Immigration and Visa Preparing To Study In The UK

Getting a visa

Your nearest British Council office will be able to tell you whether you need a visa to enter the UK, or you can check the UK Visas & Immigration website link . Processing time of visas depends on the British Embassy or High Commission you are applying to, as well the time of year that you apply.


Short-term study visa

If you are a national of the EEA (the member states of the EU,  Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) the following does not apply to you.  If you are not a national of the EEA, are 18 years old or over and want to enter the UK as a student to study a short course for six months or less, you can apply for this type of visa.  Students 18 years or over and studying English Language courses can come to the UK for up to 11 months.  (Please note that student visitors are not able to work in the UK).


Tier 4 Students

If you are a national of the EEA (the member states of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) the following does not apply to you. If you are not a national of the EEA and want to enter the UK as a full time student to study anything other than English Language, you must be able to show that:

1. You have been accepted for a course of study: 

  • that is at a level that the UK Visas and Immigration will accept
  • with a provider that is a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • that is at least 15 hours per week of organised day-time study


Under the Points Based System you will need to have the course acceptance confirmed with a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number to gain 30 of the 40 points required. The College can issue this CAS number within a statement confirming the details of the course and how you meet the requirements to be a TIER 4 student once we have received all the relevant documentation and a deposit from you.

2. You can meet the costs of your course, accommodation & living expenses.

Under the Points Based System you need to claim 10 points for these costs.


For an initial application, made out of the UK, you will need to show that you have the total tuition fees for the academic year (unless you have already paid in full) and the maintenance fees as required by the Home Office.


Before the College issue the CAS, we need to confirm that you have the appropriate financial statements to submit when you apply for your visa. This is very important, because if these documents do not follow the requirements, your visa application may be rejected, and there may not be time to make another application.


The financial documents must show that you will have enough money to pay living costs for the time you are in the UK and any remaining tuition fees. You must have had this money in the bank for at least 28 days, and this 28-day period must end no more than a month before your visa application date. The statements must be in English, or be official certified translations.


You can find full details of the supporting documents you need to show with your visa application, including financial documents, in the government’s ‘Guide to Supporting Documents’.


If you have paid in part you need to show the remainder of the course fees for the academic year, the maintenance fees and be able to provide the receipt of payments already made.


For further information and advice on obtaining visas, please visit:

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