International students from outside the UK or EU must apply for a student visa. You can only apply for a student visa if you intend to study a full-time degree course in the UK. Student visas are not issued for part-time courses. Your eligibility is calculated using a points-based rules system called a Tier 4 Student Visa.
Student Visa Rules – An Introduction
You need 40 points to apply for a student visa. This is achieved by:
1. Course confirmation: you must receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a university approved by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).
All universities must have been given or applied for Highly Trusted Status (HTS) on the UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor list (30 points). 'A rated' colleges can also issue CAS numbers. The 'A' rating is a transitional rating for 12 months and all 'A rated' colleges must apply for HTS status within this 12 month transition period. All universities on the Study London website have Highly Trusted Status (HTS).
2. Funding: you must provide evidence of funding to pay for both your course tuition fees and your monthly living costs (10 points).
Tuition fees are on average £12,000 per year but can range from £8,000 to £36,000. You will also need at least £1,020 for each month of your studies to pay for living costs if you live in inner London. If you live in outer London you will need £820 a month.
Remember, you can only apply for a visa once you have been given a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. Check you are eligible for a UK Student Visa but do not apply until after you have been accepted onto a course. Your chosen university can guide you through the visa process once you have been accepted onto a course.
We have answered the most frequently asked questions on the Tier 4 student visa on our blog post 'The Tier 4 UK Student Visa explained'.
Tip - It is very important that you do not travel to the UK without a valid student visa. Watch the video below, visit the UK Visa and Immigration website and contact the British Embassy or Consulate in your country for advice.