Apply for a 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 student 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 Student Visa, previously known as a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, through the government’s Points Based System. There are numerous types of Student Visa that you can apply for depending on your age and how long you plan on studying for in the UK.

(General) Student Visa

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

  • A conditional offer on a course with a licensed 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. Student 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.

(Child) Student Visa

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

Furthermore, it’s required that the parent can demonstrate they have sufficient funds to pay the outstanding course fees for one academic year and support their child’s living costs 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 Student Visa valid for up to 11 months. Your course provider must be an accredited institution and you will need to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to pay your course fees, maintain and accommodate yourself during your time in the UK.

Immigration options after graduating

There are several options to consider if wishing to remain in the UK beyond graduation:

  • Further study – to study further in the UK, a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is required from a Student Sponsor. It is also likely that students will need to comply with an academic progression requirement. A student visa can only be held for a maximum of 5 years.
  • Graduate route – this route is open to all international students who have completed an eligible course at Bachelor’s degree level of above. Graduates will receive permission to remain in the UK for a maximum of 2 years, unless they have completed a PhD, where 3 years will be granted.
  • Skilled worker – if a student is offered suitably skilled employment, a switch to a Skilled Worker visa may be possible. This route can lead to Settlement after holding this visa lawfully for 5 years.
  • Start-up – this route is suitable for graduates who have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body approved by the Home Office. If successful, individuals can receive permission to remain for a maximum period of 2 years, and in future, can switch to the Innovator route.

For further detail on these post-graduation options, click here. 

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 visa or change your status. Learn more about how we can help you after you have submitted your application with our UK visa application status services.

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 (General) Student Visa?

Work activity is restricted in the student 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 (General) Student 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 Student Visa?

Yes, there is 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 Student to Skilled Worker visa?

Student graduates are able to switch to the Skilled Worker visa route. They will need to secure a job offer from an employer listed on the current register of Skilled Worker sponsors, and for that employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship before they can apply.

Am I eligible for a Student 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 student category). Note that skilled worker specifically caters for those employed in post-doctorate positions, including many research positions.

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

Short-term students have no basis on which to apply to bring their dependents to the UK. Students can do this in some cases, most commonly where they are studying at a postgraduate level or on a government-sponsored scheme.

Our experts

What our clients say…

Successful visa application for wife of British citizen

Latitude Law is the best immigration law firm that I have ever come across. The quality of service & professionalism from Katerina, Alexandra, Natasha & Anna is out of this world. They invested time to make sure the application was successful & I received the decision exceptionally quickly. I can't thank them enough. If you are looking for an immigration firm to deal with your visa, Latitude Law is the best ever. Special thanks to Mr Gary - star of the immigration world!
Mr Malekzada
April 2024

Complex British Nationality Application

"Many thanks to the amazing Latitude Law team, especially Katerina Woodcock, Gary McIndoe and Anna Sullivan, for expertly handling my passport application. Mine was a very complicated and multifaceted case, but thanks to the wonderful Latitude Law, I succeeded in getting my passport in a timely manner and would definitely recommend Latitude Law for any immigration or citizenship matters. When working with them, you can rest assured that you are in good hands."
Ms B
February 2024

Administrative Review

"I would like to thank Jessica Lee and Natasha Willett for their excellent work over the last couple
of years. They have helped me secure permanent residence status in the UK and their professionalism
has been second to none throughout the process. What really impressed me is that they were prepared to
go the proverbial extra mile to achieve the desired result for me. They have been incredibly supportive
and easy to work with. Needless to say, I can highly recommend this law firm and would definitely go back to
them should I ever need legal advice again."
Mr Tom F
January 2024

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