Tier 4 Student Visa
You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:
- have been offered a place on a course
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- meet the other eligibility requirements
There has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum.
When to apply
You can apply from 3 months before the start of your course.
You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country.
It costs £328 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.
You must pay £328 per person for any dependants
You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.
How long you can stay
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:
- up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months
How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.
What you can and can’t do
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
- apply from inside or outside the UK
- apply to extend your stay
- work in most jobs - depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have
- get public funds
- work in certain jobs, eg professional sportsperson or sports coach
- study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)
You may be able to bring in family members (dependants).
Read the full guidance to find out how long you might be able to stay and what you can and can’t do.
You must have:
- an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
- enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
You can do a course that’s one of the following:
- full-time leading to a qualification that’s at least level 6 on the Ofqual register
- an overseas course of degree level study that’s equal to a UK higher education course and is being run by an overseas higher education institution
- full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study, leading to a qualification which is at least level 3 on the Ofqual register
- a recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist
Postgraduate doctors and dentists
You can apply for this visa if you’re sponsored to do a recognised foundation programme and you’ve:
- finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry
- received that degree from a registered Tier 4 sponsor
- spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK
Confirmation of acceptance for studies
Your education provider will send you a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once they’ve offered you a place on a course. You’ll need to enter this on your visa application.
You must apply for your visa no more than 6 months after you receive the CAS.
Further study in the UK
You can only get a CAS for a new course if you’ve studied in the UK before and you’re:
- re-sitting exams or repeating modules
- applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that’s lost its Tier 4 sponsorship
- applying to complete a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
- studying for a new qualification at a higher academic level
- studying for a new qualification at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations - it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI)
- applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa