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UK Visas for Indian

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United Kingdom Visas for International Students

United Kingdom Visas for International Students
 

UK Visas for Indian Students.

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the top destinations in the world for indian students. It’s acclaimed for its excellent academic reputation and quality of life. Approximately 1 in 5 students in the UK are international, and the region has the second-highest number of international students in the world. To study in the UK as an international student, you’re going to need a visa. Here are key things you need to know about UK visas for international students.

Which UK Student Visa is Right for You?

If you’re 16 years old or older, and want to study a higher education course in the UK, a Student visa (formerly known as a General student visa – Tier 4) is likely the best choice. However, if you’re 4-17 years old and you want to attend an independent (private) school, you may apply for a Child Student visa. We’ll discuss how to apply for a Child Student visa below, and a Student visa in the next section.

If you’re applying for a Child Student visa, you’ll need written consent from your parent or guardian to study in the UK, proof that you’ll have sufficient funds to support yourself while studying, and an unconditional offer from an independent school.

How to Apply for a UK Student Visa?

These visa applications are submitted online. You may apply either from outside the UK, or inside the UK if you want to extend your student visa or switch from a different visa type. Generally, applications from outside the UK take less time, with an average three-week response rate. Inside the UK, it usually takes within eight weeks to get a decision.

If your supporting documents need to be verified, you have a criminal conviction, or you need to attend an interview, it may take longer to hear back.

Students can’t apply for a visa more than three months before the start of their program.

In the UK, student visas are sponsored by the licensed institution you’ll be studying at. You must have an unconditional offer of admission by a licensed sponsor before you can apply. This will arrive as a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which you’ll add to your visa application.

Click this link to read: Study Gap Statement

Remember: Plan out your application timeline! You must apply for your visa within six months of receiving your CAS.

UK Student Visa Criteria

Per the UK Government’s website, the following courses or programmes are eligible for Student visas:

“You can do one of the following courses:

If you’re studying in Scotland, their education system does not use the RQF scale as noted above. Refer to an official source for a qualification comparison.

Note: You may also need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you’re studying sensitive topics at RQF level 7 or above.

Information Required for UK Student Visas

International students need to submit several supporting documents with their student visa application. Use the UK government’s website to learn which ones you must provide.

In general, international students need the following documents:

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  • Biometric information.
  • A valid ATAS certificate (if required by your course and nationality).
  • English-language proficiency proof.
  • Proof you can pay tuition and support yourself (and any family travelling with you).
    • If you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs over the past 12 months, you’ll need written consent for your visa application from your financial sponsor.
  • Proof of parental or legal guardian consent and proof of their relationship with you if you’re under 18.
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable).

Click this link to read: Job Interview Tips for Overseas Students

Biometric Information

When you submit your visa application, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a visa application center to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). Some students may be asked to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan their identity document instead. It depends on where you’re from and what kind of passport you have. Either way, you’ll be told which to do when you apply.

If you provided biometric info, pick up your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after arriving in the UK. Your visa decision letter will indicate where you need to go, and when it must be picked up by. The BRP is a legal document with your:

  • Name, date, and place of birth
  • Biometric information
  • Immigration status and conditions of stay
  • Your access to any public services or benefits, including healthcare

Your BRP does not confirm your right to work or rent accommodations. Those are separate processes.

If you used the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you will not be issued a BRP. Instead, prove your right to work and live in the UK online.

English Language Ability

The UK government requires students to have a certain level of English language knowledge when they apply for a student visa.

Important Note: The English-language requirements for a student visa can be different than those needed for admission into the course you’re studying.

Your visa sponsor (the academic institution) will assess your English-language abilities. The most common way to do so is taking a government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

Academic institutions often make their own language assessment based on the qualifications you submit during admissions. They may waive the SELT requirement.

Financial Capacity

Some international students must show they’ll have enough money to support themselves while in the UK. Students from some countries are exempt from this requirement, so check to see whether this is a necessary step.

Financial capacity includes covering the cost of your travel, tuition, living expenses, and any other expenses or fees. The money must be in your account for a minimum of 28 days, and the end date of that 28-day period must be within 31 days of your visa application date.

The amount you need to show depends on where you’ll be studying. For example, the cost of living is higher in London (both in the city itself and the 32 London boroughs). In April 2023, the UK government required proof of:

  • £1,334 per month (for up to nine months) for courses in London
  • £1,023 per month (for up to nine months) for courses outside London

You must have enough money for the first academic year of study (9 months), or for the entire course duration if it is less than one academic year.

If you’re bringing a partner or dependents, you must show you can cover their expenses as well:

  • £845 per person per month in London
  • £680 per person per month outside of London

Share copies of bank statements, details of any loans, and scholarship award information to strengthen your position.

Healthcare Surcharge

As part of their visa application fees, international students are asked to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for themselves, and anyone travelling with them. The IHS helps to fund the national healthcare system, and gives students access to free health care while living in the UK.

This means that international students will not have to pay to visit a doctor’s office, health care centre, or hospital while at school. You’ll still need to pay for dental and optical treatment, and any medicine prescribed by a doctor. Fortunately, health insurance can cover some of the cost of your optical, dental, or prescription drug needs. Health insurance is mandatory for all international students.

Click this link to read: When Is It Right to Defer Your Studies?

Length of Stay

A student visa is typically issued for the full length of your studies. For courses that last over six months, international students can arrive in the UK up to one month before classes begin.

In 2020, the UK launched their new post-study work visa (the Graduate visa). This visa allows international students to stay in-country for up to three years after completing a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or other eligible course. You must apply for it before your student visa expires.

The Graduate visa allows most eligible graduates to work in any role for up to two years after graduation. Doctoral (PhD) graduates may work in the UK for up to three years. The Graduate visa cannot be renewed. You may instead transfer to a different visa, like a Skilled Worker visa.

Click this link to read: why admissions are held back?

Travelling with Family

International students in a postgraduate-level course at RQF level 7 or above, that lasts nine months or more, can apply to bring their dependant family members with them to the UK. New government-sponsored students on courses longer than six months and Doctorate Extension Scheme students may also apply to bring family members.

A dependent could be your:

  • Husband, wife, or civil partner
  • Unmarried (common-law) partner
  • Child under 18 years old (this includes if they were born in the UK during your stay)

When you apply, you’ll need to show proof of your relationship. A birth certificate or marriage certificate are the most common options.

Visa Processing Time

Usually, you’ll receive your UK visa decision within three weeks of your biometrics appointment. However, processing times can vary by country.

FAQ

The UK visa application process for Indian citizens was open, but certain restrictions and requirements may apply depending on the type of visa and the current immigration policies. It’s important to note that immigration policies and visa requirements can change frequently, so I recommend checking the official website of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) or consulting with a reputable immigration advisor for the most up-to-date information on visa applications for Indian citizens. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be additional health and travel restrictions in place, so it’s essential to stay informed about any travel advisories or updates from relevant authorities.

The cost of a UK visa for Indian citizens can vary depending on the type of visa and the duration of stay. Here are the approximate costs for some common types of UK visas for Indian citizens:

  1. Standard Visitor Visa (Short-term):

    • Short-term (up to 6 months): £95 (approximately ₹9,500)
    • Long-term (valid for 2, 5, or 10 years): £361 (approximately ₹36,100)
  2. Tier 4 (General) Student Visa:

    • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: £348 (approximately ₹34,800)
  3. Tier 2 (General) Work Visa:

    • Tier 2 (General) Work Visa: £610 (approximately ₹61,000)
  4. Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa:

    • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa: £244 (approximately ₹24,400)
  5. Family Visa:

    • Spouse Visa: £1,523 (approximately ₹1,52,300)
    • Child Visa: £1,523 (approximately ₹1,52,300)

Please note that these are approximate costs converted from British pounds to Indian rupees based on exchange rates at the time of our last update, and actual costs may vary slightly. Additionally, there may be other fees or charges associated with the visa application process, such as service fees for visa application centers or optional priority processing fees. It’s essential to check the official website of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for the most up-to-date information on visa fees and application procedures.

 Indian citizens are not eligible for visa on arrival in the UK. Individuals from India who wish to visit the UK for tourism, business, study, work, or other purposes must obtain a visa before traveling to the UK. The UK offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, student visas, work visas, and family visas, each with its own application process, requirements, and fees.

Indian citizens planning to travel to the UK should apply for the appropriate visa well in advance of their intended travel dates. The visa application process typically involves submitting an online application, providing supporting documents (such as passport, photographs, financial statements, and travel itinerary), attending a biometric appointment, and paying the relevant visa fees. The processing time for UK visa applications can vary, so it’s essential to apply early to allow sufficient time for processing.

It’s important to note that immigration policies and visa requirements can change, so I recommend checking the official website of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) or consulting with a reputable immigration advisor for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements for Indian citizens traveling to the UK.

The exact amount of bank balance required for a UK tourist visa can vary depending on various factors, including the duration of stay, planned activities, and individual circumstances. UK visa applicants are generally required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their travel expenses, accommodation, and living costs during their stay in the UK.

While there is no fixed minimum amount specified by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), applicants are typically advised to provide evidence of consistent and regular income, as well as savings or financial support, to support their visa application. The UKVI assesses each application on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the applicant’s proposed itinerary, accommodation arrangements, and overall financial situation.

As a general guideline, applicants may be expected to show a certain level of financial stability, such as having a regular income, savings, or investments, to demonstrate their ability to support themselves financially during their stay in the UK. This could include providing bank statements, pay slips, tax returns, or other financial documents to substantiate their financial circumstances.

It’s important for visa applicants to carefully review the specific financial requirements and documentation guidelines provided by the UKVI and to ensure that they provide sufficient evidence to support their visa application. Failure to provide adequate financial documentation could result in delays or refusal of the visa application.

Additionally, applicants should be aware that the cost of living in the UK can vary depending on factors such as location, accommodation type, and personal spending habits. It’s advisable to research the estimated expenses for accommodation, transportation, meals, and other expenses in the UK to help determine the appropriate amount of funds to show for the visa application.

interview requirements for UK visa applications vary depending on factors such as the type of visa, the applicant’s country of residence, and individual circumstances. In many cases, applicants for UK visas are not required to attend an in-person interview as part of the visa application process. Instead, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) typically assesses visa applications based on the documents and information provided by the applicant.

However, in some cases, UKVI may request an interview as part of the visa application process. This could be for various reasons, such as to clarify information provided in the application, to verify the applicant’s intentions for traveling to the UK, or to assess the applicant’s eligibility for the visa. If an interview is required, the applicant will be notified by the UKVI, and instructions will be provided on how to schedule the interview.

It’s essential for visa applicants to carefully follow the instructions provided by the UKVI and to prepare thoroughly for any potential interviews or interactions with visa officers. This may include familiarizing themselves with the visa requirements, providing accurate and complete information in the visa application, and preparing any supporting documents or evidence requested by the UKVI.

Additionally, applicants should be aware that the UKVI reserves the right to refuse a visa application without conducting an interview if they believe there is sufficient evidence to assess the application based on the documents provided. Therefore, it’s crucial for applicants to ensure that their visa application is complete, accurate, and well-documented to maximize their chances of success.

As immigration policies and procedures can change, I recommend checking the official website of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) or consulting with a reputable immigration advisor for the most up-to-date information on interview requirements for UK visa applications.

Fixed deposits (FDs) can generally be accepted as proof of funds for a UK visa application, provided they meet certain criteria and are supported by appropriate documentation. When applying for a UK visa, applicants are typically required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their travel expenses, accommodation, and living costs during their stay in the UK.

If you plan to use fixed deposits as proof of funds for your UK visa application, here are some important considerations:

  1. Accessibility: The funds deposited in the fixed deposit account must be readily accessible to you during your stay in the UK. Some UK visa categories may require applicants to demonstrate that they have immediate access to their funds to cover expenses such as travel, accommodation, and daily living costs.

  2. Maturity Date: If the fixed deposit has a maturity date that falls after your intended travel dates to the UK, you may need to provide evidence that you can withdraw the funds before your trip. This could involve providing documentation from the bank or financial institution confirming the accessibility of the funds.

  3. Documentation: You will need to provide supporting documentation to demonstrate the existence and value of the fixed deposit, such as a certificate of deposit, statement of account, or letter from the bank or financial institution where the fixed deposit is held. The documentation should clearly indicate the amount of funds available and any relevant terms and conditions.

  4. Consistency with Financial Statements: The funds held in the fixed deposit should be consistent with your overall financial situation, as reflected in your bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies or unusual transactions to the visa officer if necessary.

  5. Conversion to Liquid Assets: If the fixed deposit is held in a foreign currency, you may need to convert the funds into the equivalent amount in British pounds (GBP) for the purpose of your visa application. Use the official exchange rate provided by the bank or financial institution to ensure accuracy.

It’s important to note that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) assesses visa applications on a case-by-case basis, and the acceptability of fixed deposits as proof of funds may depend on various factors, including the specific visa category, the amount of funds available, and the applicant’s individual circumstances. It’s advisable to consult the official guidelines provided by the UKVI or seek advice from a reputable immigration advisor to ensure that your visa application meets the required criteria.

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