The United Kingdom is one of the world’s most progressive countries. No wonder it fascinates thousands of international students each year.

If you want to pursue higher education in the UK, you need a student visa. A student visa is a document that allows you to enter the UK.

But obtaining a student visa can be a challenging process when you don’t know the basics. Here’s a walkthrough on how to get a student visa to study in the UK:

Types of Student Visa

There are different types of student visa in the UK. We’ll concentrate on two types in this blog.

The first is the student visa. This is for foreign students who want to study at a higher education level.

You must first receive a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). The UK university you applied for will issue this document if you accept an admission offer.

The second type of visa is for short-term studies. The Short-Term Student Route Visa is for students who will take courses for only six months.

Validity of Student Visa

If you’re on a short-term visa, you can switch to a student visa once you’re in the UK. You can also extend your student visa if you currently hold one.

In general, you can stay for up to five years in the UK if you’re pursuing an academic degree. Any course below degree level allows you to stay for only two years.

Who Can Apply for a Student Visa in the UK

To apply for a student visa, you must meet the eligibility criteria. You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a visa. But remember, you need to have a parent’s consent form.

An excellent grasp of the English language is also required. You must be proficient in areas of writing, speaking, and reading.

You must also prove that you have sufficient funds to support your education. This can be an approved student loan, scholarship grant, or savings.

You also need the CAS as a reference number when applying for a student visa. Once you receive your student visa, you can do two major things.

First, you can study in the UK. Second, you can work as a sabbatical officer for a student union. Remember that there are certain things you cannot do with a student visa.

When to Apply for a Student Visa

If you’re inside the UK, you can apply three months before the start of classes. Meanwhile, those outside the UK must apply at least six months before the start of the program.

But, the waiting time is usually around eight weeks for those inside the UK. While those outside the UK can expect a decision only after three weeks.

Student Visa Fees

Students outside the UK: £348

Students inside the UK: £475 (This is for visa extension or switching to a student visa).

International students must get a student visa to study in the UK. For more information about studying in the UK, read our stories here at MSM Unify.