A Beginner’s Guide to Getting a Student Visa for the UK


Before you can start packing your bags to go to school in the UK, you have to make sure you have the proper paperwork ready. While this may seem like a daunting task, a little organisation and preparation go a long way. To help you out, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief guide on this subject.  The following guide is meant to give you a complete idea of what you need to do to make your UK visa application process as easy and less stressful as possible. For more information on this, read on for our beginner’s guide to securing a student visa for the UK.

Determine Whether You Need a Visa

The first thing you need to do is to determine whether you need a visa or not. Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, many international students have been left with questions about their courses, especially those who need a visa to study in the UK. Here’s a brief breakdown of who needs a visa to study in the UK:

  • EU/EEA and Swiss students
  • If you arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020, you don’t need a visa.
  • If you arrive in the UK on or after 1 January 2021, you might need a visa.
  • If you start studying before 31 December 2020 and want to continue studying after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a settlement scheme before 30 June 2021.
  • Citizens from Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein might benefit from the same rules, but they should always check what visa regulations apply to them.

Find Out What Type of Visa You Need

Students may apply for a Short-Term Study Visa if they plan to study for only a short period of time (available for 6 to 11 months). A Tier 4 (General) Student Visa allows students to study for an academic degree, such as a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD. A Tier 4 (General) Student Visa will usually be valid for the duration of a student’s education program.

Apply for a Student Visa

You can study in the United Kingdom with a student visa in one of two ways: either by visiting your local United Kingdom embassy or by going online to their official website. Depending on your nationality, you might need to apply in person at a visa application centre and get a biometric residence permit as part of your application.

Here are the required documents for a UK student visa:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Passport or valid travel documentation
  • One passport-sized photograph
  • Proof that you can support yourself during your stay in the UK: 1,265 GBP/month if you live in London and 1,015 GBP/month for the rest of the UK
  • Parental consent, if you’re under 18 years old
  • Tuberculosis test results (for citizens of certain countries)
  • Proof of paying the visa application fee: 348 GBP
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: 150 GBP per year of study
  • Self-assessment form Appendix 8 with attached documents. 
  • Other requirements specific to your country of origin


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you navigate the process of getting a student visa in the UK. While it may seem tedious, it’s not something that you won’t be able to accomplish as long as you know what you’re doing. Be sure to keep everything we’ve discussed here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions that will make the process as smooth as possible.

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