Friday, August 23, 2013

Student visa applications explained

If you have been thinking about studying for a degree in the United Kingdom then you may need to apply for a visa. There are many different types of visas available depending on your age, length of course and level of study. In this article we will explain the difference between the student visas available and how to apply.

Non EU citizens require a visa to study in the United Kingdom.

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Do you need a visa?

First of all you will need to find out whether you need a student visa to study in the UK. If you are not a citizen of the European Union then it is likely that you will need a visa. Visit the UK Border Agency website or the University’s website to find out more information. Applications can take a while to process so it is important that you apply well in advance.

Different types of student visas

If you are aged eighteen and over and want to study in the UK for up to six months (without working) you can apply for a student visitor visa. Those who are studying English language courses can apply for a student visa that permits them to stay in the UK for up to eleven months.
Non EU citizens that are hoping to study a degree course in the UK will need to apply for a Tier 4 (general) student visa. In order to do this successfully they will need to meet the requirements of the points system. You will need to gain forty points in order to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. You must also apply from your home country. They do not allow you to swap to a Tier 4 four from a student visitor visa whilst you are in the UK.

Student visa points explained

Before applying for a Tier 4 student visa you will need to make sure that you have gained the forty points required. Thirty points can be acquired by gaining confirmation of acceptance for studies from the university or college in which you intend to study at. This institution must be on the approved list of education providers. A further ten points can be acquired if you can provide evidence that you can afford your fees and living costs in the UK. This requirement is in place to prevent international students studying in the UK from running into financial difficulties.

On the 6th April 2012 new changes to the points system came into place. In order to gain the ten points prospective international students studying in London need to prove that they have £1000 for each month of their course for a maximum of nine months. If studying in another region of the United Kingdom a minimum of £800 per month is required.

Length of Tier 4 visas

Tier 4 general student visas last for five years on courses at degree level. There are exceptions for those who want to study a Master’s degree or a PHD after their undergraduate studies are complete. If a student is planning to study a specific course like Dentistry or Medicine, their visa will be extended so they can complete the extra years of study required in order to obtain their degree.

Tier 4 students visas allow you to complete work placements alongside your studies, which you may need to do in order to graduate.

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Working whilst studying in the UK

Many students like to have a part time job to supplement their finances whilst they study. Others are required to carry out a work placement as part of their degree course. Tier 4 students visas allow students to work in the UK part time, during holidays and alongside their studies. Those on student visitor visas are not permitted to work in the UK whilst studying. Students with Tier 4 student visas can spend a maximum of 50% of their time on a work placement if they are studying at degree level.

We hope after reading this article that your questions have been answered and that you have a better understanding of the different student visas available to apply for. It is important to remember that applications take a while to process so it is always a good idea to get your information in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Author bio: This article was brought to you by Guy Rose of the TTI School, an English Language school in London


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