Adult students - Tier 4 (General)
This section explains how you can apply to come to or remain in the UK as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system.
Rule changes announced for studentsFrom 6 April 2013 changes are being made to the student route (Tier 4). This will mean that if you are a PhD student completing your course, you can apply to stay in the UK for a further 12 months, beyond the end of your course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur.
Tier 4 is part of our points-based system for immigration. It is for migrants who want to study in the UK.
This page contains basic information about the Tier 4 (General) category. Other pages will help you to decide whether you can and should apply in this category, and will give you the information you need to make an application.
Depending on your nationality and circumstances, you may be able to study in the UK without needing to apply under Tier 4 (General) as an adult student. However, your ability to work while you are studying here may be restricted.
What is the Tier 4 (General) student category?
The Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for their post-16 education.
If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualfication Framework level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child) - you should discuss and agree this with your approved education provider (known as a 'Tier 4 sponsor'). But if you want to study English as a foreign language, you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.
Part 6A of the Immigration Rules (pa ragraphs 245ZT to 245ZY) contains full details of the Tier 4 (General) category's requirements.
Do you need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa?
You can study in the UK without a student visa if:
- you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;
- you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
- you are a UK Ancestry visa holder (a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here); or
- you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.
However, if you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania, your ability to work during your studies may be restricted. See the Bulgarian and Romanian nationals page for more information.
MORE NEWS AND UPDATES
- Online points calculator and sponsorship IT systems unavailable from 23 November
- Approved English language tests for partners
- New visa application customer satisfaction survey
- Our application forms are changing