UK Student Visas - Student Route

UK Visas & Immigration

Student Route and other Visas for UK Study programmes

There are three visa routes open to international students wishing to study in the UK:

  • the new Student route (previously Tier 4 student visa) is a points-based visa system for students aged 16 and older
  • the Short-term student visa for students who want to study English language courses of between 6 to 11 months
  • the Visitor route for students wishing to study a course of 6 months or less

Student route

Eligible courses

Z Courses that are longer than 6 months at RQF Level 3 or above

Z Courses with an approved licensed Sponsor

Z English Language courses at CEFR Level B2 or above

Z Courses below degree level that involve at least 15 hours a week of organised daytime study and lead to an approved qualification

Students aged 18 years or older are subject to a limit of 2 years on the length of time they can study courses below degree level.

Student route restrictions

M Students cannot work in the UK

M Students cannot change institutions without applying for a new visa

M Students must not cease studying without notifying UK Visas and Immigration

Other requirements

Z To have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) before making a Student Visa application

Z To have enough money to pay for the course and living costs (£1,023 for each month of the course, up to £9,207 for a course lasting 9 months or more)

Z To take the UKVI approved secured English Language Test (IELTS or Trinity) and achieve the required score

Z To provide the required evidence of the above

Short-Term Student Visa

The short-term student visa is for:

Z Students aged 16 years and above

Z Up to 11 months study on English Language courses only

Z The courses can be at any level

Z There are no minimum academic requirements and no minimum England language level requirements

Z No minimum number of hours required

Z Students must study with the approved licensed Student Sponsor

Visa restrictions

M Students cannot work in the UK

M Students cannot extend their stay in the UK

M Students cannot apply to switch to any other immigration category

Visitor route

The visitor visa is for:

Z Students aged 16 years and above

Z A short course of study (6 months or less)

Z The courses can be at any level

Z There are no minimum academic requirements and no minimum England language level requirements

Z No minimum number of hours required

Z Students must study with the approved licensed Student Sponsor

Visa restrictions

M Students cannot work in the UK

M Students cannot extend their stay in the UK

M Students cannot apply to switch to any other immigration category