What is UK and Why?
United Kingdom (UK) is a combination of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which share open borders. It has some of the oldest cities in the world which is a home to technology, literature and business.
Most of the Multinational Companies (MNCs) operating in Europe have their headquarters in England or Ireland.
UK has been the second leading destination for international students, only after USA, which includes not only some the oldest universities in the world but also the best. The public transportation system is one the most advanced and reliable with train links to all major cities in UK.
The health service which is operated by the National Health Services (NHS) provides free health services, including ambulances, to all, which rules out “what happens to me if I fall sick” out of the equation.
With courses with options of placement year, students can thrive by gaining work experience as well as knowledge and skills within the period of the study. Plus, the post study work (PSW) visa allows students (Bachelor’s and Master’s) to work in the UK for up to 2 years regardless of the nature of the work.
Applying for a Student Visa in UK, a step-by-step guide
Select course and university:
There are more than 395 universities and colleges to choose from which offer cover a wide range of courses including literature, humanities, engineering, business studies, nursing, biomedical sciences and many more. Location preferences also plays a vital role as it is an important factor which decides the cost of living in the UK.
Register your ID on UCAS and apply
The Universities and College Admission Services (UCAS) has application code for all the universities and courses in UK. The cost of applying is £20 for a single course and £26 for more than a single course (up to 5 courses).
Receive conditional/unconditional offers
Upon successful review of your documents, the university makes an offer to study. You would need to accept the offer. Fulfilment of all the conditions and payment of fee for year 1 gives you a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies).
Note: In order to apply for CAS (after accepting the offer), the following documents are required:
- Filled-up university application form
- Scholarship form (if applicable)
- Bank balance certificate and bank statement (for at least 28 days and no more than 31 days) in student’s saving account.
- Copies of transcripts (SEE/SLC to the highest degree)
- Character certificate
- Academic reference letter
- Work reference letter (if any)
- Copies of proof of English proficiency
- Curriculum vitae (if applying for a post-graduate degree)
- Copies of passport, citizenship and birth certificate
- Proof of tuition deposits
- Passport sized photographs
- Relationship certificate (if required)
- Tuberculosis test certificate
- Police report
Get Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies/CAS
This document has the start and end dates of the program. It has the course title and the total cost of the course. It also mentions the amount of money already paid to the university.
Apply for a visa:
With your CAS in hand, now you are ready to apply for a visa. Biometrics are taken (in VFS), video and/or phone interview maybe taken depending on case. The cost of applying is £348 which is non-refundable.
Wait for the visa outcome (Approval/refusal): It usually takes 3 weeks for the process.
General Entry requirements
- Academic qualifications: 50%-60% and above for Undergraduate Courses. 60% and above for Post-graduate courses.
- English Proficiency: 6.0 (min 5.5 each band) for Undergraduate Courses. 6.5(min 6.0 each band) for postgraduate courses.
Note: These are only general entry requirements, some courses or universities demand more scores (academic and English proficiency). Some universities provide Foundation Courses (for UG) and Pre-masters Course (for PG), if the student does not meet either the academic scores or English proficiency scores or both. Upon successfully passing the course, one can enroll at the university.
Staying in the UK after your studies
- The PSW Visa: It offers 2 years of working visa for students completing their undergraduate or post-graduate course. During this period, one can work in any work regardless of the course studied.
- Tier 2 visa: If a company with tier 2 sponsorship ability offers you a job, which pays more than £20,000/year, an initial visa of 3 years is granted, with an option to extend to further 2 more years. Staying on this visa gives you an option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, which leads to settlement.