The visa for which you should apply depends on a number of things: the duration and type of course you intend to take; your age; which college or university you will be attending; etc.
If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country, or of Switzerland, then you are exempt from the need for a student visa.
There are two principal types of student visa:
- The Student Visitor Visa
- The Tier 4 Student Visa
The first of these, the student visitor visa, is principally aimed at students who intend to take a place on a short academic course, or for those wishing to take an English course.
The second: the Tier 4 Student Visa, is more likely to be the appropriate one for you if your intention is to enrol on a longer academic course.
The Tier 4 visa is divided into 2 classes: General and Child. If you are under 18, and intend to study up to GCSE or NQF level 2 then you should apply for a Tier 4 Child Visa.
If your plan is to study at a higher level – University Foundation; A level and above, but you are under the age of 18 then you can choose between either the Tier 4 Child visa or the Tier 4 General Student Visa.
If you are over the age of 18, then you must apply for the Tier 4 General Student Visa.
Before applying for either of the Tier 4 visas you must hold a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from the school, college or university you plan to attend. This might not be issued until you have paid for your studies, or a deposit towards the fees. Your chosen institution will advise you of their requirements in this regard.
The school or college you plan to attend must be recognised by the UK Border Agency. It is your responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
If you are over the age of 18 then you must be studying at NQF level 3 or above. However if you are under 18 there is no restriction on the level at which you study.
If you are over the age of 18 you may be asked to pass an English language test before you apply for your visa. It is wise to check with an advisor or legal representative before making your application.
In all cases you will have to provide evidence that you have the funds to pay for your studies. Full details of what this means can best be found by speaking with an experienced legal advisor or advocate. At Khan McKenzie Solicitors, we have a wealth of experience in dealing with visa applications of all kinds, and will happily advise you as to what is required in respect of proof and documentation.
Student Visitor visa/ English Language course Visa
Tier 4 (Child) student visa
Tier 4 (General) student visa
Extension of Student visa
Injunctions and other Relief Orders
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