The process of applying for student visas can be difficult. At Chelsea Independent College, our expert team is on hand to help make the process run as smoothly as possible. However, please keep in mind we are not an authority for advice and assistance.
We recommend that you begin by reading our FAQ below. If you are still unsure about your visa application process, we advise you to contact a visa agent or service in your home country to make well-informed decisions about the possibility of studying in the UK.
We understand that the process can be frustrating. Please be patient and we will aim to resolve your queries efficiently, or refer you to a body that is more able to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do students require a visa to study in the UK?
Students who do not hold either a British or a European Passport are very likely to require a visa to study in the UK, if they wish to study for more than five months.
What kind of visa does a student need?
Students require a Tier 4 visa. This type of visa, issued as either a Child or a General Visa, entitles the holder to study in the UK.
Please be aware that no student is allowed to study in the UK on a tourist visa. Students should also be aware that many types of visa are non-transferable. If students currently hold a Tier 4 Child Visa, they can apply from within the UK or from their home country. Students holding Tier 4 General Visas need to return to their home countries if they would like to extend their visas.
Do I need a child or a general visa?
In the majority of cases, if a student is under 18, they require a Child Visa. If the student is over 18, they need a General Visa. If a student is 16 or 17 they may require either a Child or a General Visa. All students wishing to study on an International Foundation Year course require a General Visa.
If you are having difficulties making your decision, the Astrum Education admissions team can assess your personal circumstances and recommend the best course of action to take. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How have visa applications changed?
Students applying for entry clearance for more than six months are now given a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), rather than a vignette in their passport. Students collect their BRP from a designated Post Office when they arrive in the UK and have 10 days from their date of arrival to collect it. Students under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by a responsible adult who has been security checked by the UKVI when they collect their BRP from the Post Office.
EU Regulations require that Member States granting leave for more than six months to non EEA nationals must do so by using a BRP. The BRP will be the sole form of evidence of the leave granted.
The visa process remains largely unchanged, but applicants are now required to provide their intended date of travel, a UK address and a post code. The post code they provide is used to determine which Post Office they collect their BRP from. The application fee remains the same and the time needed to process the visa should not be affected.
Successful applicants receive a letter from the Embassy informing them of their decision. The letter also includes information regarding their designated Post Office and how they need to collect their visa with 10 days of arrival in the UK.
When applicants receive their passports back from the Embassy, they will have a 30-day short validity (travel) vignette inside. This will be valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel provided by the applicant in their visa application. This vignette allows students to travel to the UK and to collect their BRP. Students must travel within this time frame and before their 30-day travel visa expires. Failure to do so means the student will have to apply for a replacement short-term visa, at extra cost, to allow them to travel.