Student visa for uk from south africa

If you are planning to study in United Kingdom and do not have a UK immigration visa or entry clearance, or you don’t have enough time to apply for one, International Education Group can help you with student visa for uk from south africa. The U.K. is a country where international students are always welcome. Students from South Africa can easily get student visa for UK if they follow the steps in the right direction. The process is not as hard as you may imagine, especially if you know how to apply for visas for the U.K. with all your documents ready.

Applying for a student visa to study in the UK isn’t easy. It’s complicated and time-consuming to reissuing an application or getting any information from their authorities. But we try to make it as easy and stress-free as we can by taking away the stress by letting you know every required documents, what it’s for and which documents do you need.

Many potential students in South Africa dream of studying in the UK. But these dreams are often halted by the student visa requirements. To many UK entry clearance officers, a South African passport is considered a risky stamp on their visa officers.

UK has always been a go-to study destination for Indian students who want to pursue higher education at some of the world’s leading universities. Annually, more than 30,000 Indian students go to study in UK after going through a three-four week UK student visa process. Your acceptance of visa application is totally dependent upon your choice of program, maintenance of funding, adherence to UKVI rules and regulations and personal interview session.

UK Student Visa: Types

UK Student Visa: Types

Prospective non-EU applicants are primarily eligible for three types of UK student visa, depending upon their choice of the program:

Type of VisaVisa DurationWho can ApplyApplication Fees
Short-term study visa6 months
11 months
Applicants over 16 years of age;
Enrolling in 6-month Short Course  in UK institution;
Enrolling in 11-month English Language Course
97 GBP for 6 months;
186 GBP for 11 months
Tier 4 student visa (General)Duration of the program + 1 monthApplicants over 16 years of age;
Enrolling in course longer than 6 months
348 GBP
Tier 4 student visa (child)Under 16: 6yrs + 4 months;
16-17yrs: 3 yrs + 4 months
Applicants aged between 4 and 17 years348 GBP

Of all the students applying for higher education in UK universities, 95% of international students tend to pursue full-time courses, and therefore, require a Tier 4 student visa.

UK Student Visa: Eligibility

UK Student Visa: Eligibility Requirements

Tier 4 Student visa is issued to students who are at least 16 years old and want to pursue higher education in the UK. While the eligibility is calculated on the point-based system, you must fulfill the following requirements:

Course Selection & CAS 

Before applying for a UK student visa, it is mandatory for candidates to apply for an eligible course. As a Tier 4 (General) visa applicant, you can pursue one of the following courses:

  • A full-time program leading to a qualification equal to or higher than NQF level 6 (graduate diploma or graduate certificate, Bachelors degree or equivalent)
  • A part-time program leading to a qualification equal to or higher than NQF level 7 (postgraduate certificate or PG diploma, Masters degree or equivalent)
  • A full-time, minimum 15 hrs per week day-time study program leading to a qualification equal to or higher than NQF level 3 (higher education diploma, IB diploma or equivalent)
  • A recognized Foundation program, for postgraduate doctor or dentist.
  • An English language program at the Level B2, that is, Independent user leveling up to a proficient user.

Once you have been admitted to a university approved by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI), you will receive a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). 

Note: You must apply for the UK student visa within 6 months of receiving the CAS.

Knowledge of English

As a part of their academic assessment, your chosen Tier 4 Sponsor, i.e, UK university will assess your level of English language competence as an integral part of their academic evaluation for the applied course. However, for the Tier 4 student visa, you must prove your knowledge of the English language by passing a SELT (Secure English Language Test) with CEFR Level B1  and B2.

IELTS and PTE are the common SELTs taken by the prospective applicants, the equivalents of CEFR levels for these exams are tabulated below:

Level B14.043
Level B25.559
Level C17.076
Level C28.585

Applicants must obtain the above-mentioned scores in each section that is, Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.

UK Student: Minimum Funds

Availability of Funds

As a Tier 4 UK Student visa applicant, you are required to provide evidence of funding to pay for your tuition fees course and monthly accommodation expenses, up to at least a year. At the time of visa application, you must show that you have

  • at least 12006 GBP (11,97,617 INR) to cover your Year-1 course fees.
    • calculated with an approximation of 1,334 GBP(1,33,068 INR) per month.
  • received official financial sponsorship, and
  • enough funding to cover the remaining course fees and living costs.

The overall amount of funding you are required to demonstrate depends upon the category you are applying under, the duration of your course, university, and your living arrangements in UK. As evidence of available funds, you must use one of the following:

  • Cash funds in saving or current bank.
  • A loan letter
  • Official financial sponsorship letter 

Other accounts such as bonds, shares, overdrafts, etc cannot be used as evidence of funding.

Immigration Health Service Charge

All UK student visa applicants have to pay a health surcharge of 300 GBP per year to gain access to the UK’s National Health Service. The students have to pay it at the time of submitting their visa application online.

UK Student Visa: Application Process

UK Student Visa: Application Process

International students seeking Tier 4 student visa are required to apply at least three months before the commencement of the program. The overall UK student visa process is mentioned below.

Documents Required

  1. Details of passport
  2. Tuberculosis test results
  3. Criminal record certificate
  4. Proof of financial sufficiency that you have enough funds for your entire period of stay in the UK.
  5. Parents’ or legal guardian letters if you are under 18.
  6. Recent passport size photograph

How to Apply?

  • Step I: Enroll for Biometrics at a visa application center to obtain a Biometric Residence Permit.
  • Step II: Complete an Online Application Form
  • Step III: Submit Tuberculosis Certificate with “negative” result.
  • Step IV: Pay the visa processing fee of 348 GBP.
  • Step IV: Undertake an interview

Generally, the UK student visa outcomes are notified within the 3 weeks of application. 

UK Student Visa: Processing Time

UK Student Visa: Processing Time & Priority Service

Your application starts processing once you submit the biometrics and ends after the collection of your passport. As mentioned, the entire process takes about 3 weeks, wherein, 1 week is 5 working days. However, if you want to get the Tier 4 student visa decision on priority, you can contact the visa application center for the same. There are two priority visa collection services available:

  • Collection within 24 hours: 800 GBP + 348 GBP
  • Collection within 5 days: 500 GBP + 348 GBP

Note: Currently, these priority services for UK visa are available in limited countries. Fortunately, India is one of them.

UK Student Visa: Validity & Extension

UK Student Visa: Validity & Extention

Your Tier 4 student visa is generally valid for the duration of the program with an additional four months to wind up your studies. The UKVI also offers students a provision to extend their Tier 4 visa, in case you need extra time to complete your course or start a new one. To be eligible for extention of UK student visa, students must

  • Be present in UK at the time of application
  • Fulfill the eligibility requirements of Tier 4 visa
  • Have a sponsor to fund full or partial studies. It can be
    • a Tier 4 Sponsor UK University
    • an overseas provider
    • an independent school

To apply for an extension, students need to complete an online application before their current visa expires, but a minimum before 3 months of course commencement on CAS. Furthermore, you need to pay additional charges for UK study visa extension, which will include

  • 475 GBP for extension
  • Immigration health surcharge of 300 GBP per year
  • 19.20 GBP for Biometric verification

UK Student Visa: Rejection reasons

UK Student Visa: Rejection Reasons & How to Avoid Them

A successful visa application for UK is not luck, but a result of good preparation. You must be well prepared in advance and do your best so that the application does not get rejected. Some of the major reasons why your Tier 4 student visa may get rejected are:

Missing documents:

  • The students must go through the visa policy guidance and must be prepared with all the documents in advance.
  • Every document provided has to be original.
  • In case you are unable to provide any original document, then you must provide an explanation letter along.

Failure to meet financial requirements:

  • Every student has to show up to 1,334 GBP per month to stay in UK to cover the study and living expenses.
  • The students have to show this amount for their entire course duration.  

Incorrect document format:

  • The students must provide the documents in the given format.
  • Every translated document shall contain the date, name, signature, and contact details of the translator.

Genuine student interview:

  • In the interview, the applicants are asked a number of questions about their choice of course and future plans.
  • The students are required to be very clear about their thoughts and must be able to convince the interviewers about their choice of studying in the UK.

When you arrive in the UK with a Tier 4 student visa, somebody from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will meet you. Your passport details will be cross-checked by them. If everything goes smoothly, then the UKBA officer will let you enter the UK, to begin with, your study abroad adventure!  

If you’re a South African student looking to study in the UK, you’ve come to the right place. Touriago has been helping students like you get their visas for years, and we know how confusing and frustrating the process can be. That’s why we’ve simplified it down to just three easy steps:

1) Apply for your student visa online through our website. We’ll take care of everything else!

2) Once your visa is approved, give us a call so we can book your flight over here! We’ll even help you find accommodation once you get here.

3) Start studying! Our team will be there every step of the way through orientation and beyond so that you feel supported throughout your time abroad.


If you are a student from South Africa, you need a visa to study in the UK. The UK is one of the most popular destinations for international students. The country has many top universities where you can study at undergraduate level and also at postgraduate level. It is possible to stay in the country with a student visa after graduation and find employment.

There are different types of visas available for students from South Africa who wish to study in the UK. Each type offers different benefits and restrictions on length of stay. One such visa is Tier 4 Student Visa for studying at a college or university in England or Wales. This visa allows students from outside Europe to come and study for up to five years if they have been offered a place at an eligible institution by their sponsor in the UK. If your course lasts less than 18 months, then you will not be able to apply for this visa but instead should apply for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa under the Points Based System (PBS).

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *