Tier 4 visas

Most non-EEA students coming to study in the UK will need a Tier 4 visa - the UK's main 'student' visa category. Your Tier 4 visa will allow you to stay in the UK for the whole of your course and comes with both privileges and restrictions.

Key facts


To come to the UK and study on a Tier 4 (General) visa, you will need to show that:

- You have an unconditional offer for a course in the UK at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) registered sponsor (for example a CAS number from the University of Exeter)

- You are qualified to undertake that course

- You can fund your studies in the UK without working


Applying for a visa from outside the UK (Entry Clearance): £348

Applying for a visa from inside the UK (Leave to Remain): £475

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £300 per person, per year of visa to be granted.

Duration The length of your course + between 1 week and 6 months depending on the length and level of your course. Find out how long you should be granted here.

Full-time students: work up to 20 hours per week during term-time*

Part-time students: work is prohibited

*Note that INTO students may have different work restrictions

Study Your visa is linked to a specific course and institution – you will likely need a new visa if you wish to change
Application length

Applying for a visa from outside the UK (Entry Clearance): you will usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You check the current visa processing times here.

Applying for a visa from inside the UK (Leave to Remain): the standard service takes 8 weeks, however there are premium options if you require a decision sooner than this. Please contact us for further advice.

Next Steps

Click on the relevant section below for our advice and guidance when applying for a Tier 4 visa.  We provide advice and support for all Tier 4 applications and provide a visa extension service if you are in the UK.

» How to apply

This page details the process for applying for Tier 4.

» Application form

A guide to completing your Tier 4 application form.

» Money

Find out the amount of money required and how you can show this.

» CAS & Qualifications

Describes how you meet the visa conditions using your unconditional offer and previous qualifications.

» Document list

A comprehensive final checklist for your Tier 4 visa application.

» Dependants

This section provides guidance for your spouse and children to apply for visas as your dependants.