Tier-4 (General) Student Visa in The UK


UK Student Visa is required for overseas students who would like to study in the UK for longer than 11 months. This type of visa is suitable and required for international students including EEA students who would like to study at the UK University and apply to Undergraduate Courses (BA, BSc, LLB), International Baccalaureate, Pre-Master's, Postgraduate Courses (MA, MSc, LLM) , Pre-PhD,PhD, Pre-University Courses ; International Foundation , International Year One , Pre-sessional English , and other courses such as; A-Levels, BTEC, English Programs, Graduate Diploma, Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND), Teacher Training Courses (TEFL, TESOL, TESL, CELTA & DELTA).

Some nationalities may not require UK Student Visa in order to study in the UK or for some types of courses. Please contact us for further information or check the official government website for up to date information.


Students who are 16 or over can apply for a UK student visa (formerly known as Tier 4 (General) student visa) if they:

  • have received an offer for a course by a licensed student sponsor
  • have sufficient funds to support the costs of their studies
  • adequate proficiency in the English language (speaking, reading, writing)

Note that if students are 16 or 17, they must present evidence of their parents' consent. If you have received your CAS, you can apply for this visa.

  • What Courses Can You Study?

    • Specific full-time courses based on their degree RQF level
    • A part-time course leading to a qualification that’s above degree level (RQF level 7 or above)
    • A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists
    • An English language course at level B2 or above

    Some students who are studying or researching sensitive topics at RQF level 7 or higher might need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate.

  • Money Requirements

    • Course Fees
    • Other Expenses (Living costs, accommodation, etc.)

    You need to prove that you have sufficient money to pay your courses fees (up to nine months). The information about the exact amount you need to pay will be in your CAS letter.

    There are certain circumstances that you won't have to prove that your financial status. Please contact us for more information.

    In addition, courses in London cost a bit more compared to courses outside of London.

    • Courses in London cost £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months)
    • Courses outside of London cost £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months)

    Students who want to apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme can reach out to us to get accurate details regarding financial requirements.

    Note that boarding fees apply to students who are boarding at a residential independent school.

  • English Proficiency

    Students need to prove their English language skills such as reading, writing, and speaking by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. Students' level of English knowledge will be assessed based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. Every course of study requires a certain level of English Proficiency. However, in specific situations, you might be asked to take a different test. Feel free to contact us for more details.

    If you meet one of the below conditions, you are not obligated to prove your English knowledge.

    • You’re a national of Canada
    • You're studying a university degree course in the USA, and you need to study an abroad programme in the UK
    • You proved your English knowledge in a previous visa application

    Note that students from some countries do not need to provide this evidence. Please contact us for more information.

Healthcare surcharge

You might be required to pay a healthcare surcharge, (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your UK Student Visa application and immigration application. Healthcare surcharge must be paid by debit or credit card.

If you are applying online, you need to pay healthcare surcharge as a part of the process. After the payment you will be required to return to the online immigration application within 30 minutes. You will be asked for course dates, start and end dates on your certificate of sponsorship if you have one.

You pay healthcare surcharge in advance, if you are applying for the visa by the post. You will need also your passport number, email address and type of the visa you are applying for.

How to apply

The answer to this question depends on whether you apply for a visa from inside the UK or outside. If you are in the UK, the earliest you can apply for a visa is three months before your course starts and if you are not in the UK, six months.

Students who want to apply for a visa from inside the UK must do so before their visa expiration date. Getting a decision on your visa application can take 3-8 weeks. Please contact us for more information.

What You Can and Cannot Do

You are allowed to:

  • study your chosen course
  • get a job as a student union sabbatical officer

If students wish to work other jobs, they need to ask their institution about the requirements. These regulations are different based on your course of study and other factors.

You are not allowed to:

  • request for public funds
  • work in certain positions, for example as a sport coach
  • work as freelancer
  • study at a public-funded institution

Please reach out to us for further information regarding this matter.


The cost of applying for a student visa is different based on where you are applying from.

  • Students from outside the UK need to pay £348.
  • Students from inside the UK who want to extend or switch their visa need to pay £475.

Also, there’s the matter of healthcare surcharge fees. The amount of this fee is different based on your circumstances, please get in touch with us for detailed information.

Tier4Visa statement

Visa information may change without prior notice. This content should be used only as informal guidance, for up to date information please always contact Tier4Visa or follow official government website .

Tier4Visa cannot guarantee your successful Visa application and we cannot make a Visa application on your behalf. Tier4Visa provides professional Visa guidance only to students which are applying to our UK educational partners and institutions via our sister companies UKstudy, BritishUni or BritishGuardianship.

Our Promise

With over 20 years’ experience our team of dedicated educational consultants will provide the up-to-date requirements and guide you throughout the VISA process. We aim to actively promote British education all around the globe.

Our Services

Each year over 20.000 students have benefited from the services of StudyFirst Group. Students are awarded places at language schools, colleges and universities in the UK with extensive VISA support and guardianship services


Educational Partners

Study First Group Partner
BritishUni Partner
British Guardianship Partner
UK Study Partner
Tours For Groups Partner