You must receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a university approved by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). All universities must have been given or applied for Highly Trusted Status (HTS) on the UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor list (30 points). ‘A rated’ colleges can also issue CAS numbers. The ‘A’ rating is a transitional rating for 12 months and all ‘A rated’ colleges must apply for HTS status within this 12 month transition period. You must provide evidence of funding to pay for both your course tuition fees and your monthly living costs (10 points). Tuition fees are on average £12,000 per year but can range from £8,000 to £36,000.
To submit your Tier 4 student visa application, please visit the UK Visa & Immigration website to complete the online application form. International students from all countries (apart from North Korea) have to submit the visa application online. You will also need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as biometric information) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
Immigration Health Service Charge
All nationals from outside of Europe coming to live in the UK for longer than six months are required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ in order to gain access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The health surcharge is £150 per year (or £75 for 6 months or less) for students and is payable when you submit your visa application online. Visa applicants need to pay up-front for the total period of their UK visa. For further information, read our Health Advice for International Students. Remember, you can only apply for a visa once you have been given a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. Check you are eligible for a UK Student Visa but do not apply until after you have been accepted onto a course. Your chosen university can guide you through the visa process once you have been accepted onto a course.
You can work for up to 20 hours a week during your studies and full-time during your holidays to help support your studies. This only applies if you are studying a degree level course at a UK higher education institution for longer than 6 months.
The university or college must be listed on the Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) list and the list of recognised bodies. Find out more information about working in the UK during your studies and after you’ve completed your course.