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    • Overview
    • Who is eligible under home student status?
    • What is European Economic Area?
    • What is Channel Islands and Isle of Man?
    • Qualifying overseas territories?
    • Overview
    • About the UK
    • Why study in the UK?
    • UK Education System
    • Financial Aid for the UK
    • After Graduation
    • Overview
    • Do I need Visa?
    • What type of visa should I apply for?
    • What do I need to do to apply?
    • Can I work while I am studying?
    • Can I work in the UK after I graduate?
    • When Can I Apply?
    • How can I apply?
    • How much does it cost?
    • Overview
    • Eligibility
    • How to Apply
    • Loans and Grants
    • Special Support Grant
    • Extra Help
    • Overview
    • How to convert A-level results to UCAS points
    • How does it affect me?
    • Do I have to apply through UCAS?
    • How many courses can I apply for through UCAS?
    • Completing the UCAS application
    • What is Clearing?
    • How to Go Through Clearing

Tier 4 UK Visa & Immigration

A visa is a certificate (also referred to as ‘Entry Clearance’), which gives you permission to enter the UK. Your Tier 4 visa application is accessed by the British diplomatic post (e.g. Embassy or Consulate) in your country of nationality or where you are officially resident.

In some cases, a British diplomatic post handles the application in a regional headquarter. If you are coming to study for more than six months, you can travel to the UK 30 days before your course starts. This will normally be 30 days before the start date of your course, or 30 days from the date on which the visa is granted.

For International Student, it is very important to know the rules when applying for a Tier 4 UK Student VISA from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Regular update is made on Tier 4 Visa rules thus before starting your student visa application it becomes very important to consult the UK Home Office website. To protect you from deceitful colleges the UKVI has setup rules to ensure your welfare and to ensure that employers around the world acknowledge your UK degree.

Immigration requirements are determined by nationality.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals:

If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national arriving in the UK as a student to study a course of six months or more, you must arrange a Tier 4 (General) visa from the British Embassy or Consulate in your home country before travelling to the UK.

EU/EEA/Swiss passport holders:

You do not need a visa and are not subject to UK immigration control. You should enter the UK through the EU/EEA/Switzerland channel at passport control on arrival. This includes ‘dual nationals’ - people who have a EU/ EEA/Swiss passport in addition to a non-EU/EEA/Swiss passport. If you have EU/EEA/Swiss nationality in addition to another, use your EU/EEA/Swiss passport when you arrive in the UK.

The course is for a full-time degree   Tier 4 General Visa
The course is six months or less, and includes work-based learning or a work placement   Tier 4 General Visa
The course is six months or less, and has no work-based learning or work placement.   Short-term study visa (up to 6 months)
The course is an extended English language programme.   Short-term study visa (up to 11 months)
  1. The course you are applying to should be full time and should lead to a recognised qualification

  2. International students cannot study part-time. If you are considering a distance-learning course, you do not need a Tier 4 student visa.

  3. Anyone applying for Tier 4 visa should meet the minimum English Language entry requirements set both by the University and UKVI / Home Office. As of 6th April 2015, the list of UKVI approved English language tests will include only IELTS and ‘Integrated skills in English (ISE)’.

  4. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will be sent to you by your chosen University, which you will need to submit alongside for your visa application.

  5. You need to show that you have enough money to pay for your studies in London. This includes your first year tuition fees and £1,020 per month for your cost of living if you live in inner London. If you live in outer London you will need £820 a month.

As an adult student under Tier 4 (General), you are allowed to:

  • do part-time work during term time
  • do full-time work during vacations
  • do a work placement as part of your course n work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer, for up to two years


The work you do must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme), and you must not be self-employed, employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation Programme) or as a professional sportsperson, coach or entertainer.

The maximum amount of part-time work you can do during term time is:

  • 20 hours per week if you are studying a course at or above UK degree level at a higher education institution
  • 10 hours per week if you are studying a course that is below UK degree level at a higher education institution or any course at any level at a publicly-funded further education college.


You can work full-time during vacations, within the above limits. If you have completed your course and you apply to remain in the UK under the points-based system before your existing permission to stay expires, you can work full-time (within the above limits) until your application is decided. Work placements can be full time if your Tier 4 sponsor is highly trusted, or your course is degree level or above. You will be able to spend half of your course doing work placements if you have Tier 4 permission, your course is degree level and your education provider is a higher education provider. If you do not meet any of these requirements your work placement can take up to a maximum 33% of your total course.

There are several options for you to stay in London after your studies.

  1. Tier 2 (General) Visa: This visa is open to recent graduates with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD or PGCE from a recognised UK university. In order to apply, you will need to be offered a skilled job from a registered employer. You will also need to earn a salary of at least £20,300 per year

  2. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa: This visa option is open to talented students who are developing a world-class business idea. You will need to be identified and sponsored by your university as having the potential to create your own business in the UK. This applies to all graduating students. The UK government has also established an additional route for MBA students specifically.

  3. Tier 4 (Student) Visa: If you are a student completing a PhD at a UK higher education institute you can apply to stay in the UK for a further 12 months after your course completion date. Your university will sponsor you but you will have full-unrestricted work rights, except for some limited professions such as doctors or dentists.

  4. Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme: Some nationalities are eligible to apply for a two-year work scheme permit. You can find details on the UK Home Office website.

You will need to be offered the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your chosen university before you can apply for a visa. You can only apply for your visa three months before the start date of your course. This means, if your course starts at the end of September, you will receive your CAS around the end of June

The Tier 4 student visa application is an online application. International students from all countries (except North Korea) can complete the online visa application form on the UK Visa & Immigration website.

If you are applying from outside the UK, the cost of the visa is £310.
If you are already in the UK, you can apply by post for £422 or in person for £822.


Monday to Friday
9:30 am - 5:30 pm

11:00 am - 4:00 pm


Office in England

+44 (0) 20 8903 8889
+44 (0) 20 3621 2620

3rd floor, Kings House,
Kymberley Road, Harrow,
London, HA1 1YH
Office in Sri Lanka

+94 (0) 112 055 050

Unit 2 and 3, No.2B,
46th Lane, Wellawatte
Colombo 06, Sri Lanka