How to apply

How to apply for a visa from outside the UK 

The College may ask to inspect your visa application documents, including Bank statements.  This is to ensure that you make the application correctly, and provided all the necessary information. 

Step 1
Before making any type of application for immigration permission, visit the UK Visas & Immigration website. Here you can read an overview of the Tier 4 visa category, and you can also find the Tier 4 Policy Guidance, which gives full details of the requirements of the Tier 4 visa.
Step 2
For a Tier 4 General Student visa you need:
  • Completed online application
  • The visa application fee (equivalent of £322)
  • Your current passport and any previous ones (original documents)
  • 2 recent passport photos
  • Original educational documents & certificates (+ English translations where relevant)
  • An approved English language test certificate - see approved list here
  • CAS Confirmation information (including your individual CAS number and the Sponsor Licence number) from Edinburgh College
  • Financial evidence: you must show that you can afford to live in the UK. You are expected to show the following amount in your bank account:
    • Maintenance/living expenses: £820 per month (e.g. £7380 for 1 academic year or £4100 for 1 semester)
The relevant money must be in your bank account for minimum 28 consecutive days before your visa application. You should ensure the money in your bank account covers any currency changes.
If you intend to use money held by your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), you will need to provide evidence that you are related to them and that you have their permission to use this money.
Students from certain countries should avoid using specific banks/financial institutions – the list is here.
  • Your application should be made within 3 months of your course start date (e.g. for a course beginning 24 August 2015, do NOT apply before 25 May 2015).
  • If you are under the age of 18, you will need a letter from your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to show that they support your application.
  • Applicants from some countries/regions need a certificate to show that they are free from the illness tuberculosis (TB). Check here to see whether this applies to you.
  • If you are applying for an HND course (2 years), the College will sponsor your visa for Year 1; you will then need to extend your visa for Year 2. The College will assist you during this process.

Step 3
Find your nearest visa application centre. You will need to attend an appointment as part of your application. During the appointment you will submit your biometric information (fingerprints). You may also be asked to take part in an interview as part of the application process. Most interviews will be conducted by visa officers in the UK via a video link, and will take place when you attend your appointment at the visa application centre.

How long will my Tier 4 visa be valid for?
This depends on the duration of your course – see below:
Length of courseLength of Tier 4 visa
12 months or moreDuration of course + 4 months
More than 6 months but less than 12 monthsDuration of course + 2 months
Less than six monthsDuration of course + 1 week
If you wish to continue your studies in the UK after your first course (for example to progress from HNC to HND), you may be able to extend your visa in the UK, or you may need to return to your country to apply again. This depends on when your visa ends. If there is more than 28 days between the end of your visa and the start of your new course, you should return to your home country to apply for a new visa. Contact us if you have questions about this.
2. Student Visitor Visa (SVV) and Extended Student Visitor Visa (ESVV)

As a student visitor you will need to show that you meet the main requirements of the general visitor rules and you must prove you have been accepted on a course of study at an educational establishment that is recognised by the Home Office (UK Visas & Immigration). The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a student visitor are that:


  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have an offer for a course of no more than 6 months (for SVV) or between 6-11 months (ESVV) from a recognised UK educational institution (use original offer letter from Edinburgh College)
  • You intend to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit and
  • You do not intend to engage in business, to produce goods or provide services within the United Kingdom, including the selling of goods or services direct to members of the public and
  • You have sufficient personal funds for living expenses/accommodation/maintenance during time in UK (the Home Office says this is £820 per month) and 
  • You can meet the cost of the return journey
  • You have the visa application fee - £85 (SVV), £162 (ESVV)

Read more on documents required to apply for this visa here.

Apply for either SVV or ESVV online here.
Note: the Reason for Visit is “visit”, the Visa Type is “special visitor” and the Visa Sub Type is “student visitor”.

Important: If you are under 18 years old you should apply as a Child Visitor – see below.

The Child Visitor category is for children aged under 18 years old who want to come to the UK for up to 6 months. This includes children who want to study in the UK for maximum 6 months. The requirements are the same as for the Student Visitor Visa above. Click here for full details.
The College may ask to inspect your visa application documents, including Bank statements. This is to ensure you make the application correctly, and have provided all the necessary information. If requested, you must submit your documents for inspection.
Tel: + 44 131 559 4646

IMPORTANT: The information in this document is correct at the time of going to print. However you should always check on the UK Visas & Immigration website.

You can also visit the excellent International Student advice website provided by UKCISA
For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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