Tier 4 Student Visa

The Tier 4 Student visa allows overseas students to take advantage of the highly sought UK educational opportunities.

This immigration category puts the onus on the college or university to govern and manage their own students. Educational institutions have to report any students who fail to reach certain benchmark standards including class attendance.

How to qualify for the Tier 4 Student Visa

Non-EEA nationals qualify to apply for the Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK.  Applicants have to be 16 years or older.

You will have to have a place on a study course. This offer of a place will be in the form of an electronic Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies. This is a Unique Reference Number (CAS) from the Tier 4 licensed education provider.

You will have to have enough funds to pay for the course and to support yourself. The amount will depend on your specific circumstances. Circumstances can include; the length of the course and the location of the educational institution.

You have to prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English. You can fulfil this requirement in more than one way. The level of English required will depend on the degree level of your studies.

Please speak to your consultant for more information.

When can I apply for my Tier 4 Student Visa

It is only possible to apply for the Student Visa three months before the start of your study course.

You can arrive in the UK one week before your course starts if the course is six months or less. If the course is longer than six months, you can arrive in the UK one month before.

You have to apply for your Tier 4 student visa no more than six months after receiving your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies.

Tier 4 Students and the UK Immigration Health Surcharge

If you are applying for a UK visa for a period of longer than six months, you have to pay the UK Immigration Health Surcharge.

The cost is £150 per year for students.

Length of stay and right to work of a Tier 4 Student Visa

The Tier 4 Student visa will normally be granted for as long as the course for which the confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) has been granted.

The Home Office makes it clear that the Tier 4 Student visa is to study in the UK. In cases where work is permitted, the intention must only be to supplement the income of the student.

The working hours a student is allowed to work will depend on when the student applied for the student visa, the course type, and the type of sponsor.

Normally, a student will be limited to working 20 hours a week during term time if studying a course at degree level or above, and full time during vacations. If the student is studying a course below degree level, the working hours will be limited to 10 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations.

However, we strongly advise that you speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to confirm working hours in your specific case.

You cannot work as a professional sportsperson or coach.

You do not have recourse to public funds.

Spouses and dependents of Tier 4 Student Visa holders

The student can apply to bring a dependent to the UK if he/she is;

  • Sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above, lasting for 1 year or longer, or
  • A new government-sponsored student on course lasting for six months or longer, or
  • A student on a Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Dependents include your spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, and your children under the age of 18 years old. If you apply for dependents to join you in the UK, you will have to show that you can support them in the UK.

Tier 4 Student Visa and Indefinite Leave to Remain

The Tier 4 Student visa does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

There are however other immigration options available upon completion of the studies. One such option is switching to the Tier 2 (General) category from within the United Kingdom. The advantage of this switch is that the Tier 2 route will put the student on an immigration route leading to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Please contact one of our consultants to apply.