You can apply for entry clearance for Student Visa UK if you are aged 16 or over and want to come to the UK to study in licenced education provider.

Specialist Student Visa Solicitors

Our expert team of student visa solicitors in LondonManchester and Birmingham specialise in student visa entry clearance applications. Our specialist student visa solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with the student visa entry clearance applications. Our best team of student visa solicitors can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee immigration services concerning your student visa entry clearance application. Ask a question to our expert student visa solicitors for free immigration advice or submit an online request to book an appointment for detailed legal advice for your student visa entry clearance application.

Eligibility Requirements For Student Visa Entry Clearance

To qualify for Student Visa entry clearance, you should meet the following requirments of the Immigration Rules:

  • The applicant should make a valid application for student visa entry clearance;
  • An application for entry clearance must be made no more than 6 months before the start date of the course stated on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS);
  • The applicant must meet all the requirements related to Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS);
  • The applicant must all the requirements related to course of study;
  • The applicant must meet the points based criteria and score 70 points to qualify for student visa entry clearance;
  • The applicant must be a genuine student and meet the genuineness test for student visa;
  • The applicant's application for entry clearance should not fall for refusal under general grounds for refusal as set out in part 9 of the Immigration Rules;
  • A person applying for entry clearance for more than 6 months must meet the requirements for a tuberculosis certificate if the criteria specified in paragraph A39 and in Appendix T apply.

Valid Confirmation Of Acceptance For Studies (CAS)

For the student visa entry clearance application to be successful, the student's Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must be valid. According to Immigration Rules, student must satisfy the following requirements for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to be valid:

  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must have been issued by a student sponsor whose licence is still valid on the date on which the application is decided;
  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must not have been issued by the student sponsor more than 6 months before the date of application;
  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must not have been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused (but could have been relied upon in a previous application which was rejected as invalid, made void or withdrawn);
  • The student sponsor must not have withdrawn the offer to the applicant after the date that the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was issued;
  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must contain the necessary information to confirm all the following requirements are met:
    • the course requirement; and
    • the Approved qualification requirement; and
    • the level of study requirement; and
    • the place of study requirement.
  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must state the cost of accommodation and fees (and any payment already made) so that the financial requirement can be assessed;
  • The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must show how the English language requirement has been met, and where the sponsor has assessed the applicant’s language ability, must include the information in ST 13.3. and ST 13.4.
  • The student sponsor must provide all the following information about the course of study on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies:
    • title of course; and
    • academic level of course; and
    • course start and end dates; and
    • hours of study per week, including confirmation on whether the course is part-time or full-time; and
    • the address of the main place of study; and
    • the cost of accommodation and fees; and
    • if the student sponsor has assessed the applicant by use of one or more references, the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies Checking Service entry must include details of the references assessed; and
    • if the course involves a work placement, details of any work placement relating to the course; and
    • if the course will be provided by an education provider that is not the student sponsor, details of the partner institution; and
    • if the ATAS requirement in Annex ATAS applies; and
    • confirmation if the course is a recognised Foundation Programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists, and requires a certificate from the Postgraduate Dean; and
    • a statement of how the student sponsor has assessed the applicant’s English language ability including, where relevant, the applicant’s English language test scores in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening); and
    • if the course is part of a study abroad programme, the name and address of the partner institution; and
    • if the applicant is applying for a full-time, salaried, elected executive position as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer and is part-way through their studies or being sponsored to fill the position in the academic year immediately after their graduation; and
    • if it was issued for the Doctorate Extension Scheme, that it was issued within 60 days of the expected end date of a course leading to the award of a PhD and the applicant is sponsored by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; and
    • if the applicant has previously been granted permission as a Student, confirmation that the new course meets requirements concerning academic progress as from the previous course of study undertaken as required by ST 14.1. to ST 14.5.

Course Of Study Requirements

The applicant must meet the following requirements in relation to his/her course of study:

The application must be for a single course of study that meets the requirements in ST 8.2. unless it is one of the following:

  • a combined pre-sessional course which meets the requirements in ST 15.1. to 15.3; or
  • a full-time, salaried, elected executive position as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, where the applicant is either part-way through their studies or will fill the position in the academic year immediately after their graduation; or
  • to enable the applicant to stay in the UK on the Doctorate Extension Scheme and the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies has been assigned by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance and issued within 60 days of the expected end date of a course leading to the award of a PhD to the applicant.

The application must be for a course which is one of the following:

  • full-time course at degree level or above that leads to an approved qualification; or
  • full-time course below degree level involving a minimum of 15 hours per week of organised daytime study (08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday) that leads to an approved qualification; or
  • a full-time course involving a minimum of 15 hours per week of organised daytime study that is a pre-sessional course; or
  • a part-time course above degree level that leads to an approved qualification where the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) has been issued by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
  • a full-time course at degree level or above that is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK higher education course where the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies has been assigned by an overseas higher education institution or a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.

If the course is an Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) qualification or an ACCA Foundations in Accountancy qualification, the student sponsor must be an ACCA approved learning partner – student tuition at either Gold or Platinum level.

If the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requirement in Appendix ATAS applies, the applicant must have a valid ATAS certificate for the course and provide it with the Student visa application.

Approved Qulification Requirement

The course of study, unless it is a pre-sessional course, must lead to an approved qualification which is one of the following:

  • validated by Royal Charter; or
  • awarded by a UK recognised body; or
  • covered by a legal agreement between a UK recognised body and another education provider or awarding body, which confirms both:
    • the UK recognised body’s independent assessment of the level of the student sponsor’s or awarding body’s programme compared to the Regulated Qualifications Framework or its equivalents; and
    • that the UK recognised body would admit any student who successfully completes the education provider’s or the awarding body’s named course onto a specific or a range of degree-level courses it provides; or
  • recognised by one or more recognised bodies through a formal articulation agreement with the awarding body; or
  • in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or in Scotland is accredited at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 or above; or
  • an overseas qualification that UK NARIC assesses as valid and equivalent to Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or
  • an aviation licence, rating or certificate issued by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Level Of Study Requirement

Unless it is a pre-sessional course, if the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies has been assigned by a probationary sponsor the course must meet one of the following requirements:

  • the course will be studied in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and the applicant is aged under 18, and the course is at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or
  • the course will be studied in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and the applicant is aged 18 or over, and the course is at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 4 or above; or
  • the course will be studied in Scotland, and the applicant is aged under 18, and the course is at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 or above; or
  • the course will be studied in Scotland, and the applicant is aged 18 or over and the course is at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 7 or above.

If the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies has been assigned by a student sponsor, the course must meet one of the following requirements:

  • the course will be studied in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and it is at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or
  • the course will be studied in Scotland and it is at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 or above; or
  • the course is a short-term study abroad programme in the UK as part of the applicant’s qualification at an overseas higher education institution outside of the UK, and that qualification is recognised as being at UK bachelor’s degree level or above by UK NARIC; or
  • the course is a pre-sessional course in English language at level B2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; or
  • the course is a recognised Foundation Programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists; or
  • the course is being delivered under a partnership between a higher education institution and a research institute and is accredited at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 7 or above, or at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 11 or above.

Place Of Study Requirement

All study that forms part of the course of study must take place on the premises of the student sponsor or a partner institution unless the applicant is on a course-related work placement, a study abroad programme overseas, or a presessional course.

Financial Requirement

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance or permission to stay and is applying as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer or to study on a recognised foundation programme as a doctor or dentist in training, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance, or is applying for permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for less than 12 months, the applicant must have the following funds:

(a) Studying in London

Type of Study Funds required
Residential Independent School Sufficient funds to pay outstanding fees (course fees and boarding fees) for one academic year
Doctorate Extension Scheme £2,530
All other cases Sufficient funds to pay any outstanding course fees as stated on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, and £1,265 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months)

(b) Studying outside London

Type of Study Funds required
Residential Independent School Sufficient funds to pay outstanding fees (course fees and boarding fees) for one academic year
Doctorate Extension Scheme £2,030
All other cases Sufficient funds to pay any outstanding course fees as stated on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, and £1,015 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months)
  • If the length of the applicant’s course includes a part of a month, the time period will be rounded up to the next full month.
  • If the applicant has paid a deposit to the student sponsor for accommodation the sponsor is providing, this deposit (up to a maximum of £1,265) can be offset against the funds required in ST 12.3.
  • If the applicant has paid all or part of their course fees to their student sponsor this must be confirmed on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or the applicant must provide a receipt issued by the student sponsor confirming the amount of fees paid.
  • Unless the applicant is relying on a student loan or an award from a Government or international sponsorship agency, they must show that they have held the required level of funds for a 28-day period as calculated in Appendix Finance, FIN 7.1 to FIN 7.3.
  • Unless ST 22.1. applies the applicant must show that they met the financial requirement as specified in Appendix Finance.

English Language Requirement

The applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least:

  • level B2, where the applicant is studying a course at UK bachelor’s degree level or above; or
  • level B1, where the applicant is studying a pre-sessional course or a course below UK Bachelor’s degree level.

The applicant must show they meet the English Language requirement as specified in Appendix English Language.

  • Where the student sponsor has assessed that the Student meets the English language requirement, they must state this and the method of assessment on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.
  • Where a Secure English Language Test is required, the name of the test provider, the unique reference number for the test and the score for each component tested (reading, writing, listening, speaking) must be included on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Combined Pre-sessional Course Requirement

A single Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies can be assigned for a combined pre-sessional course and a main course at degree level or above by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance if:

  • the pre-sessional course lasts no longer than 3 months; and
  • the main course will begin no more than one month after the pre-sessional course ends.

If the applicant has been assessed as having at least level B2 in order to meet the English language requirement at ST 13.1, the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must confirm that the applicant has an unconditional offer of a place on the main course.

If the applicant has been assessed as having at least level B1 in order to meet the English language requirement at ST 13.1, the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must confirm that the student sponsor is satisfied that the applicant will have at least level B2 at the end of the pre-sessional course.

Work Placement Requirement

A course that includes a work placement must lead to an approved qualification and the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must be assigned by a student sponsor (who is not a probationary sponsor).

A work placement must be assessed as an integral part of the course and must not be longer than one third of the total length of the course, except when there is a statutory requirement that it must be so, or where ST 17.3. applies.

A work placement on a course that is at degree level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance or at an overseas higher education institution must not be longer than half of the total length of the course.

Maximum Period Of Study Requirement

If the course is below degree level, the grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted more than two years on the Student route to study courses below degree level from the age of 18 unless ST 19.2. applies.

If the course is below degree level but is subject to a regulatory requirement by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that the applicant must spend at least 12 months at sea as a part of that course, the grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted more than 3 years on the Student route from the age of 18 to study courses below degree level.

If the course is at degree level, the grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted more than 5 years on the Student route from the age of 18 to study courses at degree level unless the course of study is one of those listed at ST 19.4.

The five-year maximum period of study at degree level will not apply if the applicant has a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies that has been assigned for a course of study in one of the following subjects:

  • architecture; or
  • medicine; or
  • dentistry; or
  • veterinary medicine and science; or
  • music at a music college that is a member of Conservatoires UK; or
  • law, where the applicant has completed a course at degree level or above and is applying for a course of study which is:
    • a law conversion course validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board in England and Wales; or
    • Masters in Law (MLaw) in Northern Ireland; or
    • an accelerated graduate LLB in Scotland.

If the applicant has previously been granted permission as a postgraduate doctor or dentist, the grant of permission to the applicant must not lead to the applicant having been granted more than 3 years as a postgraduate doctor or dentist.

When calculating the period of permission granted under ST 19.1. to ST 19.5, any period of permission on the student route extended under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 will count towards the period of permission granted.

Documents Used To Obtain An Offer Requirement

The applicant must provide evidence of the qualifications or references they used to obtain the offer of a place on the course of study from the student sponsor, unless either:

  • the applicant is applying for a course of study at degree level or above and is sponsored by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
  • ST 22.1. applies.

The evidence of each qualification must be one of the following:

  • the certificate(s) of qualification; or
  • the transcript of results; or
  • a print out of the qualification or transcript results from the awarding body’s online checking service.

Where the applicant has provided a print out of qualifications or transcript results from the awarding body’s online checking service, the decision maker may require the applicant to provide the certificate of qualification or transcript of results.

Parental Consent Requirement

If the applicant is aged 16 or 17, they must have written consent from:

  • both parents; or
  • one parent, if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the applicant; or
  • the applicant’s legal guardian.

The written consent must confirm support for all of the following:

  • the application; and
  • the applicant’s living and care arrangements in the UK; and
  • if the application is for entry clearance, the applicant’s travel to, and reception arrangements in, the UK.

Differential Evidence Requirement

Evidence to show that the applicant meets the financial requirement and the requirement to provide documents used to obtain an offer does not need to be provided with the application (but may be required by the decision maker) if the applicant is applying from the country or territory where they are living, or from in the UK, and the applicant either:

  • holds a valid passport which shows they are registered as a British National (Overseas), or which was issued by the competent authorities of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwan (which includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan); or
  • is a national of any of the following:

Australia | Austria | Bahrain | Barbados | Belgium | Botswana | Brazil | Brunei | Bulgaria | Cambodia | Canada | Chile | China | Croatia | Republic of Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | The Dominican Republic | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Indonesia | Ireland | Italy | Japan | Kazakhstan | Kuwait | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malaysia | Malta | Mauritius | Mexico | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Oman | Peru | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Romania | Serbia | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | South Korea | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Thailand | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | United States of America (USA).

Duration Of Grant Of Student Visa

The applicant will be granted permission for the duration of the course as specified on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies plus the relevant periods which will be as follows:

  • the relevant period before the course date which is set out in the table below, if entry clearance is granted 1 month or more before the start date of the course; or
  • 7 days before the intended date of travel, if entry clearance is granted less than 1 month before the start date of the course; or
  • with immediate effect, if entry clearance is granted less than 7 days before the intended date of travel and less than 1 month before the start date of the course.

The applicant will be granted a period of permission dependent on the type and length of course as in the table below:

Type of Course Period granted before course start date Period granted after course end date
A course of 12 months or longer 1 Month 4 Months
A course of 6 months or longer but shorter than 12 months 1 Month 2 Months
A pre-sessional course of less than 6 months 1 Month 1 Month
A course as a Postgraduate doctor or dentist 1 Month 1 Month
A course of less than 6 months in length which is not a pre-sessional course 7 Days 7 Days

Permission to stay on the doctorate extension scheme will be granted for 12 months from the expected end date of the course shown on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Work Rights And Work Conditions

The applicant will be granted permission with the following employment conditions:

Type of study Employment conditions
Student following a full-time course of degree level or above study:

· sponsored by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or

· sponsored by an overseas higher education institution to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the UK
20 hours per week during term-time (full-time employment permitted outside of term-time)
Student undertaking a full-time course below degree level study sponsored by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance 10 hours per week during term-time (full-time employment permitted outside of term-time)
All other study, including all part-time study No employment permitted
  • Students are permitted to undertake work related to a work placement, assessed as an integral part of the course, that meets the requirements at ST 17.1. to ST 17.3.
  • Employment as an elected Student Union Sabbatical Officer or elected National Union of Students (NUS) position is permitted for up to two years if the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned for this purpose.
  • Where a Student has successfully completed a PhD at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and has been granted permission to stay as a Student on the Doctorate Extension Scheme or has made a valid application for permission to stay as a Student on the Doctorate Extension Scheme but has not yet received a decision on that application, the Student is permitted to work in any role, except for:
    • employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training; and
    • employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

A Student is not allowed to do any of the following:

  • be self-employed or engage in business activity unless ST 26.4. or ST 26.8 apply; or
  • work as a Doctor or Dentist in training unless ST 26.7. applies; or
  • work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); or
  • work as an entertainer unless ST 26.4. applies; or
  • work in a position which would fill a permanent full-time vacancy.

If a Student makes an application for permission to stay under Tier 2, supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned by a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor, the Student can start the employment for which the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned, for up to 3 months prior to the course completion date, provided:

  • the applicant is studying a full-time course of study at degree level or above with a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; and
  • the applicant has permission as a Student; and
  • a decision has not been made on the Tier 2 application, or where a decision has been made, any administrative review against a refusal has not been finally determined.

Employment as a postgraduate doctor or dentist is permitted if the Student is on a recognised Foundation Programme.

A Student may be self-employed, if:

  • they have applied for permission on the Start-up route; and
  • the application is supported by an endorsement from a Start-up route endorsing body which is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; and
  • the application was submitted when the applicant had permission as a Student; and
  • a decision has not been made on the application, or where the application has been refused, any administrative review against a refusal has not been finally determined.

Study Condition

A Student must only study with the student sponsor which assigned the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies unless either:

  • the Student is studying at a partner institution of their student sponsor; or
  • the Student has made an application for permission to stay while they have permission as a Student:
    • which is supported by a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies assigned by a student sponsor; and
    • the application has not yet been decided, or any administrative review against that decision has not been determined; and
    • the Student will be studying at the student sponsor that assigned the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

A Student must only study on the course of study, or courses where a combined pre-sessional course is being taken, for which the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned unless ST 27.3. applies.

A Student may begin studying on a new course with their current student sponsor if:

  • the student sponsor is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; and
  • the Student has not completed the course that the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, was assigned for; and
  • the new course is not at a lower qualification level than the course the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned for; and
  • the course is at degree level or above; and
  • any new course at degree level can be completed within the current period of permission; and
  • the student sponsor confirms that new course is related to the course that the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned for or supports the Student’s genuine career aspirations.

The Student may study on a study abroad programme overseas that is an integral and assessed part of the course of study named on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Supplementary study is permitted.

Study is subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS.

The Student must not study at a State School or Academy except for voluntary grammar schools with boarding in Northern Ireland or, if the Student has been granted permission as a Student to study at a student sponsor which becomes a State School or Academy during that period of permission, in which case the Student may complete the course for which the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned.

Re-Applying For Student Visa Entry Clearance After The Refusal

If your application for student visa entry clearance has been refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged by way of Entry Clearance Appeal Against student Visa Refusal, you have the option to re-apply for student visa. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for student visa entry clearance after the refusal.

How Can We Help With Your Student Visa Entry Clearance Application?

Our expert team of student visa solicitors specialise in UK student visa entry clearance applications. If instructed to represent you regarding your application for UK student visa entry clearance, we will carry out all the work on your application until a decision is made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your student visa entry clearance application. The immigration casework to be carried out by our expert team of student visa solicitors will include the following:

  • Assessing your eligibility for student visa entry clearance by considering all the relevant information and evidence;
  • Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your student visa entry clearance application;
  • Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your student visa entry clearance application;
  • Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
  • Completing and submitting the online application form to apply for student visa UK entry clearance by gathering all the relevant information from you;
  • Helping you with paying the student visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for the application;
  • Where necessary, preparing detailed witness statement of the applicant explaining how the applicant is a genuine student and other relevant factors pertaining to the student visa entry clearance application;
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your student visa entry clearance application explaining in detail how you satisfy all the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules for the grant of student visa;
  • Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents and scheduling an appointment for submission of passport and enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Liaising with the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) for a timely decision on your student visa entry clearance application.

Our Fees For Student Visa Entry Clearance UK

Unless your matter is extremely complicated, our fixed fees for student visa entry clearance application from outside the UK are as given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
Full service for student visa Entry Clearance to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £1,000 To £1,500 (no VAT)

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the student visa entry clearance application and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for student visa entry clearance, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the entry clearance application.