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Student Visas

If you are a non-EEA national and want to study in the UK, you will need a student visa. There are different types of UK student visa and which is suitable for you will depend on the length of study, how old you are and where you are going to be studying. These include the Tier 4 General) Student Visa and the Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa, each of which have their own requirements.

Our Immigration Law team can advise you on the right option for you and support you through the student visa application process.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to student visas.

A Tier 4 (General) Student visa enables students from outside the EEA and Switzerland to enter the UK to undertake approved study. It will be for a stipulated time period for the agreed study, normally allowing a few extra weeks around the stated study time.

To apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you need to have:

  • An unconditional offer of a place on a UK course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor educational institution
  • Enough money to pay for your course and support yourself


The Home Office provides an up-to-date list of Tier 4 sponsors.

We can help you apply for a student visa, advising you on your options and the process.

A Tier 4 (Child) Student visa enables students between the age of 4 and 17 to enter the UK to study at a private organisation, usually primary school to secondary school level. The organisation must be a Home Office approved licensed Tier 4 sponsor educational institution. The Home Office provides a full licensed Tier 4 sponsor list.

You must have:

  • An unconditional offer of a place at the organisation
  • Enough money to pay for your course and support yourself


Our expert team of Immigration solicitors can advise on all types of student visas for study in the UK and help you understand your options and the processes involved.

A Short-term Study visa is normally just for six months, for example to gain language skills, however in certain circumstances, this may be valid for 11 months. You may then be able to extend your visa to a Tier 4 (General) Student visa. We can advise you on the appropriate visa for your education plans and on what you need to do.

Yes. Your education provider has to be Tier 4 visa approved sponsor. You can find a list of approved sponsor organisations on the UK government website.

You have to:

  • Have a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from your sponsoring educational organisation
  • Meet maintenance and financial requirements
  • Meet specified English language standards in speaking, listening, reading and writing


You will also have to provide biometric information (fingerprints and digital photo) at visa application centre as part of your application process.

You have to have your Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from your sponsoring educational organisation before you can apply. When you have the CAS, contact the educational organisation to confirm they have selected you as student and have the academic qualifications to do the course.

You also have to meet certain other requirements, such financial means to cover maintenance amount and language standard requirements.

You can find up-to-date information on the application fees on the UK government website.

Potentially there may be changes to Tier 4 Student Visas as Brexit unfolds. Our expert immigration lawyers can keep you abreast of all the changes and advise you on any action you should take.

How can Thorntons help?

There are few immigration issues in the educational sector that our experts have not dealt with. So whether you want to send your children to be educated in Britain or need assistance with obtaining a student visa, we can help.

Our team works closely with a number of further and higher education institutions as well as schools to assist with their immigration and visa requirements, and understand the issues from both the individual and organisational perspective.

With the ability to also advise academic staff, students, pupils and their families on all aspects UK immigration law, we are Scotland’s leading law firm when it comes to immigration for those involved in education in Scotland.

Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350to find out more about our support over student visa applications and immigration services, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.

How can Thorntons help?

There are few immigration issues in the educational sector that our experts have not dealt with. So whether you want to send your children to be educated in Britain or need assistance with obtaining a student visa, we can help.

Our team works closely with a number of further and higher education institutions as well as schools to assist with their immigration and visa requirements, and understand the issues from both the individual and organisational perspective.

With the ability to also advise academic staff, students, pupils and their families on all aspects UK immigration law, we are Scotland’s leading law firm when it comes to immigration for those involved in education in Scotland.

Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350to find out more about our support over student visa applications and immigration services, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.

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