Student visa

Applying for a visa

You will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa in order to study at Keele University International Study Centre.

Will I be eligible for a student visa?

There are three main requirements for those who want to study in the UK. You must have been offered a place on a course, you must have enough money to fund your lifestyle and pay for your course and you must be able to speak, read, write and understand English to a good level. If you meet these requirements, you are likely to be eligible for a student visa for studying abroad.

The visa process

Visa applications work via a points-based system. If you gain 40 points, you will be granted a visa.

  • The first step is to apply for your chosen programme at the International Study Centre.
  • Receive an offer of a place on the programme. This is worth 30 points.
  • Send your supporting documents to be checked by Admissions team or your Student Enrolment Adviser.
  • Obtain a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Study) . This is worth a further 10 points.
  • Apply for your visa, attaching any requested financial statements.
  • You may also be required to attend a credibility interview.
  • UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will contact you to let you know whether or not your application has been successful.

When should I apply for a visa?

Apply for your visa as early as you can to make sure there is enough time for your visa application to be processed. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course begins. As soon as you apply to study at the International Study Centre, you can begin getting your documents together.

How long can I stay in the UK on a student visa?

In addition to the period of leave given to you to carry out your course of study, leave to remain will also be granted depending on your length of course. See section 5.66 in Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance document to find out more.

Find more information on student visas here.

Working during your pathway programme

Students beginning a programme after 1st August 2019 on a Tier 4 visa to study at the International Study Centre are entitled to work during their pathway programme.

About the Tier 4 visa

The Tier 4 visa allows students to come to the UK to study. It also means that students can work alongside their studies, gaining life skills for the future. This should usually be a part-time role for an established business or organisation.

You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time for any course at degree level. You may work full time (up to 40 hours per week) during term breaks. This cannot be averaged over a longer period. A 'week' is defined by the Home Office as a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday.

Conditions of a Tier 4 visa

If allowed to work as part of their Tier 4 visa, students are not able to:

  • be employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation programme)
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson, including a sports coach
  • be employed as an entertainer
  • be self-employed, except where the student is awaiting a decision on an application they have made for leave to remain as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
    engage in business activities
  • fill a full-time, permanent vacancy (except on a recognised foundation programme or as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer)
  • If a student stops studying without completing the course, they will no longer be entitled to work and will be in breach of the conditions of the visa if they work.

Find more information on working during your studies at UKCISA.

Visa credibility interviews

Applicants from certain countries may be required to attend a credibility interview (also known as a visa interview). The purpose of this is for an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to check that you are applying for the right reasons. You need to show you are a serious student, and that you have good knowledge of your chosen university and course. If you have done your research, the interview is nothing to worry about. The process is just designed to check people are not planning to use a student visa to work or holiday in the UK.

You will normally be interviewed at the visa application centre when you submit your visa application documents. This interview is via a secure video system and you will be interviewed by a UKVI member of staff who is in the UK.

Think about why you decided on your chosen course, and how you hope it will help you in the future. Find out about Keele University International Study Centre and the local area.

Here are a few examples of questions you may be asked during the course of your interview:

  • Why did you choose Keele University International Study Centre?

You should be able to explain why you chose Keele, over other universities in the UK and other countries. 

  • Which course will you be studying, and why?

Tell the interviewer what interests you about your course and where you hope the qualification will get you in the future. 

  • How will you fund your time in the UK?

You need to assure the interviewer that you have the funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs while living in the UK. 

  • Do you plan to work in the UK?

It's important that you make it clear that your main purpose for being in the UK is to study and that any employment is to gain practical work experience to help you in the future.

You also must be clear that you understand that you won't rely on any earnings you receive through working whilst studying to pay programme fees and living costs. These must still be evidenced as part of your visa application. You should also demonstrate that you understand of the number of hours you are allowed to work during your studies.

Think carefully before answering and try to be as honest and detailed as possible. Talk naturally and relax; you do not want to look like you are repeating pre-prepared answers.

If you receive a visa refusal, you have 28 days to submit an Administrative Review to the UKVI and contest the decision made. This requires you to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal. You must submit your Administrative Review from outside the UK.

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