Tier 4 (Students)

Tier 4 (Students)

This category includes two sub-categories:

  • General Student – for those who are coming to the United Kingdom for the post-16 education;
  • Child Student – for children between 4 and 17 years old coming to the UK for their education to study at independent schools.

Students of 16 or 17 years old should agree with the chosen educational establishment either to apply for General Student or Child Student visa. It depends on the course level. If the course is considered as NQF Level 3 or above, the educational provider should advise a student on the applicable sub-category. Those studying for an English language qualification at CEFR Level A2 or above must apply as a General Student.

Educational provider means any educational establishment in the UK that is approved by UKBA and has been given a licence to bring overseas students to the United Kingdom under Tier 4 of PBS.

Scoring Sections – Attributes

The applicant should successfully claim 40 points in total i.e.:

30 points – for being accepted at a course (at an acceptable level) by an approved education provider (also known as sponsor). Your approved education provider will give you a visa letter which is an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course of study.

10 points – for having enough money to cover your course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds). You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.

Visa Letter

Your approved education provider will give you a visa letter which is an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course of study.

The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. The applications where the visa letters are older than six months will be refused.

Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.

Maintenance or Funds

The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and also whether you will be studying in or out of London.

You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.

Transitional arrangements will apply for those who apply for Tier 4 visa before 1 June 2009. The applicant will only need to show proof of availability of the required funds on the day of application.

If you are using overseas currency, you must clearly mention the exchange rate applied and money in GBP.

Your study is in London if the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time) will be in any of the following London boroughs: Camden, City of London, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster. If you are not studying in any of these boroughs, you will be considered as studying outside London. The address given in your visa letter will be used as proof of your main study site.

You must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs (not including fees):

  • £800 per month if you are living in London;
  • £600 per month if you are living outside London.

You can prove you have the money if you have:

  • cash in an account in your name (this includes joint accounts with your name); or
  • a loan in your name; or
  • official financial or government sponsorship.

Child students can use an account in their parent or legal guardian’s name.

If you have already paid some of your fees or accommodation before applying for your visa, this amount will be taken away from the total amount of money you need to show. For accommodation, this only applies if you are staying in university or college arranged accommodation.


Any partners or children who want to come to the United Kingdom with you must also have documentary proof that they have enough money to support themselves.

Child students are not allowed to bring partners to the United Kingdom with them as dependants. Anyone who has any children under the age of 18 who are living with them or who they are financially responsible for, is not able to come to the United Kingdom as a child student.

Additional documents and proof for students under 18 years old

All students under 18 years old will need to get their parent(s) or legal guardian’s written consent to the care arrangements for their travel to, reception and care while in the United Kingdom, before permission to enter or stay will be given.

Extra studies

As a child or adult student, you are allowed to do extra courses, for example, evening courses or other course relevant or irrelevant to your main course of studies. You do not need permission from UKBA to do extra studies, and you do not need to tell your approved education provider. But you must make sure that the extra course does not get in the way of the course that you have permission to stay for.

Switching Rules

You can switch in to the adult student category if you have, or were last given, permission to stay in the following categories:

  • skilled worker (Tier 2 General)
  • intra-company transfer (Tier 2)
  • minister of religion (Tier 2)
  • child student (Tier 4)
  • prospective student
  • student
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • student nurses
  • students writing up a thesis
  • Student Union sabbatical officer
  • work permit holder
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • participant in the SEGS
  • participant in the IGS
  • participant in the FT: WISS

Extension of staying

You can apply to extend your permission to stay while you are in the United Kingdom, or you can apply to extend your permission from outside the United Kingdom.

You may need a lower amount of money for your living costs. The money you need to apply for a further course of study or to complete an existing course of study will depend on the length of your course and where you will study.

This applies if you have undertaken a course of study in the United Kingdom in the last four months before you apply, and the course of study was six months or more, and you wish to apply for a further course of study or to complete an existing course of study.

Appeals (In country Applications only)

If your application for permission to stay is refused, you may be able to appeal. Details on how and if you can appeal will be included with your reasons for refusal letter.

It is strongly advised to take independent professional assistance to lodge an appeal against the decision of the UKBA.

Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide / submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

What services we can offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure of getting sponsor license for educational providers.
  • We can find a proper educational establishment for your education.
  • We can arrange an interview and testing at the selected educational establishment(s).
  • We can carry out the enrolment procedure.
  • We can advise on the law, procedure, requirements and merits of making an application to the home office / British Diplomatic post.
  • We can provide assistance in completing the application forms.
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters.
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can lodge an appeal (in-country only) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s leave to remain or entry clearance application is turned down for some reason.

Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of the immigration matters of our clients.

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