1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

When to apply

You can apply from 3 months before the start of your course.

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country.

Fees

It costs £322 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.

You must pay £322 per person for any dependants.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll 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’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • study
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer
  • apply from inside or outside the UK
  • apply to extend your stay
  • work - depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • work as a professional sportsperson, including a sports coach

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 can’t do.