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The Student Routes are for both European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA nationals who want to come study in the UK after 1 January 2021. There is also a Graduate Route for international graduates from UK institutions, which allows them to work flexibly and look for work in the UK after graduation.
Short Term Studying
You can apply for a Short-term study visa to study English language in the UK. This visa is for English language courses lasting longer than 6 months and up to 11 months.
How long can I stay in the UK on a short-term study visa?
You can stay in the UK for the length of your course plus an extra 30 days as long as your stay is no longer than 11 months.
What am I allowed to do on a short-term study visa?
- do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course
- do a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad
- study at a state-funded school
- study on any other course or change your course while in the UK
- work or carry out any business (this includes work experience or work placements, unless the placement is an eligible medical, veterinary or dentistry elective)
- extend this visa
- bring family members (‘dependants’) with you - they must apply separately
- get public funds
How long does it take to receive a short-term student visa?
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
Is there a fee?
Yes. It costs £186 for an 11 month visa. You will also have to pay the immigration health surcharge.
Long Term Studying
You can apply for a Student Visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:
- have been offered an unconditional place on a course by a licensed student sponsor (list available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-students)
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
All non-British citizens, except of Irish citizens, will have to apply for a Student visa.
If you are a child, you may be eligible for a different student visa under appendix CS. This is a different application with different requirements. Here, we are concerned with a general Student visa.
Do I need a Student visa as an EU/EEA national?
If you moved to the UK before 31 December 2020, you can apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS, you will not have to apply for a student visa. However, if you came to the UK on 1 January 2021 or thereafter, the Student Visa rules apply to you exactly like they do to non-EU nationals.
Which courses can I take on a Student visa?
You can do a course that’s one of the following:
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that's below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours a week of organised daytime study
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that's degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8)
- a full-time course at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8) that's 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's above degree level (RQF level 7 or above)
- a recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists
- an English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
You can also apply for this visa if you’re taking up a full-time elected position as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, or 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
How long does it take to hear back after I have applied for my Student visa?
You will normally get a response to your application within 3 weeks.
Is there a fee?
It costs £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK. You will also have to pay the immigration health surcharge. If you want to bring dependants with you, you must pay £348 per person.
Can I stay in the UK after my studies?
The Graduate Route (insert link) allows for international students who are studying at bachelors-level or higher to stay in the UK for 3 years after their graduation.
Can I switch into other visa categories whilst on the Student route?
Yes, it is possible to switch between routes within the Points Based Immigration system. Students can apply for further permission to stay from within the UK, provided they meet the Academic Progression requirement and the new course of study commences within 28 days of the expiry of the current leave.
Can I bring my Family Members or dependants with me on a Student Visa?
Yes. Your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)or Switzerland.
Who qualifies as a dependent family member?
A dependant is either:
- your husband, wife or civil partner
- your unmarried partner
- your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay
You can apply to bring a dependant to the UK if you are:
- sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 9 months or more
- a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
- a Doctorate Extension Scheme student
You must show that your dependants can be financially supported while they’re in the UK. Each dependant must have a certain amount of money available to them - this is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself. The amount of money you need depends on the length of your course, where you’re studying in the UK, and whether you’ve finished a UK course or are currently studying
Is there a fee?
Yes. If you want to bring dependants with you, you must pay £348 per dependant. They will also have to pay the immigration health surcharge. Your partner and child must also each have a certain amount of money available to them. This is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself. How much money they need depends on where you will be studying. They must have either: £845 a month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London, or £680 a month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London.
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