​How Long Does it Take to Get a UK Student Visa?

How Long Does it Take to Get a UK Student Visa?

Tier 4 Student Visa

Getting a visa to study in the UK can be one of the easiest or hardest parts of the application process. The majority of our students need to get a Tier 4 Student Visa before they apply. But not everyone will need one of these. To understand the visa process a little better, we’ve got our admissions team to answer a few commonly asked questions.

What is a Tier 4 Student Visa?

A Tier 4 student visa enables a student to live and study in the UK for the duration of their course.

Who is it for?

These visas are given to students who are NOT from the European Economic Area or Switzerland (including dual nationals). If you do come from this area, then you won’t need a visa to study with us.

How long does it take?

Sometimes visa applications can take a few days, whilst others can be a several weeks. It depends on several factors:

1.   How organised you are - If you are well prepared then the process will be faster and easier.

2.   The country you apply from - In our experience, certain countries take longer to process than others. We generally find that with countries the UK Government deems to be ‘higher risk’, there is a longer wait.

3.   National Holidays and peak times – It is worth being aware of key times of year, such as Christmas, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, etc. because your application could take more time to be seen. Also, bear in mind that during the summer months, the UK Immigration and Visa Office will have many more application to process for all kinds of courses.

What does the entire process look like?

The application process below was taken from the official UKCISA website. Our admissions team will help you through the entire application and make it easy for you. We are very experienced in getting successful visa applications.

Application Process in Full

1.    Choose institution and course

2.    Apply for a place and receive an unconditional offer

3.    Accept offer and obtain ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) number from institution. Note: a CAS is only valid for six months, you must make your visa application within this time.

4.    Check the visa process in your country of residence and the visa processing times; if there is more than one Visa Application Centre in the country where you live, decide where to apply

5.    Take a TB test (if applicable)

6.    Check that you meet the Tier 4 requirements

7.    Make sure that you have all of the necessary supporting documents, including:

        o   Valid passport

        o   Photographs that meet the Home Office requirements

        o   Certificate showing that you are clear of TB (if required)

        o   Evidence of qualifications listed on your CAS*

        o   Evidence that you meet the English language requirement, or are exempt from the requirement

        o   If you will be under 18 on the date that you apply for your visa: letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship to you and that they consent to your study and living arrangements in the UK and your travel arrangements

        o   Original paper receipts for any tuition fees and/or accommodation costs that you have already paid to your institution, if this information is not included on your CAS*

        o   Evidence that you meet the financial requirements.*Only the following documents are acceptable:

                                          i.         bank or building society statements

                                        ii.         building society passbooks

                                       iii.         letter from your bank or regulated financial institution

                                       iv.         letter confirming a loan

                                         v.         letter from an official financial sponsor

Note: most Tier 4 refusals are caused by incorrect financial documents.  It is very important that to check that yours meet the requirements and that you have held the correct level of funds for the necessary period of time (in most cases this is 28 days)

        o   If you are using funds held in your parent’s or legal guardian’s name: evidence of their relationship to you and a letter from them consenting to your studies and the use of their funds*

        o   If you are being fully funded by a government or international scholarship agency (or you have been fully funded by such a sponsor within 12 months of this application): a letter from this sponsor confirming that they consent to this application

        o   Translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh

*If you are a low-risk applicant then you must confirm on your Tier 4 application form that you have these documents but you should not submit them with your application. 

Are there any useful links so I can find out more?

There’s a great website that’s useful to people wanting to learn more about the Tier 4 application process:


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