You can apply for a student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

  • have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  1. Your course

You must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor.

To prove this, your education provider will send you a reference number (called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)) once they have offered you a place on the course. You need a CAS before you can apply for your visa.

  1. Start preparing your financial evidence:

Start planning your financial evidence early. If you or your parents will pay your fees, you will need bank statements showing you have held the required funds in your account for at least 28 days. The last transaction date must be no more than 31 days before you submit your visa application.

Your funding evidence must include:

  • tuition fees for the first year of your course – or for the full course duration if it’s a one-year course or shorter.
  • How much money you need depends on where you will be studying. You will need either:
  • £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London
  • £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London
  • If you’re boarding at a residential independent school, you’ll need to pay boarding fees instead. The amount you need to pay will be on your CAS.
  • additional living expenses of any eligible family members, at a rate of £680 per person per month, for the first nine months of your course (£6,120 per person)
  1. Knowledge of English

You must prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18
  • You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

Applicants from certain English-speaking countries do not have to prove this requirement.

  1. Fees

It costs: £363 to apply for a student visa from outside the UK

£490 to extend or switch to a student visa from inside the UK

  1. Healthcare surcharge

You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

How much you pay depends on how long your visa lasts. The current fee is £640 for each year of leave you enter or remain.

  1. Documents you will need to apply
  • When you apply for your student visa you must provide:
  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider.
  • Bank statements and a letter of support from your sponsor.
  • a valid ATAS certificate if your course and nationality require it.
  • Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18
  • proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian if you’re under 18.
  • your tuberculosis test results

For expert advice on all U.K. immigration matters, contact us:

UK:    +44 20 8493 7340

Ghana: +233 50 462 2794

Emergency: +44 77 1276 1884



Bennard Owusu is the senior partner of BWF Solicitors, an award-winning law firm in London. He is also dual qualified as a barrister in Ghana and Solicitor to the Senior Courts of England.