Applying for a UK student visa allows a person to come to the United Kingdom to embark upon a course of study in excess of six months duration.
The study visa immigration service entails the grant of a UK study permit enabling visa nationals to study in the UK with a view to gaining a recognized qualification.
The student visa service in itself does not constitute a route to settlement; it does not confer indefinite leave to remain in the UK (ILR) often known as permanent residence and it will not lead to the opportunity to become a UK citizen through British naturalization. However, a visa for student immigration may allow you to switch to another UK immigration service without leaving the country, upon the successful completion of your course.
If your course of study lasts less than six months, you may be able to enter the country under a UK visit visa, often referred to as a travel visa or tourist visa. However, the benefit of studying in the UK under a visa for students is that you will also be permitted to undertake limited employment.
There is no set duration for this type of visa for immigration to the UK, however, visas for students are usually granted for an initial period of one year and are determined by the length of course to be studied. In some cases, a study visa extension may be granted by applying for Further Leave to Remain (FLR) where applicants intend to follow completion of their course with another course of study.
One route for staying in Britain beyond your course of study, is available through switching to a UK work permit. UK work permits depend upon a specific offer of employment from a British company. Alternatively, you may qualify for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, or HSMP, a points based immigration visa for migrants with desirable professional skills. A third option for extending your stay in Britain by a year is the International Graduate Scheme, or for candidates graduating in Scotland, the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland programme.
Course of Study
A UK student visa applicant must show that they have been accepted onto a course of study at one of the following.
A publicly-funded institution of further or higher education (for example a university)
A bona fide private education institution that maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance for students and offers courses which lead to qualifications recognized by the appropriate accreditation bodies.
An independent fee-paying school outside the maintained sector.
Applicants for UK student visas must intend to follow either
A recognized full-time degree course.
A weekday course at a single institution that involves at least 15 hours of organized daytime study a week.
A full-time course of study at an independent fee-paying school.
Students must be able to meet the costs of their course and accommodation and the maintenance of themselves and any dependents without undertaking full-time employment or engaging in business or having recourse to public funds. The applicants should also intend to leave the country at the end of their studies.
In-country applications for United Kingdom student visas may not be submitted by Visa Nationals.
Unlike a UK visit visa, or travel visa application, applicants for study permits may take part-time or holiday work but must not engage in the following.
Work for more than 20 hours a week during term time (except in vacation periods), unless it is a work placement and part of a study program and the educational institution agrees.
Conduct business, be self-employed, or provide services as a professional sports person or entertainer.
Work full-time in a permanent job.
Spouse and Dependent Immigration
Spouse immigration is only permitted for married partners and unlike a fiance visa or De Facto visa, often known as an unmarried partner visa, your common-law or conjugal partner is not allowed to join you. Married partners will be granted leave to remain for a period equal to that granted to the student. During this time, they must be able to support themselves either independently or with the help of the applicant. Your spouse will be permitted to work only if your permit was issued for 12 months or more.