The Tier 4 visa has now been replaced by the Student Visa route, which you can read more about here

The Tier 4 Student visa enables international students to come to the UK and take advantage of the opportunities of an education in the UK.

With some of the world’s leading and most prestigious universities, colleges and schools, the UK is a destination for many students seeking a first-class education.

Where you choose to study is a life-defining decision. With so much at stake for you and your future, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the migration options open to you, to ensure your case is effectively represented to the authorities and to avoid any delays with your application.

What is a Tier 4 visa?

The Tier 4 Student visa caters for students from outside the UK or EEA who are looking to study a full-time degree level course at a university, college or other eligible educational institution in the UK.

Am I eligible for a Tier 4 visa?

You are eligible to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are 16 years or older.
  • You have been offered a full-time place at an eligible UK educational institution on a course that meets certain requirements (full-time equates to 15 hours of classroom study per week).
  • You must achieve a minimum of 40 points according to the points based assessment criteria.
  • If you are studying at degree level, you plan to study minimum B2 level of English language course of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). A minimum of B1 is required for below degree level. Exceptions can be made against certain requirements.

What will I need to show?

As part of your application you will need to demonstrate:

  • You will be able to maintain yourself and pay for course fees and accommodation

What you need to know

It is essential that applicants state that they intend to return to their home country after the course is completed.

A Tier 4 visa will allow you to arrive in the UK up to 1 week before your course starts, if your course lasts 6 months or less, or up to 1 month before your course starts if your course lasts more than 6 months.

How long you can stay depends on the type of course you are studying and any study you have already completed.

How we can help

At DavidsonMorris we have the experience to advise you on the most appropriate category of visa for your circumstances and have the insight into each to help make the process as smooth as possible.

As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for effective and efficient management and processing of visa applications, and for providing expert visa-related advice. We also understand the stresses involved with moving across the world, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to ease the pressure.


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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