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UK Tier 4 Student Visa: A Complete Guidance for UK Student Route Visa

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  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Sep 05,2023 05:51 PM IST

Many international students come to UK every year to acquire prestigious degrees. However, overseas students must apply for a visa to study in the UK. Read the blog to learn about UK Tier 4 Student Visa, including visa eligibility, process, guidelines, etc. 

uk-tier-4-student-visa.webpThe UK remains one of the top destinations for international students, thanks to its world-renowned universities and rich cultural heritage. To study in UK, most international students will require a visa. The Tier 4 Student Visa, now commonly known as the Student Route Visa, is the primary route for those wishing to pursue their studies in the UK. Read the blog to learn about the UK Tier 4 Visa requirements, eligibility, process and more.

UK Visa Tiers

Tier Visa System in the UK is a point-based visa category system which determines the visa status of the applicant. To qualify for a visa in the UK, candidates are required to score a certain number of points on an assessment test that considers factors like age, English fluency, etc., relevant to the Tier under which the candidate is applying for a visa. The table below gives a brief description of the types of UK Visa Tiers:

Tier - 1High-value migrantsInvestors, entrepreneurs, outstanding scientists and artists
Tier - 2Skilled workersApplicants with a job offer in the UK
Tier - 3Low-skilled workersSuspended
Tier - 4StudentsApplicants who want to study in the UK
Tier - 5Temporary workersAu pairs, seasonal workers, religious workers

Note: The UK Visa Tiers are constantly evolving, so it is important to check the latest requirements before applying for a visa.

What is a UK Tier 4 Visa?

The UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa is a visa that allows non-EU/EEA students to study at a school, college or university in the country. International students can apply for this visa if they are accepted to a full-time course at an academic institution in UK.

Who Can Apply for a UK Tier-4 General Student Visa?

In order to apply for Tier-4 visa in the UK the applicant must be:

• An international student who wants to study in UK, or
• Already in the UK, and wishing to remain in the country to study, or
• Already residing in the UK and wants to switch to the Student visa category.

UK Tier 4 Visa: Eligibility

To be eligible for a Tier 4 Student Visa, candidate must:

• Be 16 years old or above
• Have been accepted to a full-time course at a university, college or approved education provider in the UK
• Have sufficient money to support themselves and pay for the course
• Have a valid ATAS certificate, if required
• Have proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if the candidate is under 18 years

UK Tier 4 Visa: Checklist 

Below are some of the documents that students require for a UK Education Visa:

• A valid passport
• Proof of sufficient finances to cover the living cost
• Passport-size coloured pictures
• Tuberculosis test results
• In case of additional requirements, the institute notifies the candidate before the submission of their application 

Apart from the above-mentioned documents, some universities require additional documents, such as:

• A valid ATAS certificate if it is the requirement of course
• In case the applicant is below 18 years old, documentation of parental or other legal guardian consent is required
• If the applicant is receiving financial support for the course fee and living expenses in the last 12 months, a formal permission from the financial sponsor is required to submit the application. 

How to Apply for a UK Student Visa?

Applicants applying for a UK student visa must keep the following things in mind:

• Start the process by filling out the online application form, which requires the applicant to pay the visa fee and the healthcare surcharge (as applicable).
• Submit the necessary documents, including CAS number, passport, photograph, proof of finance, etc.
• Next step is to have the biometrics and photograph taken at the visa application centre.
• Get the result of the application. If the visa application has been granted, appear for the interview later on (if required).

What is UK Tier 4 Visa Fee?

Visa TypeVisa DurationEligibilityUK Tier 4 Fee (average amount)*
UK Tier 4 Visa (general)Entire Course Duration + 1 Month16 Years or Above £370 - £380
UK Tier 4 Visa (children)Below 16: 6 Years + 4 months 
16-17 years : 3 years + 4 months
6-17 years£370 - £380
 *To get real-time updates on visa fee or other requirements, contact the experts at Canam.

UK Tier 4 Visa: Processing Time 

The application process begins once the candidate submits the application. The process generally takes around three to four weeks. Student needs to be present in their home country for biometrics and interview for the first time student visa application.

Dependant Visa

The Dependant Visa allows the spouse or children (unmarried) to visit the main visa holder in the UK for the same amount of time granted to the main visa holder. The visa takes around 15 days to process, and each dependant is also subject to the Immigration Surcharge, which is based on whether the dependant is an adult or child applicant.

Latest Update

With effect from July 2023, the government has reduced the number of dependant visa applications that can be made with a student visa application. As per the new student visa and dependant visa immigration rules, an international student coming to the UK on a student visa cannot bring family members on a dependant visa unless the student is enrolled in a postgraduate course that is currently designated as a research program or a PhD program.


Undoubtedly, UK offers international students world-class education opportunities, and the Student Route Visa is the key for many international students to unlock these prospects. However, it is important to be well-prepared and informed about the process to avoid any delays or mistakes in the process.

Connect with the expert study abroad consultants at Canam to get complete information on programs offered in the UK, top academic institutes and visa guidance.

Also read : Why study MBA in UK?


The UK Tier 4 Student Visa is a visa that allows international students to study in the UK. It is also known as the Student Route Visa.
The earliest a candidate can apply for a Tier 4 visa is 6 months prior to starting the course. It then takes around 3-4 weeks to get a decision on their visa. To get real-time updates regarding the UK Tier 4 Student Visa Processing time, connect with the experts at Canam.
Yes, students on this visa type are allowed to work, but there are restrictions based on the level and type of course. Therefore, students are suggested to consult expert overseas counsellors to get the latest updates.
Yes, it is possible to study in UK without IELTS if the student applies to certain universities that have alternative requirements such as proof of over 60-65% in English in Class XI and XII, an undergraduate degree with medium of instruction as English, or a pre-sessional language course available for international students.
The application fee for the UK Tier 4 Student Visa ranges between £370 - £380. Applicants may also need to pay other fee, such as the visa facilitation fee and the health surcharge.

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