Tips you need to know for hassle free UK study visa procedure – Free Press Journal

The UK has some of the most detailed visa laws in the world with dozens of sub-clauses, caveats, and special cases with very strict guidelines.
Students who wish to study in the UK often find the procedure to be complicated. Sayantan Biswas, Co-Founder of UniScholarz, shares UK visa guidelines for students with Free Press Journal’s Study Abroad Guide 2022 :

Sayantan Biswas
1. Types, Timing, and Costs- International students can apply for a student visa as early as 6 months before the start of the course. Keep in mind, however, that applications usually take 3 weeks and can be delayed for several reasons. The duration for which the visa is valid depends entirely on the level of the course: 5 years for degree level and 2 years for below degree level.
An international visa application costs £363 (INR 34,337 as of July 2022). However, optional priority and super priority facilities cost approximately INR 22,900 and INR 99,200 respectively. Furthermore, an Immigration Healthcare Surcharge will be applied depending on the duration of the stay.
2. Acceptance from College- On obtaining an unconditional offer of a seat in a course, the host university will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) Number. This reference number is needed right from the beginning of the application procedure.
You may also require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for post-graduate education in certain sensitive fields related to military tech, weaponry, pathogenic genetics, etc.
3. Financial Requirements- To prove their financial security both academically and off-campus, students need to clear their course fees for 1 academic year (up to 9 months). The specific amount will be available on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). As for the living expenses, you must have enough funds to support yourself for 12 months following the application date. This amount changes based on location:
£1,334 (INR 1,26,236) per month for up to 9 months in London.
£1,023 (INR 96,806) per month for up to 9 months outside London.
4. English Ability- Thankfully, all of Europe follows a standardised metric for gauging English ability called the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. All official English exams provide an equivalent CEFR level going from A1 up to C2. Degree-level courses usually require CEFR B2 or higher, while sub-degree levels require CEFR B1 or higher. C1 and C2 levels can make your life easier in the UK, but they are rarely a necessity unless studying literature or linguistics.
For most Indian students, English exams come in two formats:
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Certain Higher Education Providers (HEPs) might ask students to give their English exams which will then be given to the visa office as proof of language proficiency.
5. Your Documents Checklist- Here is a +list of the documentation you should have before applying for a UK student visa:
A current passport or equivalent
Evidence of funds during the stay (course fees + living expenses)
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number
Documents you used to obtain the CAS
Passport-sized colour photographs
Tuberculosis screening results
Assessment documentation
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate (if required)
6. The Application and Potential Caveats- The application must be done online and you will need to sign up for a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) account. As a part of the application, you will eventually need a biometric residence permit (BRP) which will involve a simple fingerprint scan and a digital photo.
These processes can be made more complex if you are travelling with dependents, if you’re not an Indian citizen, or are just not familiar with the education systems of the UK.
(This column by Sayantan Biswas from UniScholarz is part of a series of articles by the Free Press Journal, Mumbai’s Study Abroad Guide for August 2022.)
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