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Student Visa
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Applying for a Visa

In order to apply for a visa to study in the UK, applicants have to make an application under ‘Tier 4 – Students’ category (as applicable from 31st March 2009) of the new Points-based system.
Salient features are:

Visa Application Form isVAF 9 .

Visa Application Fee is £289.

Following are the proof of financial sources:

  • Funds shall be minimum 28 days old from the date of visa application and shall be available in savings or current account. Account shall be in the name of Student or a joint account shall exist for both financial sponsor and student. From 21st August 2009, funds can be shown in the name of the parents also.
  • In case of fixed deposits, banks shall issue a letter confirming the availability of same and encashment can be done with in 28 days maximum. Bank letter shall be dated less than ONE CALENDAR MONTH from the date of visa application
  • In case of education loan, sanction letter dated less than ONE CALENDAR MONTH shall be produced with a copy of terms and conditions or loan agreement if issued by bank and shall be signed by all the parties of the agreement. In case bank’s sanction is subject to the issue of visa, Border Agency assumes that the student is likely to get the funds by the time he/she travels to UK

Note: For any visa application made before 1st June 2009, one must show availability of funds on the day of application.

Funds to be shown:

If studying within London borough – First year tuition + 9,000 Pounds (Nine months max.)
Outside London borough – First year tuition + 7,200 Pounds ( Nine months max.)

Points for getting Visa:

For admission in A tier universities – 30 Points (registered in UK Border Agency Sponsor Register)

For Money evidence (maintenance requirement – 10 points
Total 40 points have to be obtained to get the student’s visa.

Students who complete their education (Undergraduate and beyond) can stay back as follows:

UG Degree – 4 months for courses 12 months and above
PG Degree – 2 months for courses if less than 12 months

Students can take up further education in the same college without another visa. However, if they change the college or apply for another visa tier, they have to apply afresh for another visa.

After completion of study under Tier 4, students can apply for immigration option, under Tier 1 Post study work.

  • Evaluation and acceptance of academic criteria for any given course by any given university is solely at the discretion of university and UK Border Agency will not BOTHER for the same. For e.g.: a student completed his graduation in 2005 and is idle for 4 years and would like to take up further studies now. Now UK Border Agency will not investigate the reasons for gap etc.,
  • Visa Letter from university shall mention the course, tuition fee and payment received towards tuition fee advance and explains the evaluation criteria for accepting the student.
Upon his course completion, he may be eligible for other visa categories (Tier 1 to 3) after satisfying the respective points. Applicants should be advised to apply at least 3 to 4 months in advance before course completion/expiry of their present visa.

List of documents to be taken (required) for Visa in the same order as given hereunder:

  • VAF 9 + Appendix 8 Form (Tier 4 – Student) and Guidance Notes
  • Passport
  • One Passport size photo (45 x 35 mm Color, less than 6 months old)
  • Biometric Details
  • Visa Fees of £289 (equivalent in Rupees, in D.D form)
  • CAS letter from University – ORIGINAL & Photocopy (of all docs.)
  • Unconditional letter from University
  • ATAS Certificate (if necessary)
  • Receipt of fee payment towards accommodation & Tuition.
  • Bank Statements - ORIGINAL for the last 28 days from all sponsors
  • Transcripts (Mark sheets) (from 10th class till the last degree obtained
  • Affidavit of Support to be given by the sponsor on Rs.20 stamp paper (non-judicial)
  • Work experience certificate
  • Fixed Deposit Receipts (if necessary)
  • Bank loan sanction letter (if necessary)

Visa application may be submitted personally at the VFS UK local office, after obtaining appointment by Email from them. If the authenticity of documents is confirmed, issue of visa will not take more than 7 days to 15 days. In case the visa officials consider that an interview may be required, there will be a personal visa interview before a visa could be granted or denied.

Presently, the Visa Application Fee is £289 Sterling, which comes to Rs. 24,565 @ Rs. 85. This may be paid in the form of Bankers Cheque only at Standard Chartered Bank branches at no extra fee. (Applicant with original passport has to visit for this purpose) If D.Ds are to be taken, please take (from any bank) in the name of ‘British High Commission, New Delhi’ or ‘British Dy. High Commission, in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. To get Bankers Cheque made at VFS, Rs.100 extra is payable.

In case the visa officials consider that an interview may be required, there will be a personal visa interview before a visa could be granted or denied.

The student can request for delivery of passport by courier, with additional payment of Rs.170. He/she can even get him/herself photographed (for visa application purpose) for Rs.100 (4 copies) at the VFS office.

It is best to apply for a visa at least 3 months before the start of semester in UK. Students can reach UK up to one month before start of semester.

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How do I track my visa status?
VISA Tracking through SMS, United Kingdom visa applicants can now access their visa application status by sending an SMS to 7333 from any mobile phone across all service providers on both GSM and CDMA platforms.

Will I require an interview at the British High Commission?
The final decision on whether you will require an interview will be taken by an ECO at the British High Commission, no one else can make this decision. However, students may not require an interview if they have.

•    Traveled to the UK in the last ten years, and have evidence of this travel
•    Traveled to the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland or Schengen countries within the last 5 years, and have evidence of this travel.
•    Pre-paid part or 100% of their tuition fees and have a receipt to prove it.
 
To receive a Visa the Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied….
•    That you are going to be a genuine student only going to the UK for the purpose of studying
•    That you have arranged the liquid funds to cover all your tuition fees and living costs in the UK and that you and your sponsors can afford to spend this money.
•    That you will leave the UK on completion of your course and will not overstay your visa unless you have been given a visa extension or have been granted a TWES or Business & Commercial work permit
 

Visa refusals and Refunds
If your visa is refused and you have prepaid tuition fees to your institution, then you will receive the refund. To receive a refund on any prepaid tuition fees please give the impel office the following documents:

•    Original visa refusal letter from the British High Commission
•    Original unconditional offer letter from the university
•    Your passport

Your original visa refusal letter will returned to you once a photocopy has been made and attested. Your passport will be checked and then immediately returned to you. If impel has been allowed by the university to hold your demand draft then you will receive your refund within 1-2 days. If you have sent your tuition fees directly to the University then it will take 1-2 months for refund to processed and return to you in India.

Changing Institution after the visa is issue and refunds
Each institution has its own refund policy. Consequently if you are not sure whether you wish to study at that institution you should think carefully before applying for your visa and prepaying any tuition fees. Refunds may be given but the institution may decide to send the refund back to India for you to collect personally or they may consider transferring it to the institution you now want to study at as long as it is recognized. Please check the refund policy of your institution before prepaying your tuitions fees.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007. It is used to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. This is in common with other governments around the world.

You only need an ATAS certificate if you are a Postgraduate Student, and you require a visa to study in the UK, or wish to extend your current leave to remain as a student.

An ATAS certificate shows details of the course and Higher Education Institution you have applied for clearance for. Therefore if you have more than one offer from different Universities/Institutions you will need to apply for separate ATAS clearance certificates for each University/Institution and programme of study.

An ATAS certificate is valid as long as the details of your course do not change. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 12 months in advance of the beginning of your course.

If you are applying an extension to stay in the UK, and your course is in one of the categories given below, you will need to apply for ATAS clearance.

You may also need an ATAS Certificate if you wish to Research in UK for longer than 6 months.

You will need this before you apply for your Visa. ATAS is only required for certain courses. You need to check if you are affected before you apply for your Visa.

  • F2 - Materials Science
  • F3 - Physics (including Nuclear Physics)
  • H3 - Mechanical Engineering
  • H4 - Aerospace Engineering
  • J5 - Materials Technology not otherwise specified
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