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Most international students need a student visa to study in the UK. Your student visa will allow you to live and study in the UK throughout your course.
Types of student visa
Tier 4 general student
If you are 16 or over and want to study at higher education level, you’ll need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
You need to wait until you have an offer from a university before applying for your Tier 4 (General) student visa. Your university will then be able to give you a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). To do this, your university needs to be approved by the UK government as a ‘licenced Tier 4 sponsor’.
Short-term student visa
rm study visas are available to students who want to join courses that are up to six months long or English language courses up to 11 months long.
When submitting a Tier 4 (General) student visa application you will need to submit evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees, for the first academic year, as well as your living costs.
You must provide the correct financial evidence in the correct format or your visa application will be refused. The Tier 4 Policy Guidance gives detailed information on the requirements for supporting documents.
Financial requirements for student visa
You will normally need to pay a deposit towards your tuition fees in order to be issued with a CAS. You can deduct this deposit plus any extra fees you have paid towards your tuition fees from the total amount you need to show for your fees.
Any payments you have made towards your tuition fees must be stated on your CAS. For example, if you are applying for a visa to study a one year Masters course and:
- Your fees are £14,500
- You have paid the £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees
- Your CAS states: Course Fees for the Year: £14,500, Course Fees Paid so far: £6,000
Therefore you must have £8,500 in your account for your tuition fees and the funds for your living costs.
You must have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in the UK. You will need to show living costs for each month of your course for a maximum of nine months. Usually, a student is required to show living costs for up to a 9 months.
A worked example:
If you are studying on a one year Masters course, your tuition fees are £14,500 and you have paid your £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees.
You must show £8,500 (£14,500 – £4000 – £2000) for your tuition fees and £11,385.00 (£1,265 × 9 months) for your living costs = £19,885.00 in total for your maintenance.
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