What is a tier-4 UK visa?

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 6, 2020 16:12 IST

All those who want to pursue their higher studies in the UK must know about the Tier-4 visa. In this article, all those who require to get a UK Student Visa, we will inform you everything about the Tier-4 UK visa. What is a Tier-4 UK visa? How to get the Tier-4 visa, where to apply for the Tier-4 visa and more. The UK follows a points-based immigration system supported by the principle of visa sponsorship for issuing a visa. The Tier 4 visa is issued to study in the UK. The sponsor for the Tier 4 visa is the educational institution where the aspirant will pursue his/her study.

There are two student categories under the Tier-4 visa

  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: This visa category is for students coming to the UK for higher education. The applicant must be at least 16 years old.
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa: This visa category is for children between 4 and 15 years of age coming to the UK for their education. Children between 4 and 15 years can only be educated at independent fee-paying schools.

Eligibility criteria for applying a Tier 4 General Student Visa

  • Acceptance letter from a licensed Tier 4 educational institution
  • Show proof funds to finance your education and to sustain yourself till the completion of your course.

Do I need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK?

All international students who are planning to pursue their studies in the UK need to get a student visa. This visa is issued to only those who will be pursuing a full-time degree and not to students going for short-term or language courses.

How to apply for a Tier 4 UK student visa?

Steps to apply for a Tier-4 UK visa:

  • Aspirants need to apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
  • In order to get a biometric residence permit, aspirants need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at the visa application center. You can find your visa application center here
  • You need to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days from the date of arriving in the UK.

When to apply for a Tier 4 UK student visa?

You can apply for a Tier 4 UK student visa 3 months before the starting of your course. After submitting the application, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the university. You need the CAS number to support your student visa application. This document entitles the student to apply for the UK student visa, as he/she is now an admitted student in a UK educational institution which makes them eligible to apply for a student visa.

Cost of a Tier-4 UK student visa

The fee for the Tier 4 General Visa is £348. The student visa fee tends to change with time, so, it is always suggested to check the cost of the Tier 4 student visa at the official website. Aspirants can pay for a visa online, demand draft and cash.

How long does it take to get a Tier 4 UK visa?

The earliest you can apply for a student visa is 3 months prior to starting the course you are going for. Aspirants get a decision on their visa within 3 weeks of applying. Check the visa processing time for your country here

Can I bring dependents or my relatives in the UK on the Tier 4 visa?

Your children, spouse/wife are considered as dependents. You can bring your dependents with some restrictions. If you are enrolled in an undergraduate course with more than 6 months duration or in a postgraduate course with more than 12 months duration at a recognized university then you can bring dependents with you. However, your dependents need to prove that they are financially sound and can support themselves. The amount of money can be held either by the student or dependant.

Your dependant can work in UK under these circumstances

According to the new rule introduced in the UK, those dependants who submitted the immigration application on or after 6th-July-2018 are allowed to work even the course duration is 9 months or longer.

If the student is attending an undergraduate degree course for more than 6 months or a postgraduate degree course for more than 12 months.

How to get a work visa after studies in UK

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme: A sponsorship from your university is required for getting this visa. Final year students, those who are about to complete their Ph.D. and are planning to get a job can seek an extension for up to 12 months. Read all about the post-study work visa here.

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio



I Wants to now UK study visa process with tution fee and all gov Fee

Reply to narender sharma


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Narender, please read the above article all the information is given.

how much it cost super priority visa for uk students

Reply to Sai Malliboina


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Dear Sai, fee for the Super Priority Visa Service is £600, apart from the standard fee for the type of visa you are going to apply.

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