How to apply for a UK Student Visa

UK student visas for Indian students are Tier 4 (general) visas that can be applied for online or at a visa application center near you. Find out the process of application, including how to fill the application form, the interview process and other information.

International students over the age of 16, who want to apply for a student visa to the UK can obtain a General (Tier 4) visa. The procedure for applying for a UK visa is as follows.


In order to be granted a Tier 4 Student Visa, you have to meet the following criteria -
  • You should have been offered a seat in a UK university for a course
  • You should be able to understand, speak, read and write English, which usually means passing a SELT (secure English language test) or having studied in the UK in the past as a Tier 4 student
  • You should be able to support your travel expenses, tuition, accommodation and other expenses in the UK

The course that you apply for has to be –
  • A full-time course that leads to at least a level 6 qualification on the NQF, or
  • A full-time course with at least 15 hours a week of study leading to at least a level 3 NQF, or
  • An overseas degree level course that is equivalent to a UK higher education course, or
  • A recognized foundation program as a postgraduate dentist or doctor
For more information on NQF (National Qualifications Framework) visit this website.

In general, before applying for a student visa, you should make sure that you have at least 40 points in your assessment. A valid Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) from an approved educational institution (a Tier 4 sponsor) along with a B2 level in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) for post graduate or doctoral studies typically wins the student 30 points. As long as the student is able to show enough funds for supporting their next period of study and living expenses of up to nine months, they win another 10 points.

Medical tests and biometric exams

Students who are planning to stay in the UK for six months or more should take a TB test (chest X-ray and sputum samples) before they apply for the student visa. Failing to take the test means the student will not be cleared for travel until they are proven to be free of TB. The Embassy has approved hospitals and clinics from where the student must get their medical certificate.

In addition, the student will also have to provide their biometric information before the Embassy will process the visa application. To record biometric information, the student should book an appointment at a visa centre near them. There are no extra fees involved in the process.

Application fee payments

The cost of applying for a UK Student visa is currently £322 (which is approximately INR 31637 as of July, 2015). The visa application process involves filling up a form either online or at a visa centre near you. You will also need to take all your original documents, including photocopies of identity and residential proof, work proof, educational proof and a TB test report. After the form has been filled and submitted, the student will be given an appointment date for interview at the application centre. The appointment can only be booked online after the form has been filled. The only exception is in cases of prime time, fast track or premium lounge applications.

The online form can be filled at Visa4UK. After the form has been filled and submitted, an email confirmation along with a GWF reference number will be allotted to you. Print out the application form and sign it on receiving the notification. The visa fees can be paid in cash at the visa application centre, or via Standard Charted Bank (no service charge) or at a national or foreign bank (with service charges) via Demand Draft in favour of The British High Commission.

Interview process

The staff at the visa application centre will pick visa awardees based on the applications submitted. Some applicants may be called for a telephonic or face-to-face interview. If you are called for an interview, you will be informed online. In general, a visa can be applied for 3 months in advance, and 3 weeks is the maximum time in which 90 percent of non-settlement applications are processed.

Collecting Your Visa

You can collect your original documents submitted along with your visa in person from the VFS Global office where the Embassy sends documents collected, you should request return delivery by courier at the time of application online.

In cases of refusal of visa, the Embassy sends a notice to the applicant, listing the reasons and explaining your rights of appeal. If refusal was under the points-based system, the applicant can apply for administrative review rather than having full right of appeal. Note that it is important to provide truthful and accurate information in support of your application. If you use deception, you will not be allowed to enter the UK and refused a visa for 10 years.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

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Guest Author: Sarvesh20 Jul 2015

The author has given a good brief outline of student visa procedure of UK. Aspiring students may get preliminary information about the steps involved in visa procedure from the article. The account is likely to be useful and informative in nature.

Guest Author: R Anil kumar20 Jul 2015

Most Indian students aspiring to go to the UK for higher studies are often ill-informed about the procedures involved for obtaining student visa for the UK. There are standard steps involved for all students to follow, irrespective of the university/course they wish to pursue in the UK. All requisite information is provided here.

Guest Author: R Anil kumar20 Jul 2015

There are a plethora of scholarships, grants, fellowships and other financial aid that Indian students wanting to study abroad can avail of. This article provides information on the most popular scholarship options that are available. Compiling a source covering all fellowships, scholarships, grants and funding options for Indian students would require a booklet. This article is a good starting point for students from India to gather information on funding higher studies abroad.

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