Applying for the Tier 4 General visa is a straight forward process if you follow the visa instructions and guidance.
How you apply depends on where you make your application.
You can only apply for entry clearance under Tier 4 in your home country or in a country where you have existing formal residency rights.
The earliest you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa is 3 months before the start date of the course.
This means that if you intend to begin a course on 15 September 2014, the earliest you should apply is 15 June 2014.
We advise students to apply at the earliest point that they can make an application.
To begin the process of applying for your visa, visit the UK Visas & Immigration website.
When applying for your Tier 4 visa from outside the UK, you must fill the online form that you can find on the Visa4UK website (unless you are applying from Cuba or North Korea)
Complete the Tier 4 General visa application form online: Visa4UK websitePay the application fee (310 GBP). This is paid online at the end of the application form. Print the online form and book an appointment at your nearest visa application centre.
As part of the visa process, you need to give your biometric details. This involves a fingerprint scan and a digital facial photograph.
More information about biometrics is available on the UKVI website:
You give your biometrics at the visa application centre or embassy when you submit the printed online application form and supporting documents in person.
When you attend your appointment at the visa application centre, you must ensure that you enclose all the required and relevant documentation with your application. Depending on where you are applying from, you may need to enclose a TB test with your visa application: Check if you need a TB testUSE ONLY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTATION TO APPLY- INCLUDING YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT – DO NOT USE PHOTOCOPIES.
The embassy will consider your application. Depending upon where you apply, the documents are sent back to you by secure mail or you are contacted to arrange to collect them.
The amount of time a visa application takes varies. During busy periods (May-October), it can take up to 4 weeks. We therefore strongly recommend making an application as soon as you have all the required documents. In some countries, you may be able to get your visa application fast tracked using the Priority Service. Contact your visa application centre to find out if this service is available in your country
You can check your British Embassy/High Commission’s application decision times on the UK Visas & Immigration website:
This article was published on Apr 4, 2014