Student Visa


Student visa caters for talented and high potential students coming to study at UK Universities, further education and English language colleges, and independent schools.

Eligibility criteria for applicants applying for a Student visa:

  • Be aged 16 years or over and studying at GCSE level of above
  • Have parental consent if aged under 18
  • Be a genuine student (a credibility interview may be conducted)
  • Meet academic progression and time limit (no more than two years below degree level or five years below postgraduate level)
  • Obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if studying relevant course (EU citizens are exempt from this requirement)

In order to be successfully granted Student visa, the applicant must earn at least 70 points by meeting mandatory criteria.

Study criteria (50 points):

The applicant must:

  • Obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Meet the course requirement
  • Meet the approved qualification requirement
  • Meet the level of study requirement
  • Meet the place of study requirement

Financial criteria (10 points):

When applying for entry clearance visa or for permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for less than 12 months, applicants must meet the financial requirement. The level of the funds depends on the location of studies. When applying for further leave under the Student visa, the Financial criteria might not be applicable to those Students, who have been studying in the UK for 12 months after being granted a Student visa. In addition, there is no requirement to demonstrate the funds for those Students, who are on a recognised Foundation Programme as a doctor or dentist in training, or who are applying as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.

English language criteria (10 points):

The applicant must show the English language ability on the CEFR in all four components (speaking, listening, reading and writing). The required level to be met is B1 if applying to study a pre-sessional course or a course below UK Bachelor’s degree level or B2 if applying to study a course at UK Bachelor’s degree level or above.

Additional information:

The applicants can apply for the Student visa six months before the start of their course (if applying from overseas) or three months before the start date of the course (if applying within the UK). There is no study time limit for students studying at a postgraduate level, although the Home Office expects to see the academic progression when making a further application for the Student visa within the UK.

Students, who are studying at postgraduate level for at least nine months at a Higher Education Provider (HEP) with a track record of compliance, or if government sponsored to study a course longer than six months, are able to bring dependents.

For further information about the Student visa and for the tailored advice to a specific case scenario please do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Team.

*Please note that requirements may vary from case to case based on the nuances of your situation, and the information on this page is not intended to replace legal advice.