Most international students (from non-EEA countries) who wish to study in the UK for six months or more, must apply for entry clearance as a Tier 4 (General) student before they travel to the UK.
All the information detailed on this page, is a brief guide highlighting key points of the immigration process for international students, but for more detailed information about a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please visit www.ukcisa.org.uk or www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
This immigration guidance is for all international students who are nationals of countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
The EEA nations are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or the UK. If you are from one of these countries please read the guidance from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) for EEA and Swiss students instead.
If you are a:
Please visit www.ukcisa.org.uk for immigration information.
If you are a national of a non-EEA country who wants to come to the UK to study for six months or more, you must apply for entry clearance as a Tier 4 (General) student before you travel to the UK.
Without entry clearance, a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you will be refused entry to the UK and sent home.
There are different types of visitor's visas. If you apply for a Short-term Study visa you will not be able to extend your visa to stay longer in the UK or work part time. If you think you might want to extend your stay or work in the UK then you need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. Please note that You can carry out up to 30 days of study with a General, Business, or Family Visitor visa to the UK.
The study must be an extra activity that you do during your visit to the UK, and can't be the main purpose of your visit.
You should apply for a Short-term Study visa if the main purpose of your visit is study.
Home Office guidance notes
If you are already in the UK or if you are applying from outside the UK, please read the UKVI guidance notes.
English language requirements
Due to a recent Home Office change all applicants/students must now demonstrate their ability to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English as part of their entry requirements. This will be measured using four key components: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The level of competence required will depend upon the type of course you wish to study, please refer to our English language requirements.
Degree-level students (NQF level 6 or above) must confirm that they have a minimum level of English at level B2 of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR). The Home Office states that this is equivalent to Academic IELTS 5.5 and this level must be achieved in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
The Home Office will accept qualifications including Indian Year 12 English (CBSE Board) at 70% or higher, West African Examinations Council at C6 or higher are accepted by the Home Office as evidence of CEFR level B2.
Below degree level (NQF level 3–5) for students studying a course below degree level the minimum level of English is CEFR level B1 (Academic IELTS 4.0) in all four components, reading, writing, speaking and listening. All students at this level will have to undertake a secure English language test (SELT). This will include students studying a pre-sessional course before a degree course.
For further information and all other tests and qualifications accepted by Kingston University please see our English language requirements.
Please note: you may be interviewed by Home Office staff when you arrive at a UK airport without the help of an interpreter to assess whether or not your English language ability is to the standard required by the immigration rules.
View more information from UKVI on English language requirements.
The Home Office's immigration system is known as the Points Based System (PBS). Under PBS, students are required to meet certain conditions and will need a total of 40 points to extend their student visa.
A maximum of 30 points will be awarded for doing a course at an acceptable level with an approved education provider, also known as a Tier 4 Sponsor. The remaining 10 points will be awarded for having enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance). The maintenance you are required to show is £11,385. This amount is in addition to your tuition fees.
Please read the UKVI's quick guides for students for more information and please note the most recent immigration changes, details of which are given on this page.
You must also:
Please see the UKVI guidance notes for more information.
Applicants from certain countries/regions require a certificate to show that they are free from infectious pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).
The list of countries/regions is subject to change depending upon local conditions.
New countries added to the list for pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening as part of the visa application process for entry clearance to the UK.
The Home Office has extended the list of countries for tuberculosis (TB) screening which will apply to migrants entering the UK for longer than six months.
Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website for more information.
If you are from one of these countries/regions, you must carry your TB screening certificate in your hand luggage should you need to present it to an immigration officer.
For detailed information please see the UKCISA Guidance.
Part of the entry clearance application procedure will involve attending an appointment to give your fingerprints and have your photograph taken.
Please note you have to pay a fee for an entry clearance/visa application, see the visa fees information.
You will also have to pay the Health charge if you are coming tostudy in the UK form more than 6 months. This is £150 a year.
Warning: You are responsible for the information given on your entry clearance/visa application to study in the UK and therefore do not allow an agent to send off your application unless you have checked and agreed the information provided. If incorrect or misleading information is submitted the Home Office will penalise you, this could be a ban preventing your entry to the UK up to 10 years.
Important notice: do not apply for your Tier 4 student visa more than three months in advance of your course start date.
If you receive your CAS statement earlier than this, please do not use it until you are within three months of the start date of your course or your visa will be refused.
To find out more information including processing times visit the UK visa and immigration website.
Contact your local British Embassy or Consulate General in your home country. To find the nearest one, visit the Government website.
You must include all the documents stated on your CAS and used to obtain the offer of study. Failure to do so could lead to a visa refusal.
Your 40 points will be based on the following:
You will need to show £11,385 for maintenance for all full-time courses of 12 months or longer. The maintenance amount can be either in your or your parents' bank account and held for 28 consecutive days.
Note: Kingston University is considered INNER London
If you are going to be living in University halls of residence the maximum amount you will now be able to offset against your maintenance is £1,265 even if you have paid more.
Please note that all institutions are required by law to report to the Home Office any Tier 4 visa holders who do not enrol and any student who does not meet the Home Office attendance requirements.
If you are an international student on a Tier 4 student visa who does not complete enrolment you will be reported to the Home Office. If after enrolling you do not attend lectures or meet attendance requirements, you will be reported to the Home Office.
If you plan to change your mode of attendance, withdraw or take a break in your studies, you are advised to contact the International Student Advisory Centre (ISAC), immediately for advice.
If you are coming to study for six months or less, you can choose to come to the UK on a short-term study visa rather than a Tier 4 student visa.
If you are sure that you do not want to work or that you will not want to apply to study in the UK for longer than six months then you can apply for a short-term study visa.
If you are not a visa national (please check if you need a visa), then you can apply for the short-term study visa at your port of entry, ie. at the airport. However, if your visa is refused you will not have the right to appeal from within the UK and you would have to return home.
If you intend to work in the UK or study for longer than six months, you must apply for a Tier 4 student visa:
Kingston University has a Tier 4 Sponsor licence (previously known as Highly Trusted Sponsor). This is renewed annually by the Home Office, which is standard across all UK universities.
Our International Student Advisory Centre offers specialist support for international students.