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We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
Last month the UK Government replaced the existing Tier 4 (general) student visa scheme with a new, points-based Student Route.
While the introduction of points might make it seem like student visas have become more difficult to apply for, the reality is that not a whole lot has changed. In fact, the ‘points’ you gain during the Student Route all come from eligibility criteria that you’ll meet as a genuine applicant during the visa process.
Here’s how you’ll meet the 70 points you need to receive a student visa:
While the core elements of the Student Route have remained the same, there are several ways in which the scheme differs to the previous Tier 4 student visas – all of which may actually make the visa process a little smoother for you.
We’ve summed up the main differences between the two visa schemes below.
If you’re applying from outside the UK, you can begin your visa application six months before your postgraduate programme starts. Previously, you could only apply three months in advance.
However, if you’re applying from within the UK (to extend an existing student visa, for example), the three month rule still applies.
Under the Tier 4 scheme, you could only spend five years studying in the UK while on the visa (unless you were studying a PhD).
With the new Student Route, there’s no limit to the time you can spend studying a postgraduate qualification(s) in the UK, which is great news for international students wanting to progress from a Bachelors at a British university to a Masters programme.
If you’ve already studied a degree-level qualification in (or you’re from) one of the following countries, this will show that you meet the English language requirements for the student visa:
If you haven’t studied in one of these countries, you’ll need to prove that you have English language proficiency of at least CEFR B2 (or higher, depending on the requirements set by your university).
Unfortunately, Brexit means that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to apply for a visa if moving to the UK to study from January 2021 onwards.
However, there is some good news, in that they won’t need to prove that they can meet the usual financial requirements to study in the UK (along with a selection of other exempt countries).
If you aren’t from one of those places, you’ll need to show that you can support yourself financially for at least nine months of the year. If you’re based in London, this means having access to £1,265 per month, or £1,015 if you’re based outside of London.
The UK's Graduate Route offers post-study work visas for international students. We've explained what this means for postgrad study.
We've picked out some top tips for anyone who needs to apply for a student (whether that's in the UK or elsewhere).
When do you and don't you need a visa for a PhD? And what does the process involve? Our blog offers some helpful guidelines.
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