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FAQs: Student visas


Who needs a student visa?

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and nationals of Switzerland who are over 16, do not need a UK student visa. Same age students of other nationalities will need to apply for a student visa under the ‘Tier 4’ rules, which is points-based, unless they only intend to study for six months. If a student from outside the EEA is coming to the UK to receive specific training by an employer they may apply for a business visitor visa.

How do I apply?

You can apply on-line, or use the application form VAF9. The date of the application can be up to six months after an educator confirmed they had accepted you for a study course. You will also need to attend a visa application centre in your country, in order to have your fingerprints and biometric information (an image of your face) registered.

How long will a student visa last?

Adult students may stay as long as their course lasts, although this is generally not more than three years. There is some provision for such students to stay for a period of time (up to four months) after their course has finished. After their study, or after the additional period of time, they must leave the UK unless they switch to another type of immigration category.

Are there other kinds of student visas?

A student visitor visa allows someone to study in the UK for six months, or eleven months if they are studying the English language. A child under 18 years of age can study in the UK for up to six months with a child visitor visa, or up to 12 months if they are accompanying an academic visitor. If a child wants to study here for more than 6 months, they must apply under the ‘Tier 4’ rules; for example, they must have enough money to for fees and living expenses.

Can I appeal if I am refused a student visa?

From December 2011, if you want to appeal against a decision notice refusing a student visa, you will need to pay a fee and lodge your appeal at a tribunal in the UK, rather than at an overseas visa application centre. Caven can put you in touch with a specialist immigration solicitor, who can help you with all types of student visa issues.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on student visas, we can help to put you in touch with local specialist immigration solicitors for free. Call our experienced case handlers on 0800 177 7162 and let our dedicated case handlers match you with an expert solicitor.

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