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Tier 4 - Students


If you are not an EEA National and want to come to the United Kingdom in order to study, you will need to make an application for Entry-Clearance under Tier 4 of the Points Based System unless you are seeking entry for a short course of study of less than six months in which case the student visitor category may be more appropriate. There is also the prospective student category for those wishing to travel to the United Kingdom to investigate studying, attend interviews and so forth.  If you come to the United Kingdom as a prospective student, you can then apply to extend your stay as a full student under Tier 4.

When making a Tier 4 application, you must be sponsored by an education provider that has issued you with a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS).  Without a CAS, you will not be able to apply for a Visa.

Tier 4 (General)

This is the most common category.  You must be over 16 years of age and must be enrolled for full-time study on one of the following forms of course:

  • A full-time UK Degree level course or above in a publicly funded high education institution; or
  • An overseas higher education course, which is recognised as being equivalent to a higher education qualification at an overseas higher education institution; or
  • A course of study involving a minimum of 15 hours per week organised daytime study; or
  • A course of study, which includes a work placement element, which is more than 50% of the full course length and is at a minimum of Level 3 of the NQF or it’s equivalent (or the equivalent of a UK Degree level, above if an overseas qualification).  40 points are required to qualify, 30 points are awarded for obtaining a Visa.  

10 points are awarded for funds and maintenance.  Students must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover the full cost of their course fees plus £800 per month (£600 per month if they are studying outside London) for each month of the course up to a maximum of nine months.  If on a course lasting 12 months or more, the applicant must show that the course fees for the first year of the course plus £7,200 are available, £5,400 if outside London.

Entry-Clearance is normally granted for the duration of the course plus a short period of time before and after the course.

You must not claim any public funds but you can work during vacations and during term time for up to 20 hours per week.

Tier 4 (Child)

There are also separate rules for children coming to or remaining in the United Kingdom to be educated between 4 and 17 years of age. Children between 4 and 15 must be educated at independent fee paying schools.

What we will do for you?

We will assist you in completing the application forms, advise you on the documentation you will need as evidence in support of the application, ensuring that it is in the correct format as required by the Entry-Clearance Officer under the Points Based System.  Crucially, we will make detailed representations in support of the application setting out to the Entry-Clearance Officer why your application fulfils all the requirements with direct reference to all the documentation and evidence in support of the application.  We can also advise you on the most appropriate course for your needs and the length of time you are likely to be granted entry-clearance to the United Kingdom.  We can also assist you in making any applications for an extension of stay.

Even if your application is refused, we can assist and represent you at an appeal. If your application is made from overseas, there will be no right of appeal but you will have a right of administrative review.  We can submit an administrative review request notice on your behalf.


Please see UK Border Agency website for up to date information. The information reflected above is correct at time of publication only.

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