UK Student Visa
The UK Student visa scheme, formerly Tier 4 visa, allows entry of overseas nationals to the UK as students, usually at a school, college, or university. In order to apply for a student visa you will need to have a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) at a UK educational institution that holds a valid student sponsor license.
Student visa holders must be able to show that they meet the cost of the course, maintenance and accommodation without working (even though in practice many can work). Unfortunately, loans available from Student Finance to cover tuition fees for students at UK universities, are usually restricted to those who already have residence in the UK, and for courses starting before 1 January 2028 British citizens living in the EU.
Many student visa holders may work for up to 20 hours per week while they study. However, changes to UK immigration law from 2015 mean that student visa holders at publicly funded further education colleges may no longer work.
Student Visa Schemes
Student visa For students aged 18 or over who have been offered a place on a course at a UK educational institution. Courses of study covered by this visa include degree level courses, and level 3 courses such as A levels. While studying, some students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during the holidays. Changes to UK immigration rules in 2015 mean that students at further education colleges on this type of visa may no longer work while they study.
Child Student visa For students under the age of 18 who have been offered a place on a course at a UK educational institution with a valid student sponsor licence. Student sponsors are usually independent fee-paying schools. Students 16 years or age or over may work for up to 10 hours per week during term time and full time during holidays. Changes to UK immigration rules in 2015 mean that students at further education colleges on this type of visa may no longer work while they study.
Short-term Study visa For students offered a place on a short-term course in the UK, such as an English language course or training course. Overseas university students may also do a short period of research in the UK. This visa usually lasts for 6 months, or 11 months for migrants aged 18+ who are studying an English language course.
We do not currently have a guide for the Short-term Study Visa, but if you would like our help in applying for one please contact us on us on 0344 991 9222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Visa Family Members
Some students may wish to bring family members with them. Family members of Student visa holders can apply to come to the UK, or apply to remain if already in the UK. Family members covered include married, civil, and unmarried partners; and children under the age of 18. In order to bring family members to the UK students must meet at least 1 the following conditions:
- Studying towards an RQF level 7 (UK Master's degree) or higher qualification in the UK for at least 9 months, OR;
- Sponsored by the UK government course lasting lasting longer than 6 months, OR;
- Studying on a Doctorate Extension Scheme
Parents of children on the Child Student visa holder may also apply under the Parent of a Child visa. Please see our UK Family visas page for more details.
Further information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com’s team of specialists has over 30 years of experience in visa services, helping thousands of people to study and work in the UK and other countries. We work with OISC registered advisers to help with UK visa applications.