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UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Explained: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2024/25

UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Explained: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2024/25

Do you also picture your education journey in the United Kingdom( UK)? Then, this blog comprehensively explains how you can apply for UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa for 2024/25. Its basically a UK study visa that students between 16 and 79 years old from across the world (except North Korea) can apply for.

Requirements and Process to Apply for a UK Study Visa 2024

A UK student visa requires a CAS number for you to be accepted into its highly accredited academic program. In order to qualify for a student visa in the UK, continue reading about the following process.

1. Qualify for UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

To qualify for a Tier 4 visa (student visa), you need an unconditional offer and a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a recognized academic institution in the UK. Interested students who are 16 years old and older and fulfill English language requirements can apply for a UK student visa.

If a student aged 16 or 17 applies for the course, they need parental consent to study in the UK. You need to have financial proof that you can pay for your one academic year (up to 9 months) at the price mentioned on the CAS. You need to be medically fit; your tuberculosis test results must be attached to the application form.

2. Prepare the required documents (originals and photocopies)

The documents needed for a UK student visa are a valid passport, travel documentation, CAS, proof of financial support, or a legal sponsor for your course. You may also need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if your course demands the same.

You must document a financial sponsor's consent (if you have received financial support in the last 12 months). And if you are under 18, you only qualify if you provide written consent from both parents with no objection to studying in the UK. Depending on your specific academic course, you may have additional requirements.

3. Apply online for a visa using an Immigration account

To apply for a UK visa, you first need to visit the UK official visa and immigration website to create an online account. You are asked to complete the online application form and

4. Pay the application and Immigration health surcharge fee online

Once you apply for a UK Tier 4 general student visa, you need to pay the necessary application fees either by bank, demand draft, online, or deposit by cash at the respective UK visa center.

The application fee for a Tier 4 (General) student visa is £490 (last updated on January 31, 2024) and the rate may vary annually. In addition to this, students applying are also subject to paying the Immigration Health Surcharge, which currently costs you £1035 per year (as updated on February 6, 2024).

5. Visit the application center on the scheduled date to submit documents and biometrics

You need to visit the UK visa application center at least once on the appointed date. You can pre-book it on available dates according to your convenience. This marks the day when you submit your photographs, documents, proofs, and even your biometrics.

Additionally, you may need to attend an interview, and a digital scan of your fingerprints must be submitted. Also, certain medical vaccinations may be required based on the country of your origin.

6. Wait for Visa decision

The standard duration within which your visa application can be processed is 3 weeks. That means that your visa is either accepted or rejected within 15 working days in normal circumstances. It is advisable to wait at least 8 weeks after you lodge the visa; if not, you may contact the officials.

However, there is the introduction of a priority visa and a super priority visa scheme within which the visa can be processed within 5 days or the next day. It is provided in special cases with additional fees, which you can research more about on the UK’s official website for immigration.

7. Biometric Residence Permit

Once your digital copy of your fingerprints is submitted, you are eligible to land in the UK after a successful visa decision. You can collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of arriving in the UK, as it is a document you need to possess during your stay in the UK as a legal student.

What are the new UK rules for a Tier 4 student visa?

The post-Brexit immigration rules were updated as per which EU citizens require a student visa to study at a UK university, with score points of at least 70 to be eligible. Not only the EU but also the EEA will now need to apply for a visa in order to study in the UK.

The Tier 4 (general) student visa is now renamed the UK student visa. International students will no longer be able to bring dependents (partners or children under 18) to the UK on their student visa, with the exception of postgraduate research students.

Students must meet academic progression requirements to extend their visa within the UK, such as by moving to a higher academic level or providing evidence of completing their previous course.

There are restrictions on the amount of time international students can study in the UK on a student visa. Undergraduate students are limited to 5 years, while there is no time limit for postgraduate study

What are the consequences for overstaying a Tier 4 student visa?

It is a criminal offense to overstay under a Tier 4 student visa if you do not have a valid reason for staying. You can extend your study period as an undergraduate by more than 5 years for a valid reason, and if you fail to return to your home country without an extension of stay, you can face up to 4 years in prison without overstaying.

You may loose the right to work legally and access public benefits like National health Service if you stay longer than the grace period in UK. It may cause potential imprisonment, re-entry restrictions, and difficulties in the future immigration process.

How easy is it to get a Tier 4 student visa in the UK?

A UK student visa is relatively easy to get via agents, as compared to Australia, Canada, and the US. It has the highest rate of ease of visa application compared to all other study destinations abroad.

Despite being easy, it takes around 3 to 8 weeks from the processing time to get your UK entry student visa approved. If you have a sound academic transcript and good English linguistic ability, your chances of visa approval with a licensed student sponsor are high.

Top 10 Universities in the UK for International Students

UK Rank Name of University QS world Ranking 2024
1. University of Cambridge 2
2. University of Oxford 3
3. Imperial college London 6
4. UCL (University College London) 9
5. University of Edinburgh 22
6. University of Manchester 40
7. King’s College London (University of London) 45
8. London School of Economics and Political science (LSE) 32
9. University of Bristol 95
10. University of Warwick 75

Benefits of a UK Study Visa

There are several benefits you can take from studying in the best student cities in the UK, like London (ranked as the #1 best student city) , Manchester, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Durham, and Newcastle.

  1. 1. International students can have a more affordable cost of living in the UK.
  2. 2. Through UK graduate route visa 2-year post-study work visa
  3. 3. Extended time in the UK for postgraduate students based on valid reasons for study
  4. 4. Dependents and partners can also work in the province of the UK
  5. 5. STEM graduates from UK university are in high demand on global job market
  6. 6. International students can work part-time and fill out the Shortage Occupation List
  7. 7. The UK government also provides 3-year post-study visa extension for Ph.D. students


If you need help with UK visa processing for students, then feel free to contact Macro Hub Educational Consultancy. We have a proven rate of successful visa attempts to top study destinations abroad like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and we help you access the correct study and work path worldwide.

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