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Student Visa | Tier 4 Visa for Students

UK Tier 4 Student Visa Section - This section will cover the Tier 4 Student visa application requirements. Book a consultation using our online systemOur UK Immigration Lawyers will provide you with sound, legal advice in relation to your application as a student. 

General UK Student Visa

Students coming to the UK under a Tier 4 student visa require a university or other UK educational institution on the register of sponsors to sponsor them. They also need to score enough points to be accepted as an international student in the UK. The following table is how the points system works for Tier 4:

  1. PROVIDE THE CERTIFICATE OF ACCEPTANCE OF STUDIES -     SCORING 30 POINTS.

  2. QUALIFYING UNDER THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS -       SCORING 10 POINTS.

The current system grants student visas for an initial period which varies depending on the length of the course. In general, a Tier 4 student can stay in the UK for the length of the course plus 4 months (for courses lasting one year or more) or one or two months (for courses between six months and a year). For shorter courses, international students are only granted a week to stay in the UK once the course has finished.

Restrictions and Employment

Students who are in a course at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 at a UK higher education institution are allowed to:

  • work for up to 20 hours per week during term time;

  • work full-time during vacations;

  • do a work placement as part of your course;

  • work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme.

 

If you are on a course below this level at a UK higher education institution, you are allowed to:

  • work for up to 10 hours per week during term time;

  • do a work placement as part of your course;

  • work full-time during vacations.

 

However you are on a course at any level at a publicly funded further education college, you are generally allowed to:

  • work for up to 10 hours per week during term time;

  • work full-time during vacations;

  • do a work placement as part of your course, provided your education provider is a Highly Trusted sponsor or the course is at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9.

 

After your course is completed, you can use the remainder of your student visa time to look for work in the UK so you can transition into another visa category if they wish. Otherwise, you must leave the UK once the student visa period ends.

Dependents

In most circumstances under a full time course, a Tier 4 student migrant can bring your partner or children (under dependent visas) with you during your studies but you are required to show that you have the sufficient funds to provide for them. They will be able to apply under the Tier 4 student visa as a dependent. From 4 July 2011, you cannot bring your dependents to the UK unless:

  • you are sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at NQF level 7 or above which lasts 12 months or more or;

  • a new government-sponsored student following a course which lasts longer than 6 months.

Please also note that Tier 4 student visa applicants may be required to complete an English test if they are not nationals of an English-speaking country or have not completed any academic courses in English.

Documentation

Eligible Tier 4 student visa applicants can qualify for an exception because they are considered to be "low risk" and will normally be required to provide fewer evidential documents.

Pre requisites - what is required prior your Tier 4 student visa application?

In order to apply for a student visa, one has to take an admission in a diploma / degree / post graduation course in a recognized college or University of the UK who provides all the relevant documents to support student visa application.

Who can qualify for the Tier 4 student visa?

Any person can apply for a student visa who has got an unconditional offer of a place in a diploma / degree / post graduation course in a recognized college or University of the UK. He needs to establish a link between his existing studies / work experience with the diploma / degree / post graduation course to be taken in the UK.

What documents are required as part of the Tier 4 student visa?

The persons intending to apply for a student visa need to provide following documents with their entry clearance application.

  • Two passport sized photographs meeting the UK standards. 

  • Your original passport as well as any passports held for the last 10 years. If you have been given a previous visas including students visa, include those into the application. 

  • Visa fees. 

  • Copies of the dducational / work experience documents.

  • Unconditional offer of a place in the College / University.

  • Proof of payment of partial / full fees of the course.

  • Bank statements or proof of income. 

  • Affidavit of support from your parents if they are funding your study program. 

 

It is also advisable to provide any proof of family, social and financial ties with the home country that may be:

  • Property documents showing your ties and reasons to leave the UK after the completion of your student visa. 

  • Business documents if this applies. 

  • Family tree.

  • Any memberships of professional bodies.

Duration of the Tier 4 student visa

The applicants are normally issued a visa for the complete duration of course; however the students can always apply for an extension of visa while remaining within the UK, if it is not the case. You can apply to extend your Tier 4 student visa in the UK and this can be done on the same day. Click here to view the list of services we provide for your Tier 4 student visa application. 

Right to appeal and when the applications are refused

No Tier 4 student visa applications comes with a right to appeal, instead you will be able to submit an administrative review, to challenge the decision. Click here to read more information in challenging Tier 4 student visa decisions.  

Work allowed under the Tier 4 student visas

Tier 4 Students having leave to remain for more than 6 months are allowed to work part time (20 Hours a week) during the duration of their course. They can also work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless the student`s placement is part of the studies, has been agreed with your education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognised examining body.

Activities allowed under the Tier 4 student visa

Tier 4 Students are not normally allowed to engage themselves in Business or self-employment without seeking permission from the Home Office. They cannot legally become a partner / sole proprietor / Director in a business. They are also not allowed to work as a Professional entertainer / sportsperson or to take a full time permanent employment without seeking permission from the Home Office.

Change of courses or institutions

A Tier 4 student can always change the course or educational institution for which they have been issued the visa, without seeking prior permission from the Home Office.

Extending your leave to remain as a Tier 4 student

Students can always apply for an extension of visa while remaining within the UK; they need to show any progress of studies undertaken till that time and evidence of availability of finances to support their studies. The maximum period of time that a student can stay in the UK on short courses one after the other, below degree level, is two years.

A person seeking to take a short term course would be given max. six months visa and he would be requried to leave the UK at the end of that visa. If he wishes to seek part-time employment or extend their stay in the UK will require prior entry clearance as a student. Any period as a student visitor will be counted as a period spent as a visitor.

Bringing partners and children as dependants under the Tier 4 student visa

Students can always invite their spouse / children to join them as their dependants during the time of their course provided they could support their families without recourse to public funds and their leave to remain is for more than 6 months. The spouse will be allowed to work if the student is given leave to enter / remain in the UK for 12 months or more.

Switching rules for the Tier 4 student visas

Since 01st of October 2004, there have been some major changes in the switching rules. Now students need to obtain a degree from a recognized University to switch into most of the immigration categories while remaining within the UK, however there are some categories where a student can switch into without completing his degree in the UK.

Switching into the Tier 4 student visas

You can switch in to the adult student category if you have, or were last given, permission to stay in the following categories:

  • skilled worker (Tier 2 General);

  • intra-company transfer (Tier 2);

  • minister of religion (Tier 2);

  • child student (Tier 4);

  • prospective student;

  • student;

  • student re-sitting an examination;

  • student nurses; 

  • students writing up a thesis;

  • student Union sabbatical officer;

  • work permit holder;

  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist;

  • participant in the SEGS;

  • participant in the IGS;

  • participant in the FT: WISS;

 

Switching into another UK visa category

As a Tier 4 student visa holder you can switch in to another UK visa category however you will need to review specifically surrounding the requirements. Please speak to one of our advisors today on 0207 237 3388 or complete our visa assessment form, by clicking here. 100% assurance on the advice provided by our UK Immigration Lawyers. Get your Tier 4 student visa extended today. 

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