UK Student Visa Requirements for 2021
All international students who wish to study in the UK are required to get a student visa also known as Tier 4, before they study in the country. This type of visa is only available to full-time university students pursuing a degree in the UK in the long run, and not short-term programs or language courses.
Anyone who is planning to study in the UK is required to have a visa prior in order to stay in the country for an extended period of time. Immigration requirements for the UK are determined by your nationality and any of the country’s that you have citizenship in. This part of the guide will focus on giving you an overall look at the guidelines of UK student visa requirements in 2021.
When and where do I apply for the student visa in the UK?
There are two ways to get your student visa in the UK. You can apply for a student visa at the UK embassy in your country or you can simply do it online, through the official UK Government website.
Depending on your nationality, you might need to have your fingerprints and photograph on file at a visa application centre. This is to get your biometric residence permit which is required as part of your application.
Tips about the student visa application:
Please keep in mind that as of 1 January 2021, the visa application may change from time to time so it is advised to view the latest up-to-date information by visiting the official UK Government website.
Also, do not leave your visa application until the very last moment. Usually, it takes about 3 weeks to receive your Tier 4 Student Visa. But depending on the country you are applying from, you should start the visa application process at least 3 months in advance.
Make sure you have the certificate of acceptance for studies (also known as CAS) from your university before applying for the UK student visa in 2021.
Make sure you get all the information and thorough research before you start the application process.
Make sure the institution that you are applying to or planning to study in is licensed in the UK.
Universities usually have trained visa advisors for international students. They will be able to answer your questions about the Tier 4 student visa and guide you throughout the application process.
How to apply for a student visa in the UK in 2021?
The application for a student visa in the UK in 2021, can be done online, by post, or in person. Note that you can apply online only if you’re from abroad (international students), the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man except North Korea. Those who are residing in the UK and wish to apply must do so by the person or by post.
What documents do I need?
Always have in mind that visa restrictions and requirements in the UK do change regularly. Therefore, to avoid disappointment you must always check the official visa policy guidelines before initiating an application.
Currently, your student visa application requirements in the UK change based on your citizenship and the type of visa that you’re applying for. Depending on your purpose of visiting the UK whether it is for health issues, studying, familiarity, and so forth, you need to seek a proper visa for your stay and meet particular visa requirements.
If you want to find out what are the requirements for different UK visa types, check visa guideworld online.
Frequently Asked Questions About UK Student Visa 2021…
When can I apply?
You can apply for your student visa in the UK approximately 3 months before your course or degree starts. Once you submit a university application you should receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. This document will entitle you as a student in the UK for the academic year of 2021 and therefore you’re eligible to seek a visa for your UK student visa. Use the CAS number to support your student visa application form and proceed.
Can I work while studying in the UK?
Yes. Under the current legal regulations in the UK you are allowed to find a part-time job while you’re studying. As a government-sponsored student from abroad who attends this course for 6 months or longer, you’re allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. However, please make sure your university is listed on the list of recognised higher education providers in the UK to avoid any disappointments upon studying here.
Am I able to bring my relatives to the UK with my UK student visa in 2021 ?
Yes, you can. There are some restrictions however and exemptions must be applied that you should be aware of. As a government-sponsored international student, you can bring in the UK the people who are your dependents if you’re enrolled in an undergrad course longer than 6 months or in a post-grad course longer than 12 months at a recognized university.
Firstly, you need to know what is regarded as a dependent. For instance, your spouse/wife and children are considered as your Tier 4 dependants. Your other relatives however are not.
Secondly, your dependant must prove good financial resources/income in order to be given the right to come to the UK as your dependent. The amount of money required in this case can be held on your account or by your dependant.
Your dependent can work within the UK under these circumstances…
For instance, if you’re attending an undergrad degree or course longer than 6 months or a post-grad degree course longer than 12 months.
A newly introduced rule in the UK does state that those dependents who submit an immigration application on or after 06 July 2018 will be allowed to work even if your course is 9 months or longer.
How much does it cost to get a student visa in the UK?
Applying for a UK student visa in 2021 withholds a certain fee which may depend on your nationality and the type of visa that you’re getting. In addition, the student visa fee scheme changes as well so you must always check the official sites to avoid delays or disappointments.
If you apply from abroad for a Tier 4 Student visa you will need to pay the sum of £335. If you’re applying from the UK the prices would apply below;
- Standard service – £457
- Priority service – £916
- Premium service – £1047
The UK’s government site shows the exact cost of applying for a student visa in the UK 2021. You must select your country from where you’re applying, and the type of visa you want to get and the purpose of your visit to the UK and so forth.
How to get a work visa after studying in the UK?
If you’re thinking of remaining in the UK for a certain period after getting your degree and qualifications there are various routes for you. As long as your student visa is valid you’re allowed to have a full-time job and work in the UK. After your visa expires, you must contact the Home Office if you want to extend your stay.
However, there are some restrictions that you must be aware of. These are the types of job you’re not allowed to seek while having a visa;
- A permanent full-time job
- Self-employed or Freelancer
- A doctor in Training, Coach, sportsperson or entertainer (except in a certified Foundation Program)
Below are some of the ways you can extend the duration of your stay in the UK by seeking a proper visa;
The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme – Individuals that are at the final stage of completing their Ph.D. in the UK and are thinking of finding a job or establishing a business can seek an extension for up to a year. In order to get this visa sponsorship from your university is required to proceed.
Tier 2 (General) – This is the most common route to take in terms of immigrating and working in the UK. You can only seek this visa if there’s a Tier 2 licensed employer who’s offering you a job in the UK, this is valid for up to 5 years.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur – If you have an idea to set up your own business in the UK, you can get a Tier 1 visa. You don’t require sponsorship for this particular visa, but approval from the University or UK Trade and Investment is essential. Its validity lasts for up to a year and after that, you can ask for another extension of 12 months.
UK Ancestry – If your grandparent was born in the UK and you want to work in the UK you can get such a visa through this route. The validity of this visa lasts for 5 years.
In terms of the current UK rules, your University must inform the Home Office if it’s aware that you’re not operating under the conditions and terms of your Tier 4 visa in the UK.
For the current European Union, European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss Citizens:
If you have a passport from one of the countries listed below, then you do not need a visa in order to get a UK student visa in 2021. This also includes those who withhold dual nationalities, or those with an EEA/EU/Swiss Passport to get into the country.
Republic of Cyprus
If you would like more information about student visas in the UK in 2021, as an EEA, EU, or Swiss National, please check out the UK Council for International Student Affairs ‘FAQ’ section for EEA, EU, and Swiss national students.
For Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals
If you are looking to come to the UK as an international student, it is essential that you withhold a visa to study.
There are two categories that fall under the UK Border Control, and you will have to determine which group you fall under before you can know how to apply for this. Your visa application will also be determined by what you’re studying for and how long you plan to stay in the UK.
The term visa nationals are those who are citizens of the countries that are included in this list (which can also be found on the UKBA website).
Central African Republic
People’s Republic of China (unless they withhold a passport issued by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or Macao Special Administrative Region)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of South Sudan
Republic of Sudan
Sao Tome e Principe
Taiwan (unless they withhold a Taiwan passport which includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
United Arab Emirates
Venezuela (unless they withhold a Venezuelan passport which contains biometric information held in an electronic chip)
Including the territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
If the country you are a citizen of is on this list, here is what you have to comply with in order to study in the UK.
You have to obtain your visa before arriving in the UK.
If you plan to be in the country for 6 months or longer or you wish to work in the UK (either as an unpaid internship or in order to make a living), you must obtain what is called a Tier 4 student visa.
If you are not working during your studies and you are staying for less than 6 months, then you may get either a student visitor visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
For non-visa Nationals:
If your country of citizenship is not on either one of the above lists (visa national or EU/EEA/Swiss), then you are considered as a non-visa national. This is what you must comply with in order to study within the UK.
You must have your visa completed prior to arriving in the UK.
If you plan to be in the country for 6 months or longer, or you want to work in the UK (either as an unpaid internship or in order to make a living). You must obtain what is called a Tier 4 student visa as your student visa requirement in 2021.
If you are in the country for less than the duration of 6 months, and are not working, then you can apply for the position as a student visitor in the UK.
Applying to be a student overseas can be strenuous, but the agency at your college or university (or the one you are attending in the UK) will be able to assist you with everything that you may require.
If you want to check and make sure if you actually need a visa, please check out the UK Visa Guide webpage. All the information that you will need can be found there for your worries or queries about student visa requirements in 2021.