Studying in the UK: Visa Options
International students generally can’t study part-time in the UK. However, there are definite benefits to studying on a full-time basis that you may not be aware of. A chat with one of our immigration solicitors can help you understand how living and studying in the UK can best work for you.
To discuss whether your own educational needs can be supported by a study visa, get in touch for our specialist help.
Standard Tier 4 Visa
If you are a student hoping to come to the UK to study an undergraduate or equivalent course, international students unfortunately can’t study part-time in the UK.
However, the benefit to a tier 4 study visa is that despite some minor restrictions, you are allowed to undertake most paid work in the UK. This is a huge advantage as it can help you to pay for some of your expenses while you are studying here.
UK Study Visa Requirements
To study full-time in the UK, a tier 4 study visa is issued under the requirements that you:
- Have been offered an unconditional place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
- Can speak, read, write, and understand English to an acceptable level
- Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- Are from a country outside of the the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
UK Postgraduate Study Visa
In very specialised cases, a new pilot scheme can be offered to some international students wanting to take a postgraduate course, and who are wishing to study on a part-time basis.
Compared to the standard Tier 4 Study Visa, this pilot scheme has a simplified application process. You will no longer be required to submit:
- Financial evidence
- Academic qualification
- English language qualification (SELT)
- Confirmation that you have successfully completed your previous UK course.
In addition to this simplified process, a major advantage is that you are also entitled to a longer stay in the UK. The date on which your visa expires will be calculated by adding 6 months to the end of your course date that is stated on your CAS. This is to allow applicants the opportunity to look for work in the UK. If you are successful in finding work, you can then apply to change to a tier 2 work visa to live and work in the UK after your studies.
This extra 6-month period is still included in the standard 5 to 6 year study cap, so you might not be able to take full advantage if it takes your time in the UK past this limit. It is also worth knowing that if the additional 6 months takes the total duration of your visa to more than 18 months, then you will be expected to pay the immigration health surcharge for 2 years.
Are you eligible for the UK Postgraduate Study Visa pilot?
If the postgraduate degree you want to apply for would last for a total of 13 months or less, you may be eligible for this specialised visa.
You can apply for this visa from overseas (entry clearance), or also if you are in the UK and have successfully completed a previous course.
Get started today
If you’ve decided to study full-time and need help applying for your standard Tier 4, or want to discuss the possibility of this new specialist pilot visa, we can guide you through every step of the process. With an easy application, we can take the stress away and leave you with more time to focus on your important studies. Get in touch today for a chat about how we can best help you begin your future.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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