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Student Visa Route

On 5 October 2020, the government introduced a new Student Visa route which has now replaced the Tier 4  Visa. Students who already have visas on Tier 4 are not effected by these new application changes unless extending or applying for a new visa for a new degree programme. 

What will be different from Tier 4?

Most international students need a student visa to study in the UK.  You will need 70 points in order to apply.

Points type: Study


  • Confirmation of attendance (CAS)                                                   
  • Course requirements
  • Approved qualification requirement
  • Level of study requirement
  • Place of study requirement

Points required:  50

Points type: Financial

Requirements: Financial requirement  

Points required: 10

Points type: English Language

Requirements: Financial requirement  

Points required: 10


Note: maintenance to increase for Student visa applications. The Immigration Rules are due to change from 1 December 2020. From 9am on 1 December, you will need to show living expenses of £1,334 per month of your studies in the UK, up to a maximum of £12,006. This has increased from £1,265. You need to show living expenses in addition to outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course.

  • If you, or your dependant partner or dependant child, have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your new applications you will automatically meet the financial requirements. This means you do not need to provide financial evidence with your application. If you are applying from outside the UK financial requirement will still be applicable.
  • If you are a Graduate Diploma Student you might need to provide evidence of the financial requirements to check please email [email protected].
  • If you are a sabbatical officer you will not need to show financial requirements.
Please note: Although there is not a requirement to submit financial documents when extending your visa you will still need to declare that you have the required funds to cover tuition fees and living costs. The caseworker could request you to provide evidence of your maintenance requirement.

Appendix Finance sets out the requirements for the level of funds and length of time they must be held.

Level of qualification 

The UKVI will not routinely ask you to provide evidence of academic qualifications when submitting a visa application when applying from inside the UK.

Time limits

Time limits for those studying at postgraduate level have been removed

Immigration Health Surcharge 

The new student visa route will be introduced shortly after a planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge for students from £300 per year to £470 per year.

Low risk applicants 

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals have been added to the list of ‘low risk’ nationals. Students from these countries are not required to submit evidence to show that they meet the financial requirements or provide their academic qualifications used to obtain an offer of study. The Home Office, however, retain the right to request sight of these documents.

English language

Please click here for English Language Requirements 

European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland Nationals 

The new Student route will take effect for applications made in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 for  EEA nationals outside the UK. They will apply under this new route,  for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU/EEA and Swiss students arriving in the UK before 1 January 2021

If you arrive and start living in the UK before 31 December 2020 there is very little that will change concerning your right to free movement in the UK. This means you will have the right to live, study and work in the UK without any immigration implications. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens can apply for EU settlement and continue to live in the UK after 30 June 2021. The deadline to apply for EU settlement whilst living in the UK is 30 June 2021.

If you do not have the correct documents at the UK border, you will no longer be given an automatic opportunity to produce the required documents or to establish a right of admission to the UK by other means.

You will not need to apply if you:

  • are an Irish national (Irish people are automatically deemed to hold settled status in the UK, so you are not required to do anything in preparation for Brexit)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, though you can choose to swap this for settled status which will allow you to spend longer outside the UK without losing your status
  • have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example, if you have a Returning Resident Visa.

Immigration and Visa Advice


  • Student Support
    Bookable online appointments can be arranged by emailing us

  • [email protected]