There are various visa options if you are planning to study in the UK. The correct choice will depend on a variety of factors, including your age and how long you want to stay.
If you are unsure as to which visa would be best for you or need assistance with any immigration problems, our immigration lawyers are available to help. To get you started, the following is a brief overview of the different types of student visas available if you are from a non-EEA country or Switzerland.
Short-Term Study Visa
If you plan to complete a short course in the UK, you could apply for a Short-Term Study Visa. Short-term study could be an English course or another type of training, or it could be a research stay during a degree course which is principally studied in another country.
This visa is non-extendable and will not entitle you to work (either paid or unpaid), bring dependents with you, go to a state school or obtain public funds.
The maximum time you can stay in Britain with this type of visa under current immigration rules is 11 months but this could reduce to six months, depending on your age or the type of course you are going to do.
You can make an application for a Short-Term Study Visa as much as three months before you travel to Britain and you should receive a decision within three weeks.
Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa
This is the right visa for children aged between four years and 17 who will be studying at a British independent school.
In order to qualify, children must satisfy a number of eligibility requirements, including already having a confirmed place on a certain course, having parental or guardian consent, and having the money to pay for both living costs and fees.
When the visa can be applied for and the time it takes for the decision is essentially the same for a Tier 4 Visa as it is for the Short-Term version.
How long the child can stay and when they can arrive in Britain will be based upon the length of the course and their age.
This type of visa can be extended and, if you are the visa holder, you will be able to work if you are above the age of 16 and satisfy certain criteria regarding working hours.
If you are a parent of a child making an application for a Tier 4 Visa, you may need to make an application for a Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) Visa if you want to accompany them during their studies.
Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
This is the right visa if you are over the age of 16, have a course place and can write, speak, read and understand English.
You must also have the money to pay course fees and living expenses and satisfy other immigration rules.
The length of your stay will depend on what kind of course you will be doing and the studies you have already completed.