According to initial data from the Department of Home Affairs, around 44,000 students from India applied for a UK student visa in the last six months of 2022. In 2022, the UK granted the highest number of student visas to Indian applicants, with 25% of the total 280,000 student visas issued going to Indian students. The number of Indian student visas increased by 73% compared to 2021.
Recently, India and the UK introduced the ‘Young Professional Scheme (YPS),’ which allows eligible individuals aged between 18 and 30 years to apply for a UK Work Visa for up to two years. This scheme aims to assist young professionals in obtaining work opportunities in the UK.
Students, who wish to study in the UK for more than 6 months, need to know about the following 3 UK Study Visas or UK visa types:
- Short-term Study Visa: Short-term UK Study Visa is for those who want to study an English language course for up to 11 months
- Student Visa: This visa category is for students coming to the UK for higher education. It was formerly termed as a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, popularly called a Tier 4 Student Visa
- Child Student Visa: This visa is for children who are between 4 and 17 years and wish to study at an independent school in the UK. It was formerly termed a Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa
UK Student Visa Eligibility
- A student must have received an offer of a full-time academic course from a licensed student sponsor
- A student must have sufficient financial resources to support himself/ herself during the duration of the course
- A student must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English
- If a student is aged 16 or 17, he/ she needs consent from his/ her parents
UK Student Visa Cost
The fee for the UK Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 (General) Student Visa) is £363 (Approx. Rs 37,082) if the students are applying from outside the UK. In addition, you have to pay a healthcare surcharge, which depends on the duration of your stay. The methods of payment are stated below.
- Online using either a MasterCard or Visa card.
- Through demand draft at the visa applicaticentreter and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
- Through Cash at the visa applicaticentreter and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
Students must note that if they wish to switch to a UK Student Visa from inside the UK, they will have to pay a fee of £490 (INR 50,056).
UK Student Visa: Documents Required
UK Student Visa Requirements: Applying for a student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents in comparison to a tourist visa, by comparison. Aspirants need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer to the UK Student Visa checklist before going to the consulate for the visa interview.
You should have the following documents before applying:
- A completed student visa application form
- If you’re below 18 years of age, you need to get proof of your parent’s or guardian’s consent
- A letter of acceptance on the course – Your approved education provider will give you an acceptance letter (CAS or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) and a visa letter that are official and unconditional offers of a place on a course of study. The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. Students need to apply for their UK study visa within 6 months of receiving their CAS.
- Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.
- Proof of funds – The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of 9 months (1 academic year). The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and whether you will be studying in or out of London. You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28-day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.
- You must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs (not including fees) for a period of up to nine months i.e. £12,006 for nine months ( £1,334 per month) if you are living in London and £9,207 for nine months (£1,023 per month) if you are living outside London.
- However, if a student has been in the UK, with a valid visa, for at least 12 months, he/ she does not have to show proof of funds for visa application
- The visa fees payment confirmation receipt
- ATAS certificate if your nationality and course need it
- Original mark sheets/provisional certificates
- Scoresheet of exams like TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS, etc.
Types of Courses valid under UK Student Visa
- A full-time course would help to obtain a qualification that is below degree level and organized daytime study of a minimum of 15 hours a week
- A full-time course would help to obtain a qualification that is degree level or above
- A full-time course that would help to obtain a qualification which is degree level or above which shares the same platform as that of a UK higher education program
- A part-time program would help to obtain a qualification that is above degree level
- A known foundation course for PG doctors or dentists
- An English language program at B2 level or above in the Common European Framework of Reference Languages
UK Student Visa Process: How to Apply
There are several steps to apply for a UK Student Visa. UK Study Visa applications are processed within three weeks of the completed application being lodged.
Step 1 – The first step is to check if you qualify for the student visa or not. You need to show that you have:
- A confirmed place at the school, university, or college where you intend to study. It is called a ‘confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).
- Enough money (also known as ‘maintenance or funds) to cover your course fees and living costs in the UK.
Step 2 – Get your documents ready
Step 3 – Apply online: You will need to register and create an account on the official UK Visa website. When you have completed your online application form, you will need to print and sign your completed form. You must use the online appointment calendar to book an appointment at the visa applicaticentreter. When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number.
Step 4 – Pay your application fee. There are 4 ways to pay your visa application fee.
- Payment at Standard Chartered Bank – You can pay your fee at some branches of Standard Chartered Bank. The bank will issue a demand draft in favour of the ‘British High Commission’.
- Demand draft from a nationalized or foreign bank – You can pay your fee by getting a demand draft issued by a nationalized or foreign bank. Bank charges for this service will vary. The demand draft must be in favor of the ‘British High Commission’.
- Payment at the visa applicaticentreter – You can pay the visa application fee at the visa applicaticentreter when you submit your visa application.
- Pay online – You can pay your visa application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
Step 5 – Visit the visa application center on the appointed date. You must book and attend an appointment at the visa application center to submit your application and facial photograph and fingerprints.
Students are allowed to withdraw their applications. For this, they need to contact UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration). If their application processing has not started, their fee will be refunded.