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Tier 4 General


Within this section we have Tier 4 General (Adults), Tier 4 Children (Children under 18), Student Visitor, Child Visitor, Prospective Student and information on the old student visa scheme Tier 4 replaced.   


Tier 4 came into force on the 31 March 2009 and replaced the student visa under the old rules prior to the introduction of tier 4. Tier 4 is part of the points-based system.


Select any of the links below to view information about the 6 areas under studying in the UK. It is important you know the category  you need to apply under. If you are not sure contact us for clarification.

What is Tier 4 General?

The Tier 4 General student category is for people coming to the UK for post-16 education.

Note: If the student is 16 or 17 years old and studying a course at or above National Qualification Framework level 3 the student and his/her Tier 4 sponsor can agree whether the student applies as a Tier 4 (General) student or Tier 4 (Child) student. A student who is 16 or 17 has to apply as a Tier 4 (General) Student if they wish to study English as a foreign language.


How many points do I need to quality for a Tier 4 Visa?

You require 40 points, 30 points for having a Confirmation of Acceptance and 10 points for having the right amount of funds.


Key areas you must meet to be able to apply:

  1. Having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) for Studies from a approved UK Tier 4 Training Institute.
  2. Having enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds).


Note: 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 type of study can a Tier 4 (General) student do?

A student must either be doing full-time study in the UK on:

Or undertaking:


Applying from outside or Inside the UK

If you are in or outside of the UK the process is very similar.  If you are applying to enter the UK you will need to provide evidence that you can accommodate yourself and for 12 months courses or longer, you will need 9 months’ worth of finances to cover leaving costs, whereas if you are applying from within the UK, you only need to provide 2 months.  If you are applying from outside of the UK you must not complete Tier 4 form and you should complete form VAF9.


If you are applying to enter the UK as a student you must demonstrate that you have:

If you are already established in the UK, then you only need to provide 2 months.


A Tier 4 Student qualifies for our differentiation arrangements if he/she:

- Argentina, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan (those who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan in it), Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America or is a British National Overseas


Family Members

Only Tier 4 (General) students are permitted to bring dependants with them to the UK. If you want to bring family members to the UK you must have money in place to support them on top of the funds you need to show to support your stay in the UK.


Who can switch into Tier 4 General:


What if I just want to study English?

If you just want to study English in the UK, you can apply under Tier 4 General if the course level of English is set at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level B2.


Post-graduate doctors and dentists

You are allowed to apply under Tier 4 General to do a recognised Foundation Programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in the UK as long as you meet all the requirements.


Students in the UK applying to renew their visa to carry on studying

If a student is already in the UK and his/her existing permission to stay runs out more than one month before the start-date of his/her proposed next course of study, he/she will be expected to return overseas and apply from outside the UK. If the applicant applies from inside the UK, his/her application will be refused.

Note: The Home Office suggests that if a student’s course has ended and he/she is applying from inside the UK to extend his/her stay, he/she should apply in the last three months of his/her permission to stay if possible. This is because as soon as we give permission to stay (if the application is approved), the student’s new Tier 4 sponsor becomes responsible for them.

Tier 4 General

Prospective Student

Tier 4 Child

Student Visitor

Child Visitor

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