Complete information about UK immigration Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

UK Tier 4 Student Visa - An introduction 


The UK Student Visa - Tier 4 is designed for those who want to get an education in the UK by studying on the course (more than 6 months) at an educational institution licensed by Home Office.

There are two types of student visas to the UK according to Tier 4 PBS (PBS = Point Based System):

Student visa TIER 4 General Student is issued to persons over 16 years of age;
Student visa TIER 4 Child Student - for children aged 4 to 16 years who want to study at a private school in the UK.

Students aged 16 to 18 must agree with the chosen institution of the type of visa to which they must apply: Tier 4 (Child) or Tier 4 (General). It depends on the level of the course.

Students over 18 years are allowed to spend in the UK for no more than two years, if the level of the training program is below the bachelor's level.

 Eligibility (Tier 4 General Student Visa Requirements) 

General Student visa is issued to foreign applicants for a student visa older than 16 years. To obtain such a visa, you need to score 40 points on PBS in the following positions:

  • Confirmation of enrollment for the course - 30 points;

  • Availability of sufficient funds - 10 points.

Apart from these two points-based requirements, there is a third important visa requirement i.e. the student MUST be able to demonstrate his English proficiency level, according to his enrolled course. 

We draw your attention that at initial applications and when extending student visas, interviews are conducted. If the results of the interview are unsatisfactory (for example, if the student does not speak English well), the visa may be refused even if the required number of points is scored.

Click here to get the official guidance on point based system from the British government. 

Confirmation of admission to the course and availability of a sponsor - an educational institution in the UK

Before the student gets the right to come to the UK on Tier 4, he must find an immigration sponsor - an educational institution in the UK. The sponsor issues an official confirmation to the prospective student about admission to the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies course (CAS). Sponsorship plays an important role in the application process, namely:

  • it is a guarantee that the school is confident in the future student, his ability to master the chosen course; and

  • The sponsor, therefore, assumes responsibility for the student for the duration of his studies in the UK.

A candidate can not apply for a student visa without having a CAS. 

At the same time, the availability of CAS is not a guarantee of obtaining a visa. This is only confirmation of the intention of the sponsor to provide the student with a place on the course. By issuing CAS, the sponsor also confirms that, to the best of his knowledge, the student meets his immigration level. 

In order to accept foreign students for study, the institution must have an appropriate license issued by Home Office (read more about licensing of educational institutions here ). A student enrolled for a course at an educational institution that does not have a Home Office license will automatically be denied a visa or a visa extension. 

Availability of sufficient financial resources 

The applicant for a student visa to the UK Tier 4 General Student must prove that he has sufficient means to support himself and dependent family members (Dependents - family members: husband / wife / children) if they come with him to the UK, because neither he, or dependent members of his family are not eligible for state benefits. 

The minimum amount depends on where the student will study: in London or in another city in the UK. For London, the minimum amount necessary to cover the cost of housing and other necessary things is £ 1265, but not more than 9 months; for other cities in the UK - £ 1015 per month, but no more than 9 months. This applies to the applicants for Tier 4 (Child).

Since November 12, 2015, there are no more reduced financial requirements for those students who will demonstrate "Established Presence". All students, regardless of whether they are applying for a student visa for the first time or extending an existing one, should show the availability of funds, as indicated above. The exception is those who file for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. They can still show the availability of funds for 2 months.

If, before applying for a student visa, you have already paid a certain amount for tuition and housing, this amount can be deducted from the compulsory. The amount paid for the tuition is deducted in full. As for the amount of accommodation, it is deducted no more than £ 1265, even if the accommodation is paid for the entire course of study.In this case, an indispensable condition for offsetting the advance payment of housing is that it should be provided by the educational institution.

The exception is for applicants in the Tier 4 category (Child) who are enrolled in a private boarding school.

The money must be on the applicant's account or his parents for at least 28 days, and this deadline must end no earlier than 31 days before the date of filing the application. 

If the candidate is going to bring along dependent members of his family, he (as in the first and second cases) will have to show that he has an additional £ 845 (£ 680 if not in London) per month for each dependent member of the family , but also for a period of not more than 9 months.   Applicants for the Doctorate Extension Scheme must demonstrate for dependents.

English Language Requirement 

Permission for training will be issued only by the school to those students who will provide official confirmation of their level of education.

For general education courses, the requirement for a minimum level of education corresponds to Level 3 of the National Qualification Scheme (NQF).

If the intended course of study is below the level leading to a bachelor's or master's or Foundation level, and also below the NQF / QFC Level 6, the student must demonstrate an English proficiency level of at least B1 in the Common European Framework of Evaluation CEFR.

For undergraduate or graduate programs, as well as Foundation, or for courses at the level of NQF / QFC Level 6 and above, the student must demonstrate an English level of at least B2.

Those who are going to come to study English in language schools should be enrolled on a course leading to a level no lower than B2.

The level of English future students of higher education institutions (HEI) can be assessed directly by the institutions themselves. At the same time HEI officially confirms that the student has sufficient knowledge of the language, and he does not need to pass a special test.

You can demonstrate your English proficiency level by taking a recognized English language test

 Applying for the Visa 

Follow the following steps to apply for this visa:

 1.   Prepare your documents

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  1. Acceptance letter of the college, containing your CAS number.

  2. Original Passport

  3. Original I.D. card

  4. 2 Passport size photos (with white background with size 45mm X 35mm).

  5. All previous education certificates, diplomas, degrees (original – you may need to get them certified by the issuing authority) etc.

  6. Filled online visa application forms (in case your country does not support online visa applications then you have to complete and submit form VAF9 and self assessment form Appendix 8). 

  7. TB scanning report* 

  8. Bank statement/statements of the student (the funds should be there for at least past 28 days– but not more than 60 days) .

  9. A Bank letter from the above-referred bank account.

  10. If this is a joint account, then an affidavit from the joint-account holder.

  11. If this is a bank statement of the parent, then an affidavit from your parent and your birth certificate.

  12. Copy of the bank draft of the payment of the one-year tuition fee of the college / university OR a receipt of it from the college or Uni.

  13. Proof of English proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL, exception documents etc.) 

  14. Three sets of photocopies of ALL the documents being sent with the visa application, including filled visa application form and all the pages of Passport. The copies MUST be on pure white 100gm A4 size paper (powdered copies). If your copies don’t meet this standard, your visa application will not be accepted.

  15. If you are married, you need the copy of your wedding certificate and its attested English translation. If you also have kids, then you need either family registration form or the copies of their birth certificates with English translation.


NOTE: You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
If you are applying as a team, both applicants will need above documents (though the proof of the investment funds will remain the same for the both).

*You will need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of the listed countries.

You will be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If your test shows that you don’t have TB, you will be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months from the date of your x-ray. You will need to add this certificate to your UK visa application.

 2.   Apply online for  Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

You will have to apply online for this visa. For this you will have to get yourself registered to apply for the visa. In case you are already registered (you have applied previously), then you need to simply login. In both cases, as the next step, you have to apply online. Click here to go to their official website to apply for the UK visa.

 3.   Pay the Healthcare Surcharge

You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

In case you are making an immigration application online, then you pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the application process. You must complete the payment and return to the online immigration application in less than 30 minutes. However if you are making an immigration application at a premium service centre, you pay the surcharge when you book an appointment.You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge by debit or credit card only.

Click here to check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

 4.   Pay the Visa Fee

The visa fee for the main applicant (if you are applying online or by post) is £348/- and £348/- for each dependents.  All visa fees are nonrefundable in case your visa application has been processed. You will have to pay the visa fees by debit or credit card only. You pay this visa fee as the part of your online visa application process. So keep your credit card (open to make online transaction) ready before you apply for the visa.

Click here to check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

 5.   Go for Biometric​ for the Rest of the Visa Process

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your application. For this you will need to book an appointment as part of the  online visa application process. You can choose to have an appointment for biometrics at a visa centre close to you, out of the given choices. You need to present a hard copy of the visa application (submitted online) along with all supporting documents, when you go for biometrics. 

Please keep in mind you can book an appointment for biometrics at a visa centre ONLY after you have paid visa fee in your online visa application. ​

 7.   After you apply

Wait for a reply from the British High Commission / British Embassy. You can be notified both by e-mail and the phone.  In most of the cases, you are called for a visa interview to the nearest British High Commission / British Embassy. In this interview, you can be asked detail questions regarding your previous work and immigration history (if any) and also about your proposed business plan. 

 Visa Details 

Here is what you can and cannot do on this visa:​

  • You can travel in and outside the country.

  • You can bring your dependents to live with you in the UK.

  • You can extend your visa after one year.

  • You can switch to this visa from another visa category. 

  • You cannot use public funds.

  • You cannot work ful times

  • You cannot settle in the UK on this visa (unless you switch to another category)

  • If you are enrolled in a university, you can work part time upto 20hrs/week and in long holidays (like summer vacations) upto 20hrs/week. 

How long the visa processing takes

Depending upon how well-prepared your application was and from which country you are applying, the visa processing can take from 4 to 6 weeks.

How long the visa lasts

Tier 4 visa is issued for the duration of your enrolled course.

 Visa Tips 

  1. Make sure that your selected education institution is recognized and in the UK registered education institutions.

  2.  Before you apply, make sure that you meet the required points in the point scores system.

  3. Make sure that your that you meet the English proficiency criteria apply for the visa.  

  4. Always get an assessment of your case for a certain visa class even before making any decision.  

  5. Try to use the services of a professional immigration consultant before applying for any step of the visa process. This is because if you make a big mistake in your application, no one can help you after you have lodged this application.