How To Apply For A UK Student Visa: Step by Step Guide

The UK student visa application is a pretty straightforward process. Still, it can be pretty stressful if you’re not familiar with the immigration process, as you’ll need to learn a lot of new concepts along the way, and that’s what we will be examining today.

This article will go through all the significant steps and documents you need, from getting your admission letter to submitting your passport for visa processing.

Admission Letter

To apply for a UK student visa as a non-EEA national, you need a valid acceptance letter from an institution that is a Tier 4 student visa sponsor. Also called the Conditional Offer Letter, your admission letter will typically contain the steps you need to take to get your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies which we will discuss in the next section.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Paying the stated tuition deposit
  • Sending your original transcripts and certificates (directly from the school)
  • Submitting proof of English language proficiency test results
  • Submitting proof of funds

The requirements can depend more or less on what you submitted when making the admission application.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

After completing all the steps listed in the admission letter you received in the previous step, the institution will issue a CAS letter and send it to your email. You should get the CAS letter document within five days after submitting all the requested requirements.

Note: You must ensure that the institution is a licensed Tier 4 visa sponsor before paying your tuition deposit. You can confirm the status of your school as a sponsor here.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is the primary document needed to start and complete your UK student visa application. It contains all the consular needs to verify all your information and academic qualifications and that you have made part or full payment of your tuition fees.

Proof of Consent

Applicants below the age of 18 it is required to submit proof of consent documents signed by the parents or legal guardian of the applicant. These include:

  • Evidence of your relationship with them
  • A copy of your birth certificate showing your parents’ names.
  • A consent letter showing proof of the following:
    • Consent for the student visa application
    • Approval for the living arrangements that have been prepared for the student
    • Consent to the travel to the UK

All these documents must be available in English upon submission of the visa application.

Tuberculosis Test

According to UK immigration regulations, anyone staying in the UK for more than six months must be tuberculosis free. You can read more about the UK Visa Tuberculosis test here.

Proof of Funds

The second most important document in a student’s visa application is their proof of funds. More than 60% of rejected visa applications are due to a lack of funds. So, you shouldn’t leave this particular document out of your application.

You can use any verifiable financial document as your proof of funds. For example, the following documents are accepted:

  • Official financial or government sponsorship or grant
  • Student loans from governments, government-sponsored loan companies, or regulated student loan programs
  • Personal Money
  • Your parents’ money (if they provide a letter confirming that you consented to  it being used in this way)
  • Partner’s money if the partner is  in the UK or applying at the same time

As I mentioned earlier, any verifiable financial document is accepted, so you should ensure that. But usually, you will get an email if the consular has any issue verifying your proof of funds.

ATAS Certificate

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is subject to UK immigration. It applies to all international students and researchers (excluding exempt nationals) who intend to undertake or undertake research in certain sensitive subjects at the postgraduate level.

Researchers and postgraduate students of all nationalities must apply for an ATAS certificate. You should use it if you are pursuing a postgraduate course in the UK or researching a sensitive topic. You may also need ATAS approval if you apply for an undergraduate course with an integrated master’s degree.

UK Online Student Visa Application

After putting all the documents mentioned above together, you can begin your online student visa application on the UK student visa portal.

It is advisable to have all the above documents, especially the CAS letter, because you would need to enter the unique ID on the document at a very early stage of your application. If you’re not able to enter your CAS, you will get a warning like the one below:

You should answer the following questions on the form to the best of your knowledge and according to your documents. 

Note: Make sure you confirm that all your details are correct before moving to the payment section. You won’t be able to change your information after this step, so review the form multiple times before submitting it to avoid filling out another form.

Pay IHS and Visa Fee

After filling out your online student visa application form, the next step is paying your IHS fee and visa fee. You can complete both payments with a valid credit or debit card with enough limit.

Appointment Booking

After paying your visa fee, you will see a button that says “Complete Requirements,” which will create an account for you on the TLS Contact website where you can:

  • book your biometric submission appointment
  • pay for other services like documents upload assistance and priority visa process
  • upload your documents.

Things to note when creating this appointment portal account:

  • Make sure you choose the exact location you would like to make your submission, as you won’t be able to change this later.
  • Confirm your details and don’t change any pre-filled information

Biometric Submission

After booking your biometric submission appointment in the previous step, the next step is to gather all your documents and visit the embassy for submission. 

If you selected and paid for document upload assistance in the previous section, you will need to go to the embassy with all your documents so they can help you with the upload. If you choose the self-upload option, you must upload your documents at least 20 hours before your appointment time, or you won’t be able to upload and will eventually need to restart the online application.

Also, If you uploaded your documents online, you only need to go to the submission center with the following documents:

  • Appointment confirmation
  • International passport
  • Black and white colored photocopies of the international passport data page (2 copies each)
  • Documents upload confirmation

Note: There is no official document upload confirmation. So you need to print a screenshot of the “documents upload successful” screen.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to apply for your UK Student visa, from how to get your admission letter to biometrics submission. If you have any questions about your UK student visa, do not hesitate to reach out to me at adams@tramango.com.

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