General Student Visas

General Student Visa (Tier 4) 

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you are 16 or over and you: 
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. 

When to Apply 

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course. 
You will usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. 


It costs £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK. 
You must pay £348 per person for any dependants. 

Healthcare Surcharge 

You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay 

You can arrive in the UK before your course starts: 
  • up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less 
  • up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months 
How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you are doing and what study you have already completed. 

What you can and cannot do 

You can: 
  • study 
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer 
  • apply from inside or outside the UK 
  • apply to extend your stay 
  • work in most jobs - depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have  
You cannot: 
  • 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) 
You may be able to bring in family members (dependants). 
Read the full guidance to find out how long you might be able to stay and what you can and cannot do. 
See Also: 
Further information on Student Visas can be found on GOV.UK's website.