A group of young adult students working in the UK

An Overview of UK Student Visas

Published 12 April 2024

Updated Feb 2024

How much does a UK Student Visa cost?

If you’re applying from outside the UK, a Student Visa costs £490.

How long is a Student Visa valid for?

Your Student Visa will be valid for the length of your course.

  • If you’re studying for less than six months, you can arrive up to seven days before starting, and can stay for up to seven days after your course finish date.
  • If you’re studying for six to twelve months, you can arrive up to a month before your start date, and can stay up to two months after your course finish date.

Is the UK Student Visa a multiple entry Visa?

Yes – when you have your Student Visa, you’ll be able to travel freely in UK and to your home country.

Where can I travel with a Student Visa?

You are able to travel to your home country and back. However, should you wish to travel to any other country you will be required to apply for a Tourist Visa.

Travelling within the UK on your Student Visa

If you’re travelling within the UK common travel area (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), you’ll need to have your Visa with you.

Travelling in and out of the UK on your Student Visa

You’ll be able to travel freely in and out of the UK from the time your Visa is issued until your course ends.

Each time you re-enter the UK, you’ll need to confirm you’re still a student – an easy way to do this is to travel with an enrolment letter that features your dates of study.

What are the requirements for Student Visa applications?

You can apply for a Student Visa if you’ve been accepted into one of the below courses:

  • A full-time, below-degree-level course (more than 15 hours per week of study).
    • Also known as the RQF levels 3, 4, or 5, this includes A levels, apprenticeships or the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree.
  • A full-time course leading to a degree level or above degree-level qualification.
    • This includes RQF levels 6, 7, and 8 (Bachelor, Postgraduate, Masters, or Doctorate).
  • A part-time course at a degree level above RQF 7 (Postgraduate, Masters, or Doctorate).
  • An approved program for postgraduate doctors or dentists.
  • An English language course (level B2 or above) in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

How to apply for a Student Visa in the UK

Step 1 – Apply to your course and receive an unconditional offer.

Step 2 – Accept this offer, then receive your Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).

Step 3 – Begin the application process via the UK Government website. This can be done as early as six months before your course starts.

Step 4 – As part of your Visa application, you’ll then need to apply for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) – this is currently £776 per year for students.

Can I bring dependants with me on my Student Visa?

As of January 2024, individuals on the Student Visa route in the UK aren’t able to bring dependants with them unless on a particular course that meets certain criteria.

If you’re looking to study a course at a higher education level in the UK, the Student Visa route may be the best decision for you.

To find out more or for guidance on your application, speak to our team.

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