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Applying UK Study Visa
United Kingdom has a tradition of excellence in the field of education and it has been built over the centuries. Its numerous universities offer a vibrant, creative and challenging environment. UK still is emerging as one of the most popular study destinations. International students from all over the world choose UK Universities and colleges to complete their study dreams. If you are planning for higher studies in UK, you may need to apply for visa. There are different types of visa depending upon length and level of course. UKBA (UK Border Agency) has classified UK study visa in following categories.
UK Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa: If you intend to study in the UK at an independent, fee-paying school or further education college and your age is between 4 to 17 years, you can apply as child student visa. 40-point system is introduced to monitor study visa for UK. These 40 points are given for attributes including confirmation of acceptance for studies and maintenance (available funds).Tier 4 (Child) Student visa applicants cannot have any children who live with them or for whom they are financially responsible.A parent of a Tier 4 (Child) Student visa holder under the age of 12 years may accompany them to the UK by applying for a Parent of a Child at School Visa.
UK Tier 4 (Adult) Student Visa: Tier 4 (Adult) Student visa is for adult students who want to study in the UK for their post-16 education, including full-time, short and long-term courses at approved education providers. Applicant must have been accepted to study a course at an acceptable level with an approved education provider (University or College). Under tier 4, education provider is considered as ‘Sponsor’. To have a valid CAS (Confirmation of acceptance for studies), student must have acceptable English language skills. Tier 4 (Adult) Student visa is usually granted for the full length of the course of study and extensions may be granted. This visa also entitles the holder to undertake limited work depending upon level of course.
Procedure for applying visa: Once the student is accepted by University or College as full time student and is given ‘Offer Letter’ the next step is getting a valid ‘CAS Letter’. CAS letter is confirmation of acceptance for studies. It replaced the ‘Visa Letter’ on 22 February 2010. Visa letter is no longer accepted as valid document under tier-4 visa system.Confirmation of acceptance is actually an electronic number, to allow you to apply for a student visa. Now student need not to submit paper based visa letter along with his visa application.
Documents required for UK study visa:
The following documents are required for the student visa of UK:
- Visa Application form (VAF1 - Non-settlement) - fully completed and signed by applicant.
- Appropriate Visa fee.
- Passport valid for at least 6 months, with available 'visa' pages for stamping (additional pages are not acceptable).
- A valid CAS Letter with all details of proposed course including course fees, receipt for any fees paid. Start date and duration of the proposed course should also be clearly mentioned.
- Evidence of current studies, or current employment.
- Evidence of ability to pay for course:
- Original bank certificate and statements showing 28 days old fund to cover one year tuition fee and maintenance cost (7200 GBP if University or college is in inner London and 5600 GBP if University or college is in outer London)
- All educational certificates after/from schooling till date
- Evidence of English Language qualifications.
- A letter of sponsorship (Affidavit of Support) if parents are showing funds in their account.
- No objection from parents in the form of Affidavit.
Visa application along with all documents must be submitted in nearest British High Commission or VFS. VFS Global is a commercial company, working in partnership with the UK Border Agency at the British High Commission and Deputy High Commissions here in India providing services to help people apply for a visa to enter the United Kingdom (UK). The VFSs are located in the Indian cities of Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Mumbai north, Mumbai south, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin and Kolkata.
If your visa application is fully prepared, and accompanied by relevant documentary evidence of your circumstances, you may be issued a visa without an interview otherwise you may be asked to appear for interview.However, generally students may not require an interview (subject to changes in visa regulations for different countries).
Right time to apply for a visa is at least three months before the start of the semester in the UK. Students can reach the UK up to one month before their semester commences.
The visa process is subject to change, so it is very important for students to log on to the official UK visa website to check the updated information and accordingly prepare for the same.