To come to the UK for educational purposes, it is necessary to obtain a student visa. There are high requirements to get the visa, which also depend on the applicant's country. In this regard, a lot of prospective students apply to travel agencies for obtaining a visa. Getting a study visa is possible only after receiving an invitation from the educational institution where you plan to study.

List of required documents

All documents for a visa must be submitted in English. Documents translated from other languages should be stamped by a licensed translator. For all types of visa to the United Kingdom, submission of the documents should take place not earlier than 3 months before the trip, but at least 3-4 weeks before the start of the course.
List of documents for all applicants, regardless of the type of visa:
  • International passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of the documents);
  • Photography (3.4 cm x 4.5 cm colour on a light gray background, taken within the last 3 months);
  • Confirmation of enrolment on the course;
  • Payment confirmation (letter from the educational institution or bank statement);
  • Confirmation of place of residence at the time of study;
  • Embassy consular fee (less than 6 months-78 GBP, over 6 months-289 GBP);
  • Bank account statement (personal or a close relative, indicating the movement of funds in the past 6 months with the necessary amount of surplus)
  • Certificates of proficiency in the English language;
  • Reference from the workplace of one of the parents (on the letterhead of the Organization, stating position, date of commencement of work and wages per month).
An applicant for a student visa must earn 40 points in Tier 4 Point based system.
You must be enrolled on a course in an educational institution (the applicant receives 30 points), which is member of the single register of educational institutions of the UK Border Agency's Registry of Sponsors.
This type of institution has the right to grant its prospective students a certificate - Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
You must have a sum of money sufficient to pay for the entire period or the first year of study, as well as accommodation and Board: 800-1000 pounds a month while studying in London or 600-800 pounds a month when studying in another city. This will give you another 10 points. You can apply for a student visa only if you can get 40 points. Otherwise, you will be refused in granting a student visa to England.
Money in the account must be not less than 28 days by the time of receipt of the statement of account and not later than one month before the filing of the application.
If the accommodation is provided by the institution and is paid in advance, which is confirmed by documented, this amount is deducted from the total amount of funds on the account required.
There are several types of student visa in Britain, depending on the age of the applicant and the duration of training:

Tier 4 General Student Visa

This visa category is given to those students who are over 18 years of age, and who go to study in the UK for longer than 6 months course. This visa allows the students to study in the UK, look for a job and extend their visa in the UK without leaving the country.
Student visa to England gives only a limited right to work. You can work 20 hours per week, if you enrolled in the level of the Foundation and higher. Those who study on the undergraduate programs, including language courses, can only work 10 hours per week and full time during vacations.
In addition to the main set of documents described above, for obtaining a student visa Tier 4 General Student visa you will need to provide:
  • Electronic Application-Tier 4 Application Form (it is required to complete and print the form);
  • School certificate or Diploma;
  • Copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable).

Tier 4 Child Student Visa

This type of visa is given to those students who are younger than 18 years of age and whose course in the UK extends longer than six months. This category of visa allows the student to study in the UK, look for a job and extend his visa without leaving the country. An applicant must also comply with the Tier 4 Point based system.
List of additional documents to obtain a long-term student visa to England (Tier 4 Child Student visa):
  • Electronic application - Tier 4 Application Form (it is required to complete and print the form);
  • School certificate with grades or transcripts;
  • Copy of birth certificate;
  • Permission from parents (notarized consent for children travelling abroad).

Student Visitor Visa

This category of British visa is for those students who are at least 18 years old, and who are going to take a short course (up to 6 months) in educational institutions, which are the members of a single register of educational institutions - Sponsor License for Tier 4 of the Points Based System or accredited by the UK Border Agency. This type of visa allows the holder to stay in the UK for up to six months. Short-term visa cannot be extended in the UK, after the expiry of the visa, the holder must leave the country.
List of additional documents to obtain a short-term student visa to England - Student Visitor Visa:
  • Electronic application form (it is required to fill in and print);
  • Reference from the Institute for granting academic leave;
  • Certificate of Incorporation of the company and an income statement from the Tax authority (if an applicant has his own company);
  • Copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable).

Extended Student Visitor Visa

This category of visa – is a Student Visitor Visa for applicants who intend to take language courses, which exceed 6 months in duration (up to 11 months). With this type of visa one cannot work in England, study anywhere except language courses or change the selected school. In addition, you cannot apply to extend your student visa. This visa has no age restrictions and requires the same documents as for the Student Visitor Visa.

Child Visitor Visa

This category of British visa is for those students, who are younger than 18 years old, and who are going to study on short courses (up to 6 months) in educational institutions, which are members of a single register of education institutions - Sponsor Licence for Tier 4 of the Points Based System or accredited by the UK Border Agency.
List of additional documents for obtaining a short-term student visa to England - Child Visitor Visa:
  • Electronic application form (it is required to fill in and print);
  • Certificate from school for academic leave;
  • Copy of birth certificate;
  • Permission from parents (notarized consent for children travelling abroad).

Prospective Student Visa

This category of visa is for students, who have received an invitation from several universities and would like to come to the UK to pass an interview and choose the educational institution. In this case, duration of stay in the UK should be not more than 6 months.
Applicants should provide additional documents:
  • evidence of active search of an educational institution;
  • correspondence with educational institutions;
  • confirmation of hotel reservation and air tickets;
  • trip program.

Switching to a different educational institution in England

An important aspect of immigration policy is the change of educational institution while in the UK. If the new institution is licensed by Highly Trusted, then the student can go to it, without waiting for the decision of the UK Border Agency on his request. If the school has a sponsorship license category A or B, the student can change the school only after the UK Border Agency will approve it.

English language proficiency requirements

For pupils and students who have not received a bachelor's degree, level of English must be not below the level B1 (on the Common European Framework - CEFR). For studying in undergraduate or graduate programs, as well as the Foundation, the student must demonstrate a level of English not below B2 (or IELTS 5.0-6.0).