8 Easy Steps to Obtaining a Student Visa

The UK is an exciting place to study with a wide range of cultural diversity and creative energy. UK Schools, Colleges and Universities are among the best in the world.

Whether you are in the UK or outside, the process for obtaining your visa are the same, except in the matter of its submission. The following are steps that can help you obtain your student visa more easily:

1. One must remember that the UK Immigration has introduced changes in the Tier 4 Student Visa system and as such it would be useful to follow all the steps outlined to ensure its approval.

2. To get the process started, you need to choose a course you want to study in the UK. It would be best to first check whether this is at an acceptable educational level. Note that there is a slight difference as to what is an acceptable level for Immigration purposes that a Highly Trusted and Rated A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor) can offer. In general though, the course must have 15 hours organized study, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Friday; or the course leads to a Level 6 or higher qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF); or an overseas course of degree level study that is recognized as being equivalent to a UK higher Education course and being provided by an Overseas Higher Education Institution.

3. After having chosen your course, you need to ensure that your education provider is an accredited Tier 4 sponsor. Publicly funded schools and universities are among the educational sponsors. The UK Border Agency regularly updates its Register of Tier 4 Sponsors.

4. Once you have decided on the course you want to study and chosen your educational provider, you now need to determine and work out how much money you would need to cover the cost of your course fees (first year only or for the entire course if it is less than 1 year) and living costs while pursuing your UK study. For living costs, you must show £ 7200 if you will be studying in inner London or £ 5400 if you will be studying in outer London. However, if you were last granted a Tier 4 / Student visa and you wish to apply in the UK or overseas, you may only show £ 1600 (inner London) or £ 1200 (outer London) if you have completed a single course of at least 6 months during your last grant of leave or currently studying a single course, of which you have completed at least 6 months or you are currently studying and has completed a single course of at least 6 months during your current permission to stay. To qualify for this reduced living cost, you must also be currently following a course of study or your last grant of leave finished no more than four months before your Tier 4 application was made. To be granted a student visa, you need to be able to submit proof of your financial capacity.

5. When you are accepted by a registered educational institution, get your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from them and gather all the documents you submitted to get your CAS. This will give you 30 points out of the 40 required to qualify for a Tier 4 Student Visa.

6. The other 10 points will be based on the evidence of financial capacity, such as your bank statements or your parents or legal guardian.

7. After gathering the required documents, you are ready to complete the application form. The completed forms, supporting evidence and visa application should be submitted to the visa issuing post in your country. When in the UK, you may submit the documents through the post or personally.

8. You must also make arrangements to enroll your biometrics, which include the photograph and fingerprints. Outside of the UK, this is usually done at the visa issuing post where you submitted your application. In the UK, it is done at any of the enrollment centers or a public inquiry office.

Applications for a Tier 4 Student Visa are usually lodged 3 months prior to the commencement of the studies.