You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:
- have been offered a place on a course (Check REGISTERED & LEGAL educational institutions allowed to offer sponsorship. Please don’t pay any college or university NOT LISTED here)
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- meet the other eligibility requirements (as shown below)
When to apply
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course.
You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country.
It costs £335 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.
You must pay £335 per person for any dependants.
How long you can stay
You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:
- up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less
- up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months
How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.
What you can and can’t do
- work as a student union sabbatical officer
- apply from inside or outside the UK
- apply to extend your stay
- work in most jobs – depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have
- get public funds
- work in certain jobs, for example professional sportsperson or sports coach
- study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)