Apply for a Tier 4 (Student) Visa

If you are interested in studying in the UK, Latitude Law specialises in providing legal advice to migrants. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge on all aspects of the Tier 4 or short-term visa options for students and can help you successfully apply to study in the UK.

How do I apply to study in the UK?

To apply to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a Tier 4 Visa through the government’s Points Based System. There are numerous types of visa that you can apply for depending on your age and how long you plan on studying for in the UK.

Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

For students who are 16 or over, you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. To qualify, you require the following:

  • A conditional offer on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • The ability to speak, read, write and understand English up to a certain level (level B2 in the CEFR (Common European Framework for languages) for higher education) – you may be required to take a test
  • Enough money to support you and pay for your studies. Tier 4 visa applicants are usually eligible for student finance for their tuition fees, but grants for maintenance and living costs are usually restricted to EU nationals

If your application is successful, you’ll be eligible to arrive in the UK one month before your course commences, providing the duration is longer than 6 months.

Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa

For children aged between 4 and 17 years old, a parent or guardian can apply for a Tier 4 (child) visa on their behalf. To qualify for this type of visa, the child must have a place at an educational establishment with a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

Furthermore, it’s required that the parent can demonstrate they have adequate funds to support their child throughout their duration in the UK. Where a child is placed with a UK resident carer, the carer must have a minimum of £560 per month to support the child, whereas if a child under 12 is accompanied by a parent or guardian, they must demonstrate £1,535 for each month they remain in the UK.

Short-term Study Visa

If you have a place on a short course of study, such as an English language training course, you can apply for a Short-term Study Visa valid for up to 11 months. This type of visa covers you if you wish to conduct research in the UK as part of a degree you are studying abroad.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Our immigration lawyers have years of experience helping clients prepare and apply for student visas, so you are free to focus on preparing for your move to the UK. Our expertise means we’re able to tackle any case to get you a positive result.

We will keep you updated on proceedings, ensuring you are aware of what options are available to you and what is the best course of action you should take. Once you have secured your place, we are also available to answer any questions you might have about life in the UK or to help you should you need an extension to your Tier 4 visa or change your status.

Studying in the UK Q&As

Am I eligible to study in the UK?

You are eligible for UK study if you have secured an offer of tuition from a UK educational sponsor listed on the current register of sponsors.

Can I work on a Tier 4 (general) visa?

Work activity is restricted in the Tier 4 category, but those studying at degree level or above at a UK university will be able to work 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation periods.

Can I extend my Tier 4 (general) visa?

Extensions are possible, but generally only where a student can show academic progression. In most cases, this means moving from one level of a course to another; for example, from a Bachelors degree to a Masters degree.

Can you send your child to school in the UK on a Tier 4 visa?

Yes, Tier 4 has a specific child sub-category that allows for this. Again, sponsors must be approved and entered on the register of sponsors, and child applicants will additionally have extra requirements to meet relating to their safety and welfare in the UK.

How do I switch from a Tier 4 to Tier 2 visa?

Tier 4 graduates have some preferential provisions which allow their switch to Tier 2 work. For example, their prospective employer may not need to advertise the position to the wider job market, and they may qualify for a lower salary than another more established applicant. However, it is still necessary to secure a job offer from an employer listed on the current register of Tier 2 sponsors, and for that employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Am I eligible for a Tier 4 visa if I’m studying a Post Doctorate Degree?

This really depends on the qualification for which an applicant is studying and the time during which they have already completed UK study (there is an upper limit in the Tier 4 category). Note that Tier 2 specifically caters for those employed in postdoctorate positions, including many research positions.

Can I bring dependants with me if I am in the UK on a Tier 4 or Short Term Study visa?

Short-term students have no basis on which to apply to bring their dependents to the UK. Tier 4 students can so this in some cases, most commonly where they are Government sponsored, or where they are completing degree-level study over a long period.

Related services…

Our solicitors

What our clients say…

Naturalisation success for a medical doctor

I shall have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Latitude Law, which is clearly an extremely proficient unit, exemplified by helping clients with patience, attention to detail and sensitivity in equal measure.

Particular mention is merited to Ms Gemma Wylie, whose professionalism is par excellence. I couldn’t thank her enough.


January 2020
The long road to permanent residence

Me and Fady want to thank you and your team for helping us throughout the past 8 years with Fady's immigration issues and finally getting him to live a life without worries and struggles. We just came back from Egypt where we visited his family after 8 years of Fady not seeing them. This wouldn't have been possible without your help and who knows where we would be today if it wasn't for you helping us.

April 2019
Successful Sponsor Licence Application for Religious Charity

I cannot recommend Latitude Law highly enough. Their expertise in the area of immigration law has helped our charity navigate quite complex issues and at every point of the process their communication and advice was excellent. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Latitude Law and highly recommend their services. - Andy Taylor - UK Director of Ellel Ministries

February 2019

All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/02/2019