Legally reviewed by: Nisha Leel Updated:

Tier 4 Student Visa

Tier 4 student visas

Tier 4 Visa Applications

If you want to live and study in the UK, you may find the Tier 4 student visa, the general study visa, to be your best option. Our solicitors are here to help you through the student visa application process with ease. We want you to be able to focus on your studies, not worry about your tier 4 visa application.

The UK offers a range of amazing opportunities for anyone who wants to develop their education while enjoying life in the UK. Whether you’re looking to complete a full degree or want to learn English, studying in the UK can be a life-changing decision.

We’re here to help you get started on this exciting journey. Get in touch and find out if we can help you secure your tier 4 student visa. If you are applying with dependents, then we can help them apply for their Tier 4 dependent visa too.

What a Tier 4 General Study Visa Will Allow You to Do

While you are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you can:

  • Work as a student union sabbatical officer
  • Apply from inside or outside the UK
  • Apply to extend your stay
  • Work, although some restrictions apply

If you are in a course at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 at a UK higher education institution, the Tier 4 student visa will also allow you to:

  • Work for up to 20 hours per week during term time
  • Work full-time during vacations
  • Carry out a work placement as part of your course
  • Work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Program

If you are on a course below this level at a UK higher education institution, the Tier 4 visa will allow you to:

  • Work for up to ten hours per week during term time
  • Do a work placement as part of your course
  • Work full-time during vacations

If you are on any course at a publicly funded further education college, the Tier 4 visa will generally allow you to:

  • Work for up to ten hours per week during term time
  • Work full-time during vacations
  • Carry out a work placement as part of your course (as long as your education provider is a Highly Trusted sponsor or the course is at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9)

During your stay in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa you’re not allowed to:

  • Access public funds
  • Work in certain jobs, for example as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school, otherwise known as ‘maintained schools’

Tier 4 Visa Requirements

For your Tier 4 general visa application to succeed, you need to meet certain requirements:

  • You need to be aged 18 or over
  • You must not be intending to study at a state school or institution
  • You must not intend to study in the UK for extended periods by making numerous trips as a short-term student
  • You must not intend to take permanent employment – including any paid or unpaid work, a work placement or work experience – in the UK
  • You must not intend to undertake self-employment, business activities or other professional activity in the UK
  • You must have enough funds to cover your return or onward journey when you leave
  • Any maintenance and accommodation that you need should be covered by funds available to you
  • You must not try and access public funds

To be eligible for a Tier 4 visa you need at least 40 points on the UK point based system. These points are worked out based on your current situation.

You should receive these points if:

  • You can secure a sponsor who is on the Tier 4 register
  • You meet the minimum financial requirements and can prove you are able to maintain yourself while you’re here

We’re proud to hold a 100 per cent success rate for points-based visa applications, including tier 4 visa applications, due to the exceptional service and support that our solicitors provide.

If you want to find out more about getting your Tier 4 visa approved quickly and easily, give our team a call today.

Financial Requirements

To make sure you have enough money to cover your stay, the Home Office require you to prove that you have access to specific amounts whilst in the UK. This is in addition to the funds you have to cover your housing costs. The amounts vary depending on where you plan to stay.


  • You need to have £600 per month for each month of your course (up to a maximum of nine months)

Outside of London

  • You need to have £450 per month for each month of your course (up to a maximum of nine months)

Arriving before your Course

You are allowed to arrive in the UK before your course starts. How long before depends on the length of the course itself. You can arrive:

  • Up to one week before, if your course lasts six months or less
  • Up to one month before, if your course lasts more than six months

Documents to Provide

You’ll need to provide certain documents to support your application. These include:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
  • Proof of your qualifications
  • Evidence of your English language proficiency
  • Proof of consent from your parent or other legal guardian, if you’re under 18
  • Tuberculosis (TB) testing results (if required)
  • Proof of your finances
  • Your passport
  • A photograph of you

The Short-Term Study Visa

If you intend to study in the UK for a short period of time, a different student visa might be more appropriate for you.

A short-term study visa is available for anyone attending an English language course for 11 months or less. If you’re over the age of 18, and plan to study in the UK for less than six months, this could be the perfect visa for you.

Academic visitors don’t generally need study visas. If you’re planning an academic trip to the UK, a standard visitor visa will allow you to stay for up to six months.

Find out more about short-term study visas

Our Immigration Services

Our expert immigration solicitors can help you achieve your dream of studying in the UK with advice tailored to your specific situation.

Your immigration solicitor will guide you through the Tier 4 student visa application process from beginning to end, so you can submit your visa application confident in getting the result you want.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What are the eligibility requirements for a Student Visa?

  • You must be aged 16 or over – parental consent required for 16 and 17 year olds, evidence of which must be provided. 16 and 17 year olds looking to attend an independent school in the UK can apply for the Child Student Visa instead
  • You must have been offered a place on a course by a licenced student sponsor
  • You must have enough money to support yourself and the cost of your course during your stay in the UK
  • You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English

What is the Child Student Visa?

The Child Student Visa is reserved for minors aged 4 – 17 for study at an independent school in the UK. Eligibility for this visa includes:

  • Having an unconditional offer or place on a course at an independent school in the UK
  • Evidence of enough funds to support a child’s study and stay in the UK
  • Consent of a parent or guardian for a child to study in Britain

How long is a Student Visa valid?

The validity of a the Visa depends on your age on the date that you apply and the length of your course.

For under 16s, a Child Student Visa is valid for up to six years, depending on course length, and up to four months once a course of study is complete.

For 16 – 17 year olds on a Child Student visa, validity is up to three years,  depending on course length, and up to four months once a course of study is complete.

If you’re 18 or over and you’re taking a degree level course, a Student visa is valid for up to five years. If your course is below degree level, your visa will be valid for up to two years.

UK Student visas can be extended, or you can switch from this visa to another UK visa if you’re eligible.

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