Applicants applying for leave to enter the UK in order to further their studies will need to demonstrate their eligibility by satisfying a points-based assessment.
Adult student visa applicants will need to satisfy the mandatory English language proficiency and available funds (maintenance) requirements. The level of English language proficiency required will depend on whether the applicant will be studying a course which is above or below degree level. The level of maintenance funds required will depend on where the applicant will be studying in inner London or outside of London and the length of their intended course.
Adult student visa holders who will be studying at an education provider other than a recognised university will not be entitled to do any work (even voluntary work) except to a limited extent if they are required to undertake a work placement as part of their course requirement. Students enrolled at a recognised university will be entitled to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during their vacations.
It is important to note that in 2013 the UK’s immigration rules for students were amended to include a provision allowing the immigration authorities the discretion to refuse a student visa application if they are not satisfied that the applicant genuinely intends to study in the UK. The immigration authorities also have the discretion to request a student visa applicant to attend an interview to determine whether he/she is a genuine student.
Adult student visas can be obtained for a maximum of 3 years for courses below degree level and 5 years for courses at degree level and above. There are exceptions to extend studies beyond 5 years in certain cases.