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Here’s a piece of good news for all those foreign students who aspire to study in UK!
UK Government provides an opportunity to study in the country and get qualified from the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities here. But, the aspirants have to obtain Student visa first. We have come up with a complete guide that can help you find out what’s, why’s and how’s associated in the process of obtaining student Visa in UK.
Department of UK Visas and Immigration is entrusted with the responsibility of managing the visa requirement and all the other general immigration criteria. Students can log on to its official website and find out whether they need UK Visa. Swiss students and those from European Union or EEA states do not require Visa to study in the country but all the other International students need it.
There are different types of UK student Visa. If you are taking up a short-term course and are more than 18 years, you can obtain “Short-term study visa” This visa is valid up to 6 months for the short courses and can be extended to 11 months or to one year roughly. The students who come here to take English language courses go-in for this visa.
Those who come here for studying a course of longer-duration can apply for Tier 4 (Child) student visa (if they are aged between 4-17 years and want to study independently in UK) or for Tier 4 (General) student visa if they are more than 17 years. Students need to check out whether the institution they have chosen to study has Tier 4 Sponsor License or not.
Once a seat in any college or institution is secured, the course provider may help in applying for UK student Visa. This can be asked as a query. The only thing to be ensured here is to apply it well in advance (at least three months in advance from the date of the course). Visa processing time for different countries varies and hence an ample amount of time should be in hand.
Proof of the financial adequacy can be bank statements or an approval letter from the financial sponsor showing that the tuition-fee, accommodation and living costs can be covered. A proof of 1,015 Pounds sterling per month as living costs is to be given if a student chooses to study outside London and 1,265 Pounds sterling if he/she is studying in London.
As a part of application process, BRP or Biometric Residence Permit is to be obtained from UKVI (UK Visa and Immigration). Finger and thumbs are scanned and a digital photo of face is taken.
There are a number of steps to apply for VISA. UK student visa applications get processed in just three weeks once you have completed application and all the formalities.
Candidates should be able to show that you have a confirmed seat at the college or any other institution you have applied for. It is CAS or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. They should also have enough money to cover the course fee, accommodation and other living costs in UK. Once they know that they are eligible they should be prepared with documents.
The process of student Visa needs a lot of documents in comparison to tourists Visa. A checklist of the requisite documents is given above. All the necessary documents supporting academic and financial records should be produced.
An account on the official UK Visa Website is to be created. Once the application form is completed it is to be printed and signed at all the right places. An online appointment calendar can be used to book an appointment with the Visa application Center. An application number would be sent via email.
There are four ways to pay fee for the visa application:
1)-Payment at the Standard Chartered Bank:
Fee can be paid in a few selected branches of the bank. Once it is paid, the bank would issue a demand draft in the favor of “The British High Commission.”
2)-Demand Draft from a Foreign or Nationalized Bank:
Any foreign or nationalized bank can issue a demand draft in the favor of “The British High Commission.” Bank charges for this particular service vary.
3)-Payment at Visa Application Center:
Fee can also be paid right at the Visa Application Center when Visa application is submitted.
Fee can also be paid online using MasterCard, Debit or Credit Card.
An application center needs to be visited on the appointed date. Where application is submitted and biometrics is done.
Fee for the Tier IV General Visa is about 348 pounds sterling and it can be paid either through cash at the application center or through a demand draft made from a foreign bank or a Standard Chartered Bank.
On entering UK, a UK Border Agency officer puts a stamp on the passport stating the duration of stay in the country. For instance, if course duration is 12 months or more than students can stay for a year and an additional 4 months if the course exceeds beyond this time.
Immunisation record should also be kept handy as it can be asked for at the UK port of entry. All the documents including the proof of finances, Confirmation of Acceptance should be kept ready. Depending on where you have come from, you may also be needed to register with the police in seven days of the arrival in the country.
For EEA, Swiss and EU students working while studying is permitted in the country. Students studying in the publicly funded higher seats of education that are Tier 4 Sponsor licensed can work as many as 20 hours a day and they can work for full time during their Christmas and Easter Breaks. But, they need to be at least 16-17 year old.
Yes! But, this holds good only for Tier 4 dependant students. All the Government-sponsored students and their courses that run more than 6 months or pursuing post graduate course of one year or more can bring their family along. However, family is not allowed for non-Tier 4 dependants. All those who come to UK for developing English proficiency and pursue any other course that is below the degree level, cannot bring their families.
Can Premium Visa Services be availed?
A normal UK Student visa takes 6 weeks to get processed at least. Students can opt for premium visa services that are done or a priority or a super priority basis and hence the Visa processing time gets shortened. If premium visa is applied for then the UK Visas and Immigration Department makes a decision to process that Visa at the earliest and the applied students get notified by the department to collect their visas in 5 working days after all the formalities are done and biometrics is completed.
If it is a case of super priority Visa Application then the task is complete in just 24 hours. The cost of the premium service and the application fee is not refundable.
A Word of Caution:
UK is one of the most sought-after and an outstanding study destination. But, those aspiring to pursue a course from UK should pay an additional heed to the Visa application process and should make sure that they fulfill all the eligibilities for the same to avoid unnecessary rejections.
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