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The U.K. Border Agencys Student Visa Requirements

Applying for a British student visa? Then be aware of some of the rule changes and read on for more info on how you can be sure to get your student visa with a lot less hassle.
The British Union Jack waves in front of London’s Big Ben  

Applying for a British student visa? Then be aware of some of the rule changes and read on for more info on how you can be sure to get your student visa with a lot less hassle. 

The reforms to UK student visas have been introduced gradually through 2011 and 2012.

These include changes to:

  • Accreditation arrangements for UK education institutions

  • Entry requirements for students such as English language ability

  • Entitlements while studying including ability to be accompanied by dependants and work

  • Arrangements under which international students may remain in the UK and work after their studies

We are also conducting more interviews as part of the visa application process. An applicant will be refused a student visa if the visa officer is not satisfied that he/she is a genuine student.

It is important to note the following:

  • There has been no change in the ability to work for students at a UK university. They may also work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time in the holidays.

  • With regard to English language proficiency, students of degree level or higher qualifications at a UK university need to be proficient in English language to level B2 CEFR (about IELTS 5.5).

  • There are opportunities for international students to work in the UK after they graduate – with a graduate level job in the UK with registered companies and paying a minimum salary of £20,000.

  • From April 2013 international PhD students who graduate in the UK will be able to remain for 12 months before finding a job or setting up a business.

  • A new visa route has been introduced for graduate entrepreneurs allowing students who have world class innovative ideas to stay in the UK to develop their business.

Some advice for students applying:

The visa application process is straightforward. The most important step for student applicants is to follow the current Tier 4 published guidance as they complete their visa application forms. This guidance is available on the UK Border Agency’s website:

It is important to prepare thoroughly for the visa application process, and apply for the student visa in good time. The application form must be fully and honestly completed and all the correct documents submitted set out in the Tier 4 guidance, should be original. Student applicants need a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which is an unconditional offer from the UK education provider.

Student applicants must ensure that their chosen UK education institution is on the Tier 4 sponsors’ register when they apply, and when they leave for the UK. The sponsors’ register is on the UK Border Agency’s website.

Since 1 November 2012, Tier 4 student visa applicants also need to submit a TB clearance certificate from a clinic in India approved by the UK Border Agency. This is a requirement for all UK visa applications of longer than 6 months’ duration.



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