On 5th October 2020, the Student Route and Child Student Route both opened for applications under the Government’s new points-based immigration system. These routes improve on the previous Tier 4 routes, making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students. 

All prospective international students coming to study in the UK on or after 1st January 2021, including those from the EU, EEA and Switzerland, will need to apply for a Student visa and receive a decision before they arrive. This includes those who begin their course remotely in autumn 2020. Applications can be made online at GOV.UK and students can apply up to six months before their course starts.

Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the new Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021. The Graduate Route will allow international students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in the UK to stay for two years and those who have completed a PhD to stay for three years.

The Student route will replace the Tier 4 route from 5th October 2020:

  • The Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students
  • Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021
  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa at the time of application
  • More information about the UK’s new points-based immigration system can be found here. Further guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss students, who from 1 January will need to comply with the new system can be found here
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before 31 December should apply to the EU settlement scheme

EU, EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December. 

EU, EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should not apply for a Student visa through the new points-based immigration system. They, and their family members, are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those resident here by 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to do so. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.

// Documents

If you are applying before you leave home, you must include:

  • A letter from WE Bridge Academy confirming the details of your studies
  • Qualification certificates if your offer was based on completion of High School
  • A current passport with a page that’s blank on both sides, or other valid travel identification
  • Information about where you’ll stay and your travel plans
  • Links to your home country such as family and employment (include a letter from your employer stating that they consent to you visiting the UK for your study period and the date you are expected back to work)
  • Evidence of finances (see below)

// Financial Evidence

You need to show you have sufficient money to pay course fees and to support yourself in the UK without working or getting help from public funds. WE Bridge Academy will state on your visa letter what funds you have paid towards your course already.

We recommend for living expenses (maintenance) you prove you have the equivalent of £1,015 per month (the current Tier 4 maintenance/living costs figures) for the duration of your course.

// Acceptable Proof Of Funds Evidence

Depending on your situation, you can use:

  • Original bank statements
  • An official financial sponsorship letter 
  • Your parents’ bank statement and a letter from them which states they will cover your living and/or accommodation costs for the duration of your stay

// How Financial Evidence Is Assessed

UKVI looks at yours (or your parents’) regular outgoings (such as mortgage, rent payments and financial support for any dependants) when they assess your visa application.

If applicable, give evidence of where the money comes from in the account your showing (for example, payslips). If it is your parents’ account, your parents should write a permission letter to use their funds for the purpose of study and maintenance. 

UKVI may also:

  • Make further checks if funds haven’t been in your account for a long time
  • Want to know where the money has come from for any large sums of money that have been paid into the account recently 

// Other Documents You May Need

You might need a tuberculosis test certificate if you are studying an English course longer than six months. You can check here to see if you need a certificate.

// Translations

If any document is not in English, it must come with a fully certified translation.

// If You Are Under 18

If you are under 18, you need to provide additional documents if:

  • You are travelling on your own
  • You are travelling with someone who is not your parent or guardian

// Travelling On Your Own

You can travel to the UK without an adult if you are aged 18 or over.

Your parent or guardian needs to provide their:

  • Written consent for you to travel to the UK
  • Full contact details

You will also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • The name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • An address where you will be living
  • Details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you
  • Consent in writing so they can look after you during your stay in the UK

// Travelling With An Adult

When travelling to the UK with an adult (someone 18 or over), you need to identify them in your visa application. Their name will appear on your visa, and you’ll be refused entry to the UK if you arrive in the UK without them.

You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application and your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least one of them. The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.