have withdrawn its offer.

The CAS must also contain certain information including details of the course to be studied, the level of study, the place of study, the cost of accommodation and fees (and any payments already made) and how the English language requirement has been met.

Our Immigration Lawyers are able to give specialist legal advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors, please complete our enquiry form or contact us on:

Tel: 01922 645 429 (Walsall, Birmingham & Midlands)

Tel: 0161 399 2786 (Manchester & North of England)

Tel: 01633 920 160 (Newport, Bristol, Cardiff and South West)

Or by email at

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