This guest post originally appeared on the GoToStudy blog. GoToStudy specializes in helping overseas students find the their ideal university and course, and connecting them with consulting agencies that can guide them to their goal.
You’ve chosen to attend a university or college in the UK and you’ve been accepted to a course of study. Congratulations! Now it’s time to apply for your UK study visa.
You’re eligible to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and meet the eligibility requirements. You can’t apply for the Tier 4 visa until you receive your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from your UK institution, but you can get all of your application forms and paperwork ready to go in advance.
To help you streamline the visa application process and avoid any unnecessary delays, the expert team at GoToStudy has compiled the following list of Dos and Don’ts to bear in mind when applying for your UK visa.
- DO prepare everything well in advance, particularly the necessary official documents. You may need to order original copies of study certificates or your birth certificate, and these often take time to arrive.
- DO calculate carefully how much money your period of study in the UK will cost. You will need to have money to cover the course fees for your first year, plus enough money for one year of living expenses (e.g. books and study materials, accommodation, food and travel) in a bank account ready for your use.
- DO put enough money in a bank account at least 1 month before you finalize your visa application, and do not touch it for 28 days. The money must stay in the account and the balance must not go below your required course fees and living costs total for the entire 28 days.
- DO make sure your bank account will be accepted if you are paying for your own fees – the account must be in your name, or in the name of a parent or legal guardian. If you are using a parent’s bank account, you must include a signed covering letter from them, stating that they are covering your living expenses and course fees.
- DO arrange to have a UKVI-approved Tuberculosis test if you live in a country where one is required to apply for a UK visa. The test usually involves a chest x-ray followed by a sputum sample if the x-ray results are unclear.
- DO submit your visa application at least 15 working days before your departure date. Take any public holidays in your home country into account.
- DO be knowledgeable about your planned program of study, and be prepared to answer questions about the subject and purpose of the course – you will likely be interviewed.
- DO check the Tier 4 (General) student visa requirements on the UK GOV website again before you apply, as changes are made regularly.
- DO be proactive. If your study deadline is getting closer, and you haven’t received a provisional acceptance or CAS from your institution, contact them about your application status.
- DON’T lie or avoid the truth. You may end up banned from the UK for ten years, and miss out of the UK degree program you have worked so hard for.
- DON’T write a letter to explain why you don’t have a particular document or the finances in a bank account as detailed above, and expect to be granted your visa anyway. When it comes to UK visa applications, rules are rules, and you must meet the requirements if you want to enter the country.
The Tier 4 visa application process may seem daunting, but pay attention to the details and you’ll be on your way to a fantastic study abroad experience in no time! If you need additional assistance with the application process, check if your university has an official representative in your country who can double-check your application for you, or leave a question or comment on GoToStudy’s Facebook page.