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At Batley Law, we routinely help prospective students wishing to embark on studies in the UK in achieving that dream, by providing expert advice and a seamless service to ensure that a student visa is received in time for the start of the academic year.

What is a Tier 4 Student Visa?

Student visas are dealt with under Tier 4 of the UK Immigration Rules, points based system. In general, there are two main categories:

1. Tier 4 General Student Visa – for those 16 or over;
2. Tier 4 Child Student Visa – for those aged 4 to 17.

What are the requirement for a Tier 4 UK Student Visa?

In order to qualify for a Tier 4 General Student visa you will need to show that:

  • You are over the age of 16;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on a course with an educational institution in the UK that holds a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence;
  • You have the relevant English language qualification – to at least CEFR Level B1
  • You have enough money to maintain yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds.

It is also important to note that there is a time limit on certain types of studies. In general, you will not be permitted a student visa to study a course below degree level for more than 2 years. For courses at or above degree level, the limit generally is 5 years. There are some exceptions to this, contact us if you require specific advice.

What Course can I study for a Tier 4 Student Visa?

Tier 4 General Students can study the following courses:

  • A full-time course leading to at least a level 6 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (equivalent to bachelor degree level);
  • An overseas course of degree level study equivalent to a UK higher education course being run by an overseas higher education institution;
  • A full-time course with at least 15 hours of daytime study leading to a level 3 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (equivalent to AS/A Level);
  • A recognised foundation programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist (if you have finished a recognised degree in medicine or dentistry, received your degree from a registered Tier 4 sponsor and spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK).

What is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)?

Once you have been offered a place on a course of study, the course/education provider will need to provide you with a CAS reference number. This is very important and you will not be able to make your visa application without this.

You must apply for your Tier 4 General Student visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS, and within 3 months of the start date of the course.

If you have previously studied in the UK, your new CAS must confirm that either:

  • You will be studying for a new qualification at a higher academic level;
  • You will be studying for a new qualification that is at the same level as previous studies but relates to, and adds to, your previous qualification;
  • You will be resitting exams or repeating modules; or
  • You are applying for the first time to a new institution in order to complete a course that you commenced elsewhere.

What is the financial requirement for a Tier 4 Visa in the UK?

An important part of the Tier 4 application is the requirement to show that you are able to pay for your course fees and also able to financially support yourself for the duration of your course, without relying on public funds.

The Home Office will therefore expect to see evidence that you have enough money to pay for your course fees for one year and your living costs.

How do I calculate my living costs for a Tier 4 Visa?

If you will be studying in inner London, you will need £1,265 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months.

If you will be studying elsewhere in the UK, you will need £1,015 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months.

If the length of your course includes part of a month, the time will be rounded up to the next full month for maintenance purposes.

The rules in relation to the evidence that must be provided in this regard are daunting and complex, and a visa may be refused if all required documents are not provided.  Our experts are able to provide you with simple and coherent advice to ensure that you are not caught out.

What happens at a Tier 4 Student Visa interview with the Home Office?

If you are applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa, it is highly likely that the Home Office will want to interview you.

Every interview is different and the types of questions will depend on the nature of your application. However, we would advise that in general, you can expect to be asked about the following:

  • Your immigration history – any previous visa applications or travel to the UK;
  • Your education history
  • Details in relation to your chosen course in the UK;
  • Where you plan to live in the UK;
  • Your reasons for studying in the UK
  • Your financial circumstances.

How can Batley Law help with my Tier 4 Student Visa Application?

To stand a better chance of success, it is important that you receive advice from an early stage.

We have a success rate of above 98% in student visa applications. We are therefore in a good position to ensure that you avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls that lead to a refusal.

For every case, we will:

  • Advise you of the requirements that apply to your case;
  • Check all of your documents to ensure they comply with the requirements;
  • Check your CAS reference;
  • Check your bank statements to ensure you can comply with the financial requirement;
  • Complete the online application;
  • Arrange the visa appointment;
  • Draft a detailed letter of representations to go with your application.

If you would like our assistance with your spouse application, get in touch today.

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