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College & Business Student Visas

体育竞彩网If you are coming to study at a college in the UK then you may first need to obtain a visa, This depends on your nationality and what type of course you are studying and where. Some colleges in the UK are less reputable than others, which can make it harder to get a visa if required. Read our guide below to find out if you need a visa and if so, how and where you can get one.

IMPORTANT: There have been large changes to the student visa system in the UK recently. However, if you are a genuine student wanting to study at a reputable university, you should still be able to obtain a visa. Find out more about the changes here and here

Jump To:   Non-EU Students  |  Post Study Work Visas


EEA or Swiss Nationals UK Visas

If you are from one of the following countries, you do not need a visa to study at a college in the UK:

 Austria.........................Germany...........................The Netherlands
Belgium.......................Greece..............................Poland
Bulgaria.......................Hungary............................Portugal
Cyprus.........................Republic of Ireland..........Romania
Czech Republic..........Italy....................................Slovakia
Denmark......................Latvia................................Slovenia
Estonia.........................Lithuania..........................Spain
Finland.........................Luxembourg.....................Sweden
体育竞彩网France..........................Malta................................Switzerland

What you Need

体育竞彩网However, although you do not need a visa, you may still not automatically be allowed to come and study in the UK for longer than 3 months. To do this, you must fulfill a few requirements. You must:

  • have a valid passport or national identity card
  • be enrolled on a course at a reputable college that is registered by the UK government. All colleges on are government registered.
  • show you have enough money to live in the UK without having to rely on benefits from the British government
  • OR already live in the UK under another European Directive (for example as a worker)

Whilst you are in the UK, most EEA students can work alongside their studies for as many hours as they want without any restriction.

 

Non-EEA Nationals (Rest of the World)

If you are not from any of the countries above and are planning to study at a college in the UK then you will need to get a visa before you arrive in Britain.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

体育竞彩网Once you have been accepted on to a college course, the first stage of applying for a visa is to get a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (or CAS for short). This is simply a way that you prove to the government that you have a place at a reputable college.

体育竞彩网To obtain a CAS you first need what is called a ‘sponsor’. This basically means that you must have an unconditional offer at one of the reputable, government registered colleges on . Once you have a ‘sponsor’ college, you need to ask them to provide you with a CAS. This is a standard online document with a 14 digit reference number on it. When you are filling in your visa application form you will be prompted to enter this reference number, which will act as your CAS.

Financial Dependency

体育竞彩网You must also prove that you have enough money (or a scholarship) to pay your fees and living costs whilst you are in the UK. To prove this, you must show that you have a certain amount of money already in the bank, or else a regular source of income. The amount of money needed is:

ssLength of Coursess sssStudy Locationsss sssssssssMoney Neededssssss
9 months or less Inner London Full course fees and £1000 for each
calendar month of the course
9 months or less Outside Inner London Full course fees and £800 for each
calendar month of the course
More than 9 months Inner London First year of course fees and £9,000
to cover living costs for 9 months
More than 9 months Outside Inner London First year of course fees and £7,200
to cover living costs for 9 months

How and Where to Apply

Once you have your CAS, you are ready to apply for your visa. Depending on where you live, you may be able to do it online and by post, or else have to do it completely by post.

体育竞彩网However you apply, you will also need to send off part of the application to your local visa application centre or the British mission in your country. For more information on visa applications visit the .

What you Need when Applying

体育竞彩网When you get to actually applying for a visa, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your passport or travel document
  • The application fee (which you can find here)
  • Your biometric details
  • A recent passport sized (45mm x 35mm) photograph which should be:
    • In colour against a white background
    • Good quality, clear and not framed
    • Printed on normal photographic paper
    • Show your full face without sunglasses, a hat or head covering (unless it is worn for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).

Moving to the UK

Once you have sent an application and it has been accepted then you will be able to move to the UK before your course starts. How soon you can move depends on the course you are taking. If you are taking a course that is longer than 6 months then you will be able to enter the UK up to 1 month before the start date. However, if your course is less than 6 months long then you can only enter the UK up to 1 week体育竞彩网 before the start.

After your course has finished, if it was longer than 12 months then you can stay in the UK for a further 4 months with the same visa, a further 2 months if the course was 6-12 months long, and just one week if the course was less than 6 months long.

For any more information that you need, check the .

After Your Studies

体育竞彩网All students used to be able to gain a 'Post-Study Work Visa' to stay in the UK to work for two years after finishing their degree. However, recent changes to the visa system have made this far harder to obtain. From 2012 onwards, to gain a Post-Study Work Visa, you must meet these criteria:

  • To stay and work, you must have a job offer from a sponsoring employer. This means that the firm has been registered with the government to accept overseas workers in the Tier-2 visa point system.
  • The job must be suitable for your skills and the starting salary must be a minimum of £20,000 a year.

To find out more about the changes, visit here. Although these are currently the rules, as with any new system, they is likely to change over the coming months and years. Make sure you keep right up to date by regularly checking our Student News section. 

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