UK and Europe : FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for UK


UKVI: United Kingdom Visa and Immigration. Part of the Government's Home Office, UKVI decides who has the right to visit or stay in the UK.

Tier 4 (General) visa: This is the visa issued to most international students outside Europe who will be studying full time at a recognised UK institution.

CAS letter: This is essentially your visa letter, issued by the institution you have accepted a place with, only once all conditions of your offers  have been met



As an international student you will have many questions as you apply for admissions prepare for your visa.

Below we have listed some questions regulary asked by students who want to study in the UK. Answers to many of the questions can change depending on both your academic, financial and personal situation. We would strongly advise you to arrange a visa counselling session with our trained counsellors to ensure your visa application is successful.

This information will and can change on a frequent basis. Although we will do our upmost to keep our webpages fully up to date, you may wish to also visit the immigration website directly.


What type of visa would I apply for as an international student studying full time in the UK?

It's likely that you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa, although this could depend on your level of study.

Can I work part time while studying in UK?

Normally, if you are applying for a Bachelors degree program or higher at a UK higher education institution you can:

  • work for up to 20 hours per week during term time
  • work full-time during vacations
  • do a work placement as part of your course
  • work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.

Who can sponsor me to study in UK?

You can use funds held in an account owned by you or by your parents. Evidence will need to be presented to show your relation to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and that, of course, they give you permission.

Financial support can also come from:

  • Her Majesty’s Government
  • Your home government
  • The British Council
  • International organisations
  • International companies
  • Universities
  • Independent School

Would I be eligible for Post Study Work visa in UK after my studies?

Many students would like to stay in the UK to work once they have completed their studies. Post-study opportunities aren't as common as they used to be, however there are a number of schemes that you may wish to explore.

  • Doctorate extension, for students studying a Doctorate
  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
  • Tier 2 visa for skilled migrants

The details of the schemes change frequently, and this webpage does not provide a list of all schemes. The Home Office pages will have the most updated details.


How much do I need to show in my bank account in order to be granted student visa?

Studying overseas is not cheap, and the UK Government needs evidence that you have enough money to support yourself when you come to study in the UK. The amount can vary, depending on the length of your course and where you will study it.

You will need to show you have sufficient funds to cover:

  • course fees for your first period of study
  • living costs for up to a maximum of nine months

The amount you will need to show for course fees will be given by your Tier 4 sponsor (the institution) on your Confirmation of Acceptance Statement (CAS) letter (the visa letter you receive from your institution).

How long does it take to be issued a student visa?

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the start of your course and the processing time is around 3 weeks. UKVI aim to complete 90% of non-settlement applications in 3 weeks but this will vary depending on volume and peak times.

When can I commence my studies in UK?

The traditional intake starts in September however many institutions now offer January, June and July intakes too.


Would I be required to prove my level of English to be accepted at a UK institution?

Yes, you will. Your English level will be assessed by your institution and the requirements vary from course to course and depending on the type of institution. It will also depend on when your CAS was originally issued. 

There are a number of English language testing options for international students, the most popular includes IELTS, Pearsons and your institutional sponsor may sometimes be able to test you.

You would need to meet the required level in the four following components:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

Can I get scholarships to take care of my tuition fees and living cost?

Some students secure financial sponsorship that pays towards their course fees or living costs. These can come in the form of scholarships and bursaries and are normally awarded on a competitive basis, and often based on academic merit.

If your financial sponsor is only providing partial funding to cover some of your course fees or living costs, you will be asked to show evidence that you have the remaining funding to study.

Can I travel with my family to UK?

Your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re

A dependant is either:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • your unmarried or same-sex partner
  • your child under 18 years olld

Your eligibilty to bring your dependants depends on the level and length of course you study, your visa sponsor and whether you are part of a Doctorate Extension Scheme.


Would I be interviewed by the embassy when I am applying for my visa?

Many students are interviewed by Home Office officials either at application level in their home countries or or when arriving in the UK. At the interview, you will need to show that your English language ability meets the standards of the UK Visa and Immigration section. Your entry clearance application may be refused or you may be refused permission to enter the UK.


Will I be required to pay my complete tuition fees before my visa is issued?

You will need to show evidence of your financial means before a CAS letter is issued by an institution, and normally a deposit. PFL would strongly encourage all students to pay their fees in full at this point. However, some institutions will allow you to pay by installments. This is something you would need to ask your PFL Counsellor to verify at application level.

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