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:

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch by post in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £310 £422 £822
All dependants £310 each person £422 each person £822 each person

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 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.

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