STUDENT VISA FOR UK
If you are a national of an EEA country (European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you can enter the UK as a student with a minimum of formality, you do not require entry clearance or a visa. You may be asked to show evidence that you have been accepted on to a course, and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself whilst in the UK. You will also need your passport.
Non EEA Nationals
If you are not from the EEA (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) you will have to meet certain immigration requirements. Nationals from many countries are required to obtain an entry visa or certificate before going to the UK. They can do this at the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Nationals from countries where an entry visa is not compulsory such as some Commonwealth countries should also consider applying for entry clearance before leaving home. This is to ensure a Right of Appeal in the unlikely event that entry is refused. To check if you need a visa look at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office web page at http://www.fco.gov.uk/travel/imm_visa.asp
Going to UK as a student you will have to produce the following documents
• A passport
• A letter of unconditional acceptance for a full-time course
• Evidence of your ability to meet, without working in the UK, the costs of your course, accommodation and maintenance and to support any dependants accompanying you.
Student visas are normally granted for an initial period of one year, usually determined by the length of the course to be studied.
When you arrive in the UK, an immigration officer may question you, so take all relevant documents in your hand luggage.
Immigration Rules for Students
• You must intend to study at a publicly funded university or college, a
bonafide private institution or a fee-paying independent school.
• You must be able to and intend to follow a full time degree course, or a weekday, full time course at a single institution involving at least 15 hours of organized, daytime study per week.
• You must be able to pay for your course and the living expenses of your husband or wife and children (if they are with you) without working in UK or claiming public funds.
• You must not intend to work in UK unless you are accepted for a
course lasting longer than six months, when you may work part-time or
• You must intend to leave UK at the end of your studies.
Documents Required For a Student Visa
• A letter of acceptance on the course
This will be a letter from your institution confirming that a place has been offered to you and that the course is full-time as defined by the immigration law. The letter should state how long the course will last. Where your course is more advanced and specialized, the letter should also state what level of English is needed for the course (giving minimum test marks, if appropriate) and confirm that you satisfy this requirement.
•Evidence that you can pay the course fees and support yourself and your family,if applicable
Depending on your circumstances,this could include evidence of government sponsorship, a letter from a sponsor in UK confirming they can support you, together with evidence that they can do this, and/or your own bank statements. You should also provide a letter from your place of study stating the full cost of the course, what arrangements are acceptable for payment and whether you have already paid fees or a deposit.
Although the immigration rules do not require unaccompanied students to show that accommodation has been arranged, your place of study may have given you information about its availability, and you should bring this to the attention of the ECO. If your family is going with you to the UK, you will need to show that there will adequate accommodation for them.If your place of study cannot confirm that family accommodation will be available, you may have to consider travelling to the UK alone and making arrangements for your family to join you when you have found somewhere to live.
You may take part-time or holiday work but you must not:
• work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless your placement is part of your studies, has the agreement of your education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognised examining body
• do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
• work full-time in a permanent job
Can I switch to Work Permit employment when I am in the UK?
You may be able to switch if:
you have completed a recognised degree course at either a UK publicly funded further or higher education institution or bona fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance
you hold a valid work permit for employment
you have the written consent of any government or agency which is sponsoring you
you have not broken immigration law
Can I bring my husband, or wife and children with me?
Your husband or wife and any of your children under 18 can go to the UK with you during your studies as long as you can support them and live without help from any public funds.
The authorities must also believe that you are a genuine student, that you intend to leave at the end of the course and that you have the required qualifications to take the course. It is a good idea to keep all documentation in your hand luggage during travel, as it may need to be produced on arrival in the UK.
If you are issued with a visa for more than six months it will be the equivalent of a multiple entry visa. If you are a national of a country where entry clearance is a requirement and your course is for six months or less you may want to consider applying for a multiple entry visa in order to leave and re-enter the UK during this time.
Important note: Do not enter the UK on a visitor's visa with the intention of changing to a student visa at a later date. This is because unless you are from a country whose nationals do not need to obtain a visa before going to the UK, you will not be able to change to a student visa and will have to return home to make an application
Passport stickers, stamp and length of stay
If you apply for a visa at a British Embassy, Consulate or High Commision outside the UK, you will receive a sticker called a vignette, in your passport with your conditions and length of stay. When you arrive at the airport, you will receive a stamp to show when you entered the UK.
If you are applying for entry at a port of entry (you can only do this if you are from a non visa national), you will receive a stamp in your passport with your conditions and length of stay.
Most overseas students (from outside the European Union) are initially given the right to stay for one year. Do not worry if you know that you will need to stay longer than this as you can apply to extend your stay as a student later.
The Immigration Officer will have endorsed your passport with any other restriction that may apply to you. Some students will be asked to register with the Police.