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UK Student Visa: What to know before applying in 2022

UK student visa
Looking for a UK student visa? Look no further as we have all the tips you need to prepare yourself for your journey abroad. Source: Daniel Leal / AFP

Heading to the UK? Then a UK student visa is one of the vital steps in your preparation. Here’s the latest lowdown on what you need to know before planning your study abroad adventure in 2022.

UK student visa options

According to GOV.UK, there are several options international students can pick as their UK student visa. It mostly depends on the duration, type and location of your studies there. Here are the four options students can choose: Standard Visitor visa, Short-term study visa, Student visa, and Child Student visa. We will go through each of these visas to help you make the right choice.

Do click the links for more detailed explanations.

Standard visitor visa

A Standard Visitor visa isn’t just for those on holiday but it also lets you do a short course of study that lasts no longer than six months. Students can use this visa if they are taking part in a school exchange programme, to study, do a placement or take an exam, or as an academic, senior doctor or dentist.

You must apply for a Standard Visitor visa online before you travel to the UK.

A Standard Visitor visa costs 95 pounds for up to six months. The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel.

Short-term study visa

This very specific yet straightforward visa lets you go to the UK to study an English language course that is over six months and up to 11 months. You can stay in the UK for the length of your course plus an extra 30 days as long as your stay is no longer than 11 months. It costs 186 pounds for a Short-term study visa.

Do note that you cannot: study on any other course or change your course while in the UK, study at a state-funded school, work or carry out any business (this includes paid or unpaid work, work experience or work placements), or extend this visa.

Student visa

A Student visa is usually for a longer course. You must be sponsored by a licensed college or university and have a confirmed place. You may be able to do some work on this visa. 

You can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if you’re: 16 or over, have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor, have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course (the amount will vary depending on your circumstances), can speak, read, write and understand English, have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17 – you’ll need evidence of this when you apply.

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK. 

If you’re applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a visa is six months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within three weeks. 

If you’re applying inside the UK, the earliest you can apply is three months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within eight weeks.

It costs 348 pounds to apply for a Student visa from outside the UK and 475 pounds to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK.

Child student visa

A Child Student visa is for those aged four to 17 years old who want to study at an independent school. If you’re 16 or over, you are allowed to work part-time  on this visa.

You must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school, be able to show you’ll have access to enough money to support you in the UK and pay for your course, have the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK — you’ll need to prove all of this when you apply.

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

If you’re applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a visa is six months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision within three weeks. 

If you’re applying from inside the UK, the earliest you can apply is three months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within eight weeks.

It costs 348 pounds to apply for a Child Student visa from outside the UK and 475 pounds to extend or switch to a Child Student visa from inside the UK.

If you’re still not sure, be sure to check if you need a UK student visa here.