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Tier 4 - Students

Tier 4 of the points-based system covers the different types of visas for students and is divided into the following two subcategories:

  • Tier 4 (General) Student.

    For students aged 16 or over, this subcategory covers students for the duration of their course. The points for attributes under Appendix A of the Tier 4 policy guidance are awarded to applicants seeking entry clearance on the basis of their "Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies" which is issued by the sponsoring education provider.
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student.

    For children aged from 4 to 16 who wish to be educated in the UK and are studying at a fee paying school. Children under the age of 16 will be granted up to six years leave to remain or the duration of the course.

Additional Information:

Please contact us for more information.



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What is a Tier 4 visa?

A Tier 4 visa allows individuals to come to the UK to study at authorised educational establishments on approved courses.

What are the requirements for a Tier 4 visa?

Depending on the level of study, the level of English language that you must demonstrate will vary.

There are strict requirements in order to obtain the necessary points for maintenance, particularly if the student's course of study is in London. You must show that you have sufficient funds for the first year of your course, and that you are able to support yourself in the UK.

Can I bring my spouse/children with me if I am granted a Tier 4 visa?

Yes, your dependants can join you in the UK while you study, although certain requirements will apply.

How long will the Tier 4 (General) Student visa be granted for?

A Tier 4 (General) Student visa will be granted for the duration of the course. Depending on the length of the course, Tier 4 (General) students can come to the UK up to 1 month before the course starts and can stay up to 1 month after it ends.

Can I extend my Tier 4 (General) Student visa?

Under certain circumstances, Tier 4 (General) visas can be extended from within the UK. However, there are strict conditions on how long students can stay in the UK.

If starting a new course, you need to demonstrate that the course is at a higher academic level than the course you studied previously.

Can I work if I am granted a Tier 4 (General) Student visa?

As a Tier 4 (General) Student you may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time. You may be able to take full-time employment during holidays, but you must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy. As a Tier 4 (General) visa holder you cannot be self-employed unless you have made an application for a Start-up visa.

What are the permitted working hours on a Tier 4 student visa?

The rules governing permitted working hours depend on the level of your course and what kind of sponsor you have. Generally, a Tier 4 visa issued for full-time degree level studies allows you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time. You may be able to work full-time during the holidays in-between term time and after graduation if your Tier 4 (Student) visa permits this. However, you must ensure that you check the specific restrictions on your visa as these can vary significantly.

How long can I stay in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student?

Generally, a tier 4 General (Student) visa holder over the age of 18 will not be able to remain in the UK for more than 5 years. This rule is subject to specific exceptions, which our dedicated team can explain if necessary. Contact Gherson for a confidential discussion.

Can I switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa?

You can apply for a Tier 2 visa to work in the UK no earlier than three months prior to the completion of the course for which your Tier 4 (General) visa was issued. You must satisfy a number of requirements in order to make the switch.

How much does a Tier 4 visa cost?

As with most visa categories, the Home Office visa fees are subject to frequent change. The relevant fees to consider are the Home Office application fees, any priority service fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

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