Each year, the UK Government (Home Office) issues millions of student visas to international students who want to study at recognised universities and colleges in the UK. You may be wondering, how much does it cost to sponsor a student visa in the UK?
Usually, there are costs involved for both the student and the sponsor of the student. The applicant will need to apply from his/her home country in order to meet the Tier 4 Student visa requirements under the Immigration rules. The applicant will be required to complete an online application form and pay the visa application fees and paying towards the immigration health surcharge. This is also known as the NHS charge. The visa cost varies depending on the length of time the student will be studying in the UK.
The initial application will need to be applied at the visa application centre. During the decision making process, the applicant may be invited to attend a visa interview or be required to provide further information, for example, regarding the financial documents submitted. A successful applicant will be issued with a biometric residence permit.
In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of the different costs associated with sponsoring a student visa in the UK.
By the way, as of April 6, 2022, the UK Home Office issued a new policy paper of their new Immigration and Nationality Fees.
UK Tier 4 Student Visa and Sponsorship
First, a person must be at least 16 years old to apply for a UK Student Visa. Additionally, they must be able to prove that they can comprehend English while also being able to read, write, and speak the language to demonstrate you can meet the English language requirements. Also, the applicant must have a course as offered to him or her by a Tier 4 approved licensed educational sponsor and provide a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, also known as a CAS number. Finally, a UK Student Visa applicant must prove his or her ability to financially support (financial requirements) themselves while studying and show they have much money or enough money in the UK. You will need to have a a bank account and provide your bank statements for the relevant period unless you fall into one of the special categories.
Another route to get a UK Student Visa is via the Child Student Visa. Under this visa, an applicant would be between the ages of 4 and 17 years old. They must be able to prove their parent’s or guardian’s consent to study at an independent school in the UK. Plus, as with the UK Student Visa route, the Child Student Visa applicant must also prove that they have access to financial support.
On the other hand, a UK Student Visa sponsor is “an education provider that can sponsor international students to study in the UK.” Not all educational institutions can apply to be a sponsor. For UK Child Student Visas, the licensed sponsors are usually independent schools.
What are the Course Requirements for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa
Tier 4 Student Visa applicants can apply for a visa to study the following courses:
- A full-time course that leads to a qualification below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study;
- A full-time course that leads to a qualification that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8);
- A full-time course that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8), that is equivalent to a UK higher education course and is being delivered as part of a longer course overseas;
- A part-time course leading to a qualification that is above degree level (RQF level 7 or above);
- A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists (if you have finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry, received that degree from a registered student sponsor and spent your final year and at least one other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK);
- An English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
You will need to have sufficient cash funds available to pay any outstanding course fees for 1 academic year of your course (up to 9 months), unless you fall into the special categories. If the length of your course includes part of a month, the time period will be rounded up to the next full month.
If you have paid all or part of your course fees to your student sponsor then this can be offset against the funds required, provided this is either confirmed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or you provide a receipt issued by your student sponsor confirming the amount of fees paid.
If you have paid a deposit to your student sponsor for accommodation, this deposit can also be offset against the funds required, up to a maximum of £1,265.
What are Living Costs in the UK for a Tier 4 Student?
You will need to have sufficient cash funds to meet your living costs in the UK, unless you fall into one of the special categories.
If you will be studying in inner London, you will need £1,265 (or £1,334 from 1/12/2020) for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months. If you will be studying elsewhere in the UK, you will need £1,015 (or £1,023 from 1/12/2020) for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months.
If you will be on the Doctorate Extension Scheme, you will need to prove that you have a total of £2,530 for a course in London, or a total of £2,030 for a course outside London.
In either case, you will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Student Visa application.
Additional funds may be required if you have dependents applying at the same time.
English Language Requirement for a UK Student Visa
You will need to be able to read, write, speak and understand English to at least CEFR Level B2 (if studying at degree level or above) or CEFR Level B1 (if studying at below degree level).
You will usually need to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. However, nationals of certain majority English speaking countries are not required to prove their English language ability, nor are persons who have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree taught in English in one of these countries.
If you are a national of Canada or applying to travel to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA or have proved your level of English in a previous visa application then you will also not be required to prove your knowledge of English.
What are the requirements for family members of Students
The following Students can bring a dependant partner and / or dependant child to the UK:
- A full-time student on a postgraduate level course (RQF level 7 or above) that lasts 9 months or longer;
- A new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months;
- A Doctorate Extension Scheme student.
Partners and children must each have either £845 a month (for up to 9 months) available to them for courses in London or £680 a month (for up to 9 months) available to them for courses outside London.
In either case, the money must be held for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of the dependent visa application.
Partners and children who have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months or who are from a country listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’ where the main applicant is applying at the same time, do not need to satisfy a maintenance funds requirement.
Related: How to Get Your UK Visa Approved
Home Office Fees for Sponsoring a UK Tier 4 Student Visa
The table below shows the updated fees for student visa applications and the cost to sponsor a student visa in the UK:
A. Applications made outside the UK
|Fees||Previous Fee||New Fee as of 6 April 2022||Fee Change|
|Student(main applicant and dependants)||£348||£363||£15|
|Short term student studying the English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months||£186||£200||£14|
B. Applications made inside the UK
|Fees||Previous Fee||New Fee as of 6 April 2022||Fee Change|
|Student(main applicant and dependants)||£475||£490||£15|
C. Sponsorship Cost To Apply for a UK Licence
|Fees||Previous Fee||New Fee as of 6 April 2022||Fee Change|
|Premium Sponsor Service (12 months)Student Sponsors||£8,000||£8,000||£0|
|Student Sponsor License||£536||£536||£0|
|Worker and Student Sponsor License (large sponsor)||£1,476||£1,476||£0|
|Worker, Temporary Worker, and Student Sponsor License (large sponsor)||£1,476||£1,476||£0|
|Temporary Worker and Student Sponsor License||£536||£536||£0|
|Worker sponsor license (large sponsor), where the sponsor currently holds a Temporary Worker and/or Student Sponsor License||£940||£940||£0|
|Student Sponsor Basic Compliance Assessment||£536||£536||£0|
|Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) for Student, Child Student||£21||£21||£0|
How to Apply to Become a Sponsor for UK Student Visa
A potential sponsor applicant must check whether the education provider or institution is eligible and can comply with the UK Home Office guidelines. The process below lists he steps a student sponsor applicant must meet:
1. There should be a list of sponsor management personnel and the roles they are supposed to fill.
a. An authorizing officer who is a senior staff member willing to take the responsibility and actions of the staff who will use the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)
b. The key contact will be the liaison between UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and the sponsor applicant.
c. A Level 1 user will be the main user of the SMS for the day-to-day management while the Level 2 user will have limited access.
The education provider’s or institution’s staff must make sure that they do not have:
- Any unspent criminal conviction
- A fine within 12 months as issued by the UKVI
- Any reports made to the UKVI about them or that they have broken the law
Additionally, the staff must also demonstrate that they are:
- Based permanently in the UK
- Not contracted or a consultant contracted for a specific project
- Not “subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or undertaking, or a debt relief restriction order or undertaking.”
2. Prepare the estimated number of CAS that the education provider or institute is eligible to apply for within the first year of license. The estimated number would normally:
a. Include new students for the sponsorship
b. Existing students with the intention to apply for an extension
3. Complete the online application and pay the necessary fees.
4. Complete the documents and send them to the UKVI.
5. Wait for application approval or rejection. Should the application be approved, an email will be sent with the login for SMS.
Related: Guide to Immigrating to the UK
How to Get Assistance with Sponsoring a UK Student Visa
Within the transitional period of having a Student Sponsor license, the education provider or institution must show that they can fulfil the duties of a sponsor. This period lasts 12 months. After the transitional period, the education provider or institution must apply for a basic compliance assessment. This assessment will check if the sponsor meets the requirements to remain a Student Sponsor.
As you can see, it’s quite difficult to apply to be a sponsor for a UK Student Visa because of the requirements and how to sustain the license. However, there is also a Student Premium Customer Service for Sponsors. This premium customer service can help by offering the education provider or institution support in sponsoring all international students. They can also tailor-fit their advice with the education provider’s or institution’s license and their student’s immigration needs.
Another way to get help for Student Sponsors is solicitors who specialize in UK immigration visas and nationality. We here at My Legal Services can help with the application process as well as how to maintain the license of being a Student Sponsor.
Related: Post Study Work Visa
The cost of sponsoring a student in the UK can be expensive. However, with the help of a professional company like My Legal Services, you can get the assistance you need to make sure everything goes smoothly.
My Legal Services offers a variety of services to clients, including helping them find the right school and complete all the necessary paperwork. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you sponsor a student visa in the UK and make sure you have all your documents in order and start gathering evidence as soon as possible to support your application. If you have any questions or need help putting together your application, contact us for assistance. We’re always here to help make the process as easy as possible for you.