Studying in the United Kingdom is a dream for many international students. However, before embarking on this exciting new chapter in life, it is important to understand the process of obtaining a UK student visa.
Fortunately, Barings Law has a team of legal experts specialising in immigration law who are on hand to assist international students navigate the process of obtaining their student visas. Listed below are some of their tips to help you get ready for your application so you can focus on your future:
Have a valid CAS
To apply for a student visa, you must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the university you will be attending.
The CAS is a unique reference number which confirms that the University has agreed to be your sponsor, and provides information about you and your study to UK Visas and Immigration as part of your application.
If you currently have a different UK visa, you may still be able to use this when you choose to study, but you must ensure you’re able to meet the conditions of your issued visa.
Obtaining the relevant documentation
Once you have your CAS, you can now apply for your student visa. Before you get excited and start the application, make sure you have all of the appropriate documentation, not having it ready can lead to delays.
Depending on your course, you may need to include ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) but your chosen university will have informed you about this.
You will also need a valid passport or travel document, recent passport-sized photographs, proof of English language proficiency and financial evidence to demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially during your studies.
You may also need to provide a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate depending on your location.
Apply for your visa
You can apply from the country that you normally live in as long as you are living there lawfully and not as a short-term visitor. You can also apply from any country that you hold a passport for.
Make sure you have all of the relevant documentation ready and be prepared to attend a biometric appointment once your application is submitted. Some students will be eligible to use the new UKVI immigration ID check app on a smartphone instead of attending an appointment.
When applying for your visa, you will need to pay the application fee and healthcare surcharge, which grants access to the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK.
In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview as part of the application process. Be prepared to answer questions about your course, study plans, and financial situation.
After your application has been processed, you will receive a decision about your visa. If approved, you will be issued a visa vignette in your passport or a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
Arriving in the UK
When it’s your time to travel to the UK, make sure you have the necessary documents to present to immigration officials upon arrival. These will include your passport, CAS and evidence of financial support
If your application has been refused you will receive a letter or an email explaining the reasons why and if you have the right to either an administrative review or an immigration decision appeal. Your passport will also be returned to you if it was kept as part of your application.
Requesting legal assistance
Whether you are looking into gaining a UK visa for personal or work-related reasons, British citizenship, advice on asylum or any other immigration law matter, our experienced legal team are here to help.
Our team will inform you of the process to make your application and how we can assist you throughout.
Our legal experts can advise you on matters concerning all types of visas and give you accurate and reliable information.