5 min read

June 23, 2024

UK Student Visa Guide
A UK student visa is designed for those who want to study in the UK, studying a course for more than 6 months, at a licensed educational institute. Our consultants have many years of experience in student visa applications, and are currently registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), so you’re in good hands. Continue reading to learn more about the application process.

Before reading this article, complete a 15 second government questionnaire to know if you need a Student visa in your circumstances: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.

Since Brexit, citizens of almost all countries need a Student visa to study in the UK for more than 6 month.

There are currently two types of UK student visa available: 

1. Student Visa - issued to persons over 16 years old;

2. Child Student Visa - for children aged 4 to 17 years old who want to study in a UK private school.


There are a few key documents you will need to submit with your application:

1. CAS letter

Otherwise known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), this document plays an important role in the application process:

·     It acts as a guarantee that the educational institution is confident in the prospective students ability to master and complete the course

·     The also confirms that the sponsor takes responsibility for the student’s education throughout his/her studies in the UK.

2. Proof of Funds

The applicant must prove that they have sufficient funds to support them self, and any dependents who accompany the student (spouse and/or children), throughout the length of study. The minimum amount depends on where the student will study: in London or in another city in the UK.

In London, the minimum amount required to cover housing and other necessities is £1334 per month. For other cities in the UK, the minimum is £ 1023 per month. This also applies to Child Student Visa applicants.

Please note, that if your course is longer than 9 months, you don’t have to show anymore funds, hence the maximum cap on the amount you need to demonstrate is £12,006 for London, or £9,207 for outside of London.

You must have this money for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28-day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa. It should be clearly visible that the account’s balance doesn’t drop below the required minimum amount during any of the 28 consequent days. The required minimum amount includes the maintenance funds plus the first-year tuition fees if they haven’t been paid to the educational institution already. The total minimum required amount is always recorded on the CAS.

If the applicant is accompanied by dependent members of the family, an additional £845 per month (£680 if studying not in London) per month is required for each dependent family member.

You do not need to prove the financial requirement if you’ve had a UK visa for 12 months prior to the date of your Student visa application - you must currently be in the UK.

For more information on proof of funds, please click here.

3. Meet the required education level

A study permit will only be issued by a UK education institute when a prospective student provides official documents that confirm their education level.

For general education courses, the minimum education requirement is National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 3.

4. Meet language requirements

To study Undergraduate or Graduate programs, Foundation courses, or courses at NQF/ QFC Level 6 and above, the student must demonstrate at least a B2 level of English. Universities will also publish a minimum IELTS grade required for study. Those who intend to come to study English in language schools must be enrolled in a course leading to a level of at least B2. For more information about proving your English knowledge, please click here.

5. Proof of Identity and additional documents

You will need to submit the following information:

·     a current passport or other valid travel documentation

·     a valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it

·     proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18

·     proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian if you’re under 18

·     tuberculosis test results (if applicable)

·     written consent for your application from your financial sponsor
(if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months)

·     detailed travel history for the past 10 years

Please note, you will need to provide translations of all documents that are not issued in English.

Still waiting for CAS from the school? There are several things you can do while waiting!

Bank statements, TB test appointment and English language exam usually take a long time to acquire. We recommend to speak to us at least 4-6 months before your intended course start date so that we can help you acquire all of those documents on time without stress.

If you would like some more information about our immigration support services for UK Student visa’s please email us at immigration@carfax-education.com or call +44 20 7927 6200.

Our Visa Service includes:

- Providing a full list of documents required for the visa application;

- Completing the online application form;

- Submitting documents to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI);

- Booking an appointment at a UK visa centre;

- Preparing sponsorship and parental consent letters;

- Preparing other required documents;

- Proofing all documents submitted by the client, including financial documents;

- Liaising with schools or colleges to receive appropriate invitation letters or CAS;

- Translation services;

- Escorting the applicant at a Visa Centre appointment.

Common Mistakes

1. Thinking about your visa too late or postponing your application:

You can apply up to 6 months before the start date of your course. it is not the most straightforward process, especially if you are applying for the first time. Getting a CAS letter from your education provider and a correct bank statement from your bank may take weeks.

Also, external events such as global conflicts and pandemics can in some cases, double the time it takes for the visa decision to be made. We saw priority services being removed in 2020, 2021 and 2022. There is no guarantee that an unplanned external event will not affect your future plans, so think about your visa well ahead and seek professional assistance from an OISC immigration advisor.

2. Submitting an incorrect bank statement:

The single most common reason for visa delays and rejections is the incorrect bank statement. Some applicants think that if they have 10 times or 100 times the required amount of money in their bank account, it will be enough however, if this money is in a business account or in any form of non-cash products such as bonds, stocks, crypto (even if it can be converted to cash within a few hours),it will not be accepted by the home office.

There are also strict requirements on being able to see all transactions throughout the 28 days, and the date of the statement/stamp cannot be more than 31 days away from the day of the application. OISC immigration advisor can always check your bank statement and say if it meets all of the requirements, saving you time and money.

3. Not using a qualified OISC immigration advisor:

It is a law to have a qualification if you provide immigration or any other legal advice in the UK. It protects both the customers and the lawyers but is not as cheap as friendly advice from your local tourist agency. Moreover, by using a qualified advisor, you can take the stress out of the equation and focus on preparing for your upcoming studies with peace of mind.

Carfax Education Qualified Immigration Advisors

- Nikita Khodkov is a qualified OISC level 1 immigration advisor and has 3+ years of experience

- Alexander Nikitich is a qualified OISC level 2 immigration advisor and has 10+years of experience

Please note, we cannot guarantee a successful outcome of any application as the decision to grant a visa is taken on an individual basis by a UK ImmigrationOfficer. However, in all cases where clients have followed the guidance given by Carfax, a visa has always been granted.

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