Immigration Corner | Study questions
Dear Mr Bassie,
I would like to know what type of visa I would need to get if I were to go to study in the United Kingdom.
Persons can apply for a tier-four (general) student visa to study in the United Kingdom if they are 16 years old or over and if they: have been offered a place on a course; can speak, read, write and understand English; have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course - the amount will vary depending on each applicant's circumstances; are from a country that is not in the European Economic (EU) area or Switzerland; meet the other eligibility requirements.
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom, nor United Kingdom nationals living in the EU, while the United Kingdom remains in the EU.
The earliest that a person can apply for a visa is three months before starting their course. They will usually get a decision on their visa within three weeks. They can check visa processing times for their country.
With respect to fees, it costs £335 to apply for this visa from outside of the United Kingdom. He/she must pay £335 per person for any dependents. They will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.
Persons are permitted to arrive in the United Kingdom before their course starts: up to one week before, if the course lasts six months or less; up to one month before, if the course lasts more than six months. How long persons can stay depends on the kind of course they are doing and what study they have already completed.
With this visa, persons can study; work as a student union sabbatical officer; apply from inside or outside the United Kingdom; apply to extend their stay; work in most jobs - depending on what level their course is and what kind of sponsor they have.
Persons are not able to get public funds; work in certain jobs, for example professional sportsperson or sports coach; study at an academy or a local authority-funded school, also known as a maintained school.
Please note that applicants may be able to take their family members, that is, persons who are classified as dependents.
- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org