Studying in the UK?

The Global Advantage:

  • Free initial assessment by phone or email
  • No call centres – speak directly to a specialist immigration lawyer
  • Fixed fees and unlimited support
  • Complete list of all documents needed
  • Professionally prepared applications
  • Experienced specialist immigration lawyers

We have clients across the UK and the rest of the world.
With phone, email and Skype, we can act for you wherever you are.

UK Student Visas


This visa is for children aged between 4 and 17 years who are studying in a private school.  16 and 17 year olds can also study at a further education college.


You need a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Studies) from a licensed education provider, offering you an unconditional place.  You also need to show that you have enough money to pay for the first year of your course and to support yourself for the first year before you apply for a visa.

Acceptable courses of study

You must be studying a course that is approved by an official UK body, such as the National Curriculum or the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

You can also do pre-sessional study – that is, a short course to prepare you for your main study.


If you are 16 or over you are permitted to work, though there are limitations on the hours and the kind of work that you are allowed to do.

Extending your visa

You can apply to extend your visa up to the maximum time allowed, which depends on your age when you first applied.

If you were below 16 when your first visa application was made, you can study in the UK for six years – if you were 16 or 17 when your first application was made, the maximum course length is three years.

You can change from a Tier 4 (Child) visa to a Tier 4 (General) visa once you are 16 or over.

Bringing your family to the UK

Your parents can apply to live in the UK until you are 12 years old.  They will not be permitted to work, and must have enough money to support themselves.


This visa is for adults who want to study in the UK.  You can apply for this visa once you are 16 years old, and must apply under this category once you are 18 or older.


You need to be offered a place by a licensed education provider, who will issue you with a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Studies).

You will need to show that you have enough money to pay for the first year of your course, and to support yourself for the first year.  You also need to demonstrate that you are proficient in English to either Level B1 or Level B2 CEFR (the level of English you have to show depends upon the level of your course – anything at or above NQF6, QCF6 or SQCF9 requires Level B2)

Acceptable courses of study

If you are studying for a qualification that is below degree level it must involve at least 15 hours organised daytime study per week, and be at least at NQF level 3.

You can also study for a course that involves full time study at at least NQF level 6, a recognised foundation programme or certain overseas degrees.


You can only work in limited circumstances.  Your visa will tell you if you are permitted to work, and if so, for how many hours per week.

Permission to work depends upon what level your course is, and what kind of sponsor you have.

Extending your visa

You can apply to extend your visa if you want to switch to another institution, study for a new qualification at a higher level, or if you need to re-sit exams or modules.  You can also apply to extend your visa if you want to do another course at the same level as your previous studies, and your new course relates to your previous qualification.

You can study for a maximum of three years on courses below degree level under Tier 4 (General).  In addition, you can study for a maximum of five years at or above degree level, though this five year limit does not apply if you are studying architecture, law, dentistry, medicine or music.

Bringing your family to the UK

Only students who are sponsored by their government, or who are studying at degree level or above for 12 months or more can bring dependants to the UK.

If your family are already in the UK as your dependants they can apply for an extension on the same basis at the same time that you apply for an extension of your leave, as long as you are applying to study for a course of at least six months.


The ‘student visitor’ route allows people to study a short course of up to six months in the UK.  The course must be run by an approved education provider.

As a student visitor you are not allowed to work or undertake any business, and you must have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK.

You must be over 18 to apply as a student visitor, and if your family want to come to the UK with you, they will have to make separate applications as visitors.

If citizens from your country don’t need a visa to visit the UK then you do not need to apply for a visa, even if you are planning to do a short course of study.

If your visa is refused

There is no right of appeal to an independent Immigration Judge.

For applications made from 20 October 2014 there is no longer a right to appeal to an independent Immigration Judge if your visa is refused, but only to apply to the Home Office for an Administrative Review – that is, a review of your application by a different caseworker.  You are not permitted to submit additional documents – only arguments as to why the caseworker made a mistake when refusing your application.
You can read more about how we can help you if your visa is refused on our Admin Review page.
Read more

How we can help you

All our lawyers have specialised in UK immigration law for at least 14 years now, so when it comes to knowing how to make a successful application, we know what we are talking about. When you instruct us we will:
Ensure that you know what the rules are

Though the Immigration Rules set out the requirements that you have to show you meet, Home Office caseworkers are also issued with separate guidance documents, which tell them how to interpret the Rules, what documents are required and when they can exercise discretion in a case. We look at all these things when we advise you on what is needed.

Give you a complete list of documents

It is for an applicant to provide supporting documents to show how the requirements of the Immigration Rules are met.  We provide a complete list of all the documents you will need, both those that are mandatory as well as those we recommend based on our experience of preparing several thousand successful applications.

Check your documents

We will review your documents so that any problems can be dealt with before your application is lodged.Most applications, even those made in the UK at a premium appointment, are decided on the basis of the papers that are submitted, without you ever being interviewed.  We check your documents, and work with you for as long as it takes to get them perfect, so that any problems are dealt with and rectified before your application is submitted.

Prepare the application to a very high standard

We will complete all the paperwork, and draft detailed legal representations that set out your case, address any issues that may be problematic, and then go through the different requirements of the Immigration Rules and show how you meet each one.

Provide unlimited advice and support

We will work with you for as long as it takes to get your paperwork perfect.  And because we charge a fixed fee, you can call or email us at any time that your have a question without any extra charge, no matter how many times that is.


globe-75x75We have clients across the UK and the rest of the world.  With phone, Skype, email and post we can act for you wherever you are.

Call 08448 044 128 or email us today.