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Study In UK: Types Of Student Visas, How To Apply And Work Opportunities

UK allows two types of study visa - Short Term Visa and Tier 4 Visa. Check which one works for you and why? Also students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an 'upper intermediate' (B2) level, rather than the current 'lower intermediate' (B1) requirement.

Brexit anxiety seems to have a negligible effect on students aspiring to study in the United Kingdom (UK). It is still one of the most preferred choices for Indian students. In terms of the inflow of international students, India is among the top three countries after China and USA. According to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA), despite the EU referendum (Brexit) result in June 2016, there has been no drop in the number of students from other EU countries.

If you are also planning to pursue your London dream, get started with the process now. Most enduring process for students is considered to be that of securing a visa. Britain allows two types of study visa - short-term visa and Tier 4 visa. While the short-term visa is for those entering the country for an educational programme of less than six months' duration, the Tier 4 visa is specifically for international students admitted to educational programmes of more than six months.

For Tier 4 visa, the educational institutions where admission is being offered have to sponsor the visa for students to study in the UK. The visa is issued for a particular course at the institution. To apply for a Tier 4 Study Visa, Indian students need to have an offer from a university or college that has been approved by the UK government as a 'licenced Tier 4 sponsor'.

How to apply for visa?

Applicants will then be able to obtain a document called a 'Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)' from the university or college. After receiving the documents, students can apply online for the study visa at the official website,

You must then take an appointment at the nearest visa application centre of the UK embassy to submit the application and biometric information. You should ideally apply for the visa at least three months before the start date of your course. Please also note that the CAS statement is valid for six months only. Therefore, the application should not be made later than six months after it was issued.

Short-term study visa route

The short-term study immigration route allows Indian students to enter the UK to undertake a short course of study. It is applicable when the course duration is less than six months or in case of part-time courses where attendance is only required for short periods.

For this, students are required to possess a letter to support entry to the UK as a short-term student. There are, however, a few restrictions under the short-term visa where one cannot take employment in the UK either part-time or full-time. Also, a work placement/internship (paid or unpaid) as part of the course of study is also not allowed.

Further, those on a short-term visa must leave the country within 30 days after the end of their study period or before the visa expires, whichever is earlier.

English proficiency

Students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an 'upper intermediate' (B2) level, rather than the current 'lower intermediate' (B1) requirement. The UK Border Agency staff can refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter, and who therefore clearly do not meet the minimum standard.

Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependents.

Health and Insurance facilities: The international students who pursue studies in UK universities can also avail the public health care system of the UK - National Health Services (NHS). The students are also offered emergency services for free. Additionally, universities in the UK mandate that students get registered with a General Practitioner (GP) in accordance with the country's study abroad health insurance policy.

Work opportunities

With high tuition fees and living cost in the country, many students also pursue work after study opportunities to reduce their financial burden. Visa types to apply for post-study work in the UK:

Visa types to apply for post-study work in UK:

Visa Type Synopsis Sponsorship requirement Maximum duration Switching from Tier 4 inside the UK What do I need to qualify? Are dependents allowed?
Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme For students who have nearly completed their PhD and want to remain in the UK for a further 12 months to work, look for work or set up a business Need sponsorship from the university 12 months from course completion date Yes (but students can apply only from inside the UK) A CAS from the university. Yes
Tier 2 (General) The primary route for working in UK. This visa is granted for a specific job and employer Yes, from the Tier 2 licensed employer 5 years Yes Job offer from Tier 2 sponsor Yes
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur A scheme for graduates who have genuine and pragmatic business ideas No (instead need endorsement from the university or UK Trade Center and Investment) 12 months with the scope of renewal for an additional 12 months Yes Investment of A£200,000 or A£50,000 Yes
Tier 5 Temporary Worker Short time visa for work experience or to do training Yes Up to 2 years Tier 5 sponsor Yes

Publish: Saturday, April 6, 2019 03:10 PM