So you are a Pakistani student looking to study in the United Kingdom? It’s an excellent decision! But first, you need to figure out the UK student visa process. It’s complicated, but with the right information and steps, you can get your visa approved in no time.
That’s why we are here. In this blog, we will cover the UK student visa requirements for Pakistani students, how to apply for a student visa and the processing time. We understand applying for a student visa can be a bit intimidating at first but don’t worry – we have got all the information you need! You will be able to submit your application with ease and will get your visa in no time.
Types of UK Student Visas for Pakistani Student
There are two types of student visas Pakistani students can apply to:
- Tier 4 (child): parents can apply for this visa for their child if the child is 4 to 17 and wants to study in an independent school in the UK.
- Tier 4 (General): this type of visa is for students who want to stay and pursue their higher education in the UK. They should make sure the university they are enrolling for holds a Tier 4 Sponsor License.
In this blog, we will mainly focus on Tier 4 (General) student visas, so let’s begin!
Eligibility Criteria for UK Study Visa for Pakistani Students
If you are a Pakistani student looking to apply for a UK student visa, there are certain eligibility criteria that you must meet. We will list down everything below:
You can apply for a student visa to study in the UK if you are 16 or over. However, if you are 16 or 17 you will need consent from your parents and have evidence of it when you apply.
You must prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. This usually means passing an English Language Test (IELTS) from an approved provider. For a lower degree, you must have an equivalent to CEFR level B1 and CEFR level B2 if you are studying degree level or above.
There is a chance that you might be interviewed by a UKVI (United Kingdom Visa and Immigration) officer as a part of your visa application process. If you are unable to hold a simple conservation, your application can be rejected regardless of your English language test results. So, make sure that you have a certain level of English communication skills as well.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
When you have met all the entry requirements for the full-time course, you will receive a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the institution. The document contains all the necessary information such as study fees, name of the course, degree level and more. You can’t apply for a Student visa if you don’t have CAS.
To be eligible for a UK student visa you need enough money to pay for your course for 1 academic year. The amount you will be required to pay will be listed in CAS. Other than that you need to have a certain amount for your living cost. How much money you will need depends on in which city you will be studying. For example if you are studying in London you will need £1,334 per month and if you are studying outside London then you will need £1,023 per month. Moreover, you will need £1,531 for airfare to and from the UK.
Also, remember that you must have this money for at least 28 consecutive days and if you have any student loan or financial sponsorship or scholarship then you need to provide evidence of it.
Health and Character Certificate
You need to meet certain health and character requirements where applicable if you are studying in the UK for longer than 6 months you will need to pay Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as a part of your visa application.
If you are making your application online then you will pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment and if you are applying by post, you will pay the surcharge online before you send your application. Remember to include your HIS reference number on your application form.
Applying From Outside of the UK
Applying for a visa takes time, so we recommend that you start as soon as you receive your CAS letter as it takes time to collect and organise all the documents. The earliest you can apply for a student visa is 6 months before you start your course.
Aside from these, it is also important to remember that you cannot study part-time in the UK with a Tier 4 student visa – it only allows full-time study.
Required Documents for UK Study Visa Application for Pakistani Students
To apply for a UK student visa, there are a few documents that you must have. In order to ensure your application is complete as soon as possible, make sure you have all these documents with you before beginning your application.
Here’s a breakdown of the documents you’ll need in order to apply for the visa:
- A valid passport/travel document
- A completed visa application form (usually it is online)
- Recent passport-size colour photograph
- Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself for the first academic year (tuition fees and living costs)
- Evidence of your acceptance (unconditional offer letter) onto a course at a licensed Tier 4 UK institution, evidenced by a CAS letter from the institution.
- A specified tuberculosis test certificate (if required) Check the page here to see if you are exempt from this requirement
- Evidence that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies.
- If you are enrolled in a sensitive postgraduate research program and have a certain nationality, you will need to apply for an ATAS test and provide the certificate.
- Parental consent if you are under 18
- Reference Letter from your previous employer or institution
- Statement of Purpose (Visa)
- If a relative is sponsoring you then you need to provide proof of sponsorship
Gathering these documents together may sound like a long process, but it’s necessary to ensure that you’re able to submit a complete and accurate application. It’s worth noting that depending on where in Pakistan you are applying from, some other supporting documentation might be required so be sure to check with the relevant High Commission or Embassy in advance.
Student Visa Cost
UK Student Visa costs around £363 if you are applying for a student visa from outside of the UK and £490 to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK. You will also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge of £624 per year and if you are under 18 you will pay a discounted rate of £470 per year.
How to Apply
Applying for a UK student visa is not really a difficult procedure. All one need to do is follow the steps discussed below to apply for a UK student visa:
STEP 1: Gain Admission
Apply for admission into a high educational institution. Once you receive an offer from the institution you will be eligible to apply for a Tier 4 student visa.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
Once you have your CAS letter and collected all the necessary documents (we have listed the required document above) it is time for you to fill out the online visa application form.
Step 3: Fill In the Application Form
Having signed up on the UK Visas and Immigration website successfully, you will be required to fill out the online visa application form. Now, be very vigilant when you are filling out this form as any error or false information provided can reduce your chances of receiving your student visa. Take your time and check all provided answers are true and match the information on your other documentation before you click on the submit button.
Note: it is not necessary to complete the visa application form in one go, it gives you the option to save your entries and complete the form later at your convenience)
Step 4: Biometric and Interview
After acceptance of your application your biometric would be required. So, make an appointment for your visa and visit the visa embassy, consulate or visa application centre in Pakistan on the scheduled date, it is during this appointment that you will submit your documents, pay the IHS fee and your biometric data will be collected as well. If you are called for an interview, make sure you are punctual and dress appropriately.
Note: if your previous academic performance has been amazing, there are chances that the interview will be waived off.
Step 5: Await Your Decision
Your application will be assessed by the UK Visa and Immigration department, which will review all supporting documentation that you submitted when making your application. It generally takes about three weeks for a decision to be made once your application has been received by them, so keep checking your status regularly throughout this period.
Timeline and Processing Time
Now that you’re aware of the requirements to get a UK student visa, you’re probably wondering how long it will take to process your application. Well, the processing time for a UK student visa can vary depending on where you’re applying from.
Generally, it can take up to 3 weeks for a decision to be made on your UK student visa application once it has been submitted. To help make this process easier and less stressful, you should plan ahead about your move to the UK.
Interviews can be hard, especially if so much of your future is riding on the said interview. However, with preparation, you can ace the visa interview and impress the visa officer. Here are some tips to help you appear confident on the day of your visa interview:
- It is hard to predict what you will be asked, but still, if you practise some common questions that other applicants were asked. It will give you an idea of what kind of questions the visa officers ask and how you can answer them confidently.
- Ask anyone from your circle, be it your parents, siblings or friends to conduct mock interviews to help you ease some of the anxiety you have stored in you.
- Body language matters a lot. Try to appear confident even if you are not feeling like it. Keep your posture straight and don’t use your hands a lot while answering their questions
- Dress appropriately
- You can also contact Edvise Hub to help you with the interview preparation.
With these tips, you will surely do great. Good Luck!
Biometric Residence Permit
The Biometric Residence Permit is a form of identification that is proof of an owner’s right to stay, work or study in the UK. Your BRP includes your name, date and place of birth, your fingerprint and a photo of your face, your immigration status and any reason for your stay and whether you have access to public funds, such as benefits and health services.
You will get a BRP if you:
- Applying to stay in the UK for over 6 months
- Want to extend your visa for over 6 months
- Applying to settle in the UK
- Transfer your visa to a new passport
- Apply for certain Home Office travel documents
Final Thoughts on UK Study Visa
Applying for a UK student visa for Pakistani students doesn’t have to be a daunting task. As long as you’re aware of the requirements and have the necessary documents, you can apply for the visa in no time.
The processing times may be longer than expected, so it’s best to plan ahead and start your application procedure as soon as possible. Furthermore, make sure to check for any updates to the UK visa laws and regulations, as these could affect your visa application.
With a UK student visa, Pakistani students have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experiences in the UK, allowing them to further their careers and find success in their future endeavours.