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Tier 4 Student Visa Costs - How much you can expect to pay when applying for your UK Student Visa

Being a student can be an exciting and memorable time, during which you’re likely to make lifelong friends through nights of hard studying, and perhaps the odd party or two!

If you’re planning to study in the UK as a resident from overseas, it’s really important that you research, knowing not only the full cost of Tier 4 visa fees, but also the additional expenses the process entails.

What is the cost of a Tier 4 student visa?

If you are applying from outside the UK, the cost of your student visa will be one of the first matters on your mind. There is a baseline cost of £335 in Tier 4 student visa fees. If you have any dependents, you must also pay £335 for each person.

To apply, you must:

  • be over 16 years old
  • have received an offer to study on a course
  • be able to understand, speak, read and write English
  • have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your course and fully support yourself
  • be from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

At the earliest, you can apply for your visa three months before the start of your course of study.

A decision will normally take approximately three weeks, although processing times will vary depending on which country you are applying from.

Healthcare surcharge

To be able to access healthcare via the NHS in the UK, you may also need to pay the healthcare surcharge in addition to the cost of your UK visa. Sometimes, this is known as the ‘immigration health surcharge’. The annual cost for this is £150 per year for students, and this amount has to be paid for any dependants too.

According to the UK government website, the rules stipulate that you’ll be expected to pay half of the annual amount if your application includes part of a year that is less than six months. Alternatively, you’ll be expected to pay for a whole year if your application includes part of a year that is more than six months.

The surcharge is payable when you make your Tier 4 student visa application.

Your application will be declined if you do not pay the healthcare charges within seven working days of being invoiced by UK Visas and Immigration (if you are from outside the UK).

This will be sent via email, so keep a close eye on your inbox and junk folders.

When can you arrive in the UK?

It’s important that you understand when you can travel to the UK on a student visa.

  • If the course lasts less than six months, you may travel up to one week before the course begins.
  • If the course lasts more than six months, you may travel up to one month before the course begins.
  • The length of time you can study is dependent on the type of course and any previous study.

    Rules of stay

    There are very strict rules attached to student visas and it is important you do not breach them.

    You cannot:

    • access public funds; for example, tax credits, most benefits and assistance with housing
    • study at certain types of schools
    • be employed in certain fields; for example, sports coach or professional sportsperson

    You can:

    • study
    • gain employment in most fields, but this depends on the level of your course and the type of sponsor you have
    • be employed by a student union as a sabbatical officer
    • apply for a visa extension
    • be inside or outside the UK to apply

    In total, as a single person studying on a three-year course – without any dependants - you should expect to pay around £785 in Tier 4 fees.

    It would be wise and beneficial to cover yourself with Tier 4 visa protection.

    If you only expect your studies to be brief and want to keep the cost of your UK student visa low, bear in mind that a short-term student visa is also available.

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