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What is a Tier 4 Student VISA? - G8Way Membership Benefits

If you’re planning to travel to the UK to further your education, you will need to ensure you have permission from the Home Office, and one way to do this is to get a Tier 4 student visa. At G8Way, we appreciate that you may be asking yourself the question what is a student visa and wondering why you require one in order to begin your studies. To help bring you up to speed on the subject, we’ve got the answers to your questions.

What is a Tier 4 student visa?

A Tier 4 student visa gives you permission to live in the UK while studying at a university or college. This permission lasts for the duration of your course. In order to acquire this visa, you will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from an educational institution that holds a Tier 4 sponsorship licence.

Who needs one?

If you are a national of a non-European country, Switzerland or a country that is not in the European Economic Area, you’re aged 16 or over and you plan on coming to the UK to study a full-time programme that is longer than six months, you will need a Tier 4 student visa.

You will be eligible for this visa if you have been offered a place on a course at a college or university that is recognised by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). You will also need to meet a specific set of requirements. For example, you must be able to speak, write, read and understand the English language. You must also be able to support yourself financially through your studies. This includes being able to pay for your tuition fees and monthly living costs. For more information on the full eligibility criteria of the Tier 4 visa, you should refer to the UK Home Office website.

Why is it important?

This visa is important because it helps ensure that you are protected from dishonest colleges and universities, as well as making sure your hard-earned degree is recognised by employers across the globe.

It also gives you the opportunity to work while you study. You are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term time, and you are allowed to work full-time throughout the holidays. Aside from being able earn some extra money to support yourself while you study, having a job is a great way to gain work experience and a whole host of additional skills.

What does it allow you to do?

Aside from study, a Tier 4 visa allows you to do a number of things. For example, depending on the level of your course and who your sponsor is, you may be able to work in most jobs. You can also apply to extend your stay in the UK if you wish, and you have the option of working as a student union sabbatical officer.

Your student visa may also permit you to bring your family with you. Your partner and children can accompany you as your Tier 4 dependents if you are enrolled on a postgraduate programme that is at least a year in length at a Higher Education Institution or a ‘recognised body’, a list of which can be found online. You may also bring them if you are a government-sponsored student enrolled on a course that has a duration of more than six months.

It’s important to be aware of the things you cannot do on a Tier 4 visa too. For example, you will not be able to receive public funds, such as tax credits and benefits. There are also certain job roles you cannot have, and you are not permitted to study at a maintained school or an academy.

You can find out more about what you can and can’t do on this type of visa online.

How do you apply for it?

To get your Tier 4 visa, you will need to complete an online application. You will be required to provide information about yourself and your study plans, and you will be asked to submit the relevant documents, including proof that you can financially support yourself in regards to paying for your tuition fees and your living costs. You will also need to visit a visa application centre in person as part of the process. You can find out more about the application process by visiting the UKVI website.

If you require more information on the subject of what is a Tier 4 visa, we recommend that you refer to the UK Home Office website or speak to your college or university directly.

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