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International students wishing to study in the UK; Discover the process

If you are from a European Economic Area and Switzerland, you can study in the UK without any restrictions.

Nationals of other countries can come to the UK as students in 2 ways:

1. You can apply to come to the UK as a visiting student (or visiting child if you are under the age of 18) if you wish to take a short course (course lasting up to six months) and that you will not be working during your stay.

2. Students who want to undertake a long study program and who wish to work during their stay must apply to ‘Level 4’ of the UK points-based immigration system. An independent education provider will need to sponsor you during your stay.

You must demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an English course (unless you are a national of an exempt country, i.e., a country that is part of the English speaking community, e.g., Jamaica), which can be done in a private college for example (ESOL) or (IELTS) if you want to come or stay in the UK under specific immigration categories.

IELTS level 7 is the standard English language entry requirement for most further and higher education courses in the UK.


International students must be able to show;

A bank statement showing the balance that will be available to them while studying in the UK, and revealing the source of any funding that will be used to fund their course in the UK. This proves to the British Embassy interview committee in the country and UK entry control officers that the candidate can maintain himself during his stay in the UK and that he will not need to resort to public funding.

Authentic original academic certificates are demonstrating that the necessary prerequisites for the course have been met; it satisfies the British Embassy staff that you can take the course.

Confirmation of acceptance from the education and training provider, or sponsor, indicating that you have been accepted into the course and approval that all fees for the duration of the course have been paid. This satisfies the entry screening officers with your intention to take the course during its period.

International students are required to sign a declaration confirming that they will meet their visa requirements and leave the UK at the end of their course.


International students taking full-time courses, that is, sessions of at least fifteen hours of attendance per week, are allowed to work ten hours per week.

A work permit will be issued by the British Embassy in the country when your visa is issued.

Sponsors with a level 4, general license, can sponsor international students 18 years of age and over, sponsors with a level 4, child license, can sponsor international students under the age of 18.


The Chevening scholarship provides full-time and part-time funding for full-time courses at the postgraduate level, and this applies to applicants who are taking a one-year master’s degree in any subject and any what a British university.

Some universities offer their scholarships to international students; application to the university of your choice is recommended.

What is level 4?

1 Level 4 – points-based system – main immigration route available for students wishing to study full time in the UK. You must be sponsored by an education provider who has a sponsorship license.

2 Public schools cannot admit students who come to the UK below level 4.

What is sponsorship?

A sponsor is an education provider that offers study courses and is licensed to sponsor students so that they can take those courses. If you want to study in the UK under level 4 of the points-based system, you must have a sponsor. The sponsorship also provides proof that the student will study for an approved qualification and assigns the sponsor tasks that they must meet.

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