The Student route is the UK immigration route for international students studying full-time academic courses of longer than six months.
The Student route is part of the UK's new points based immigration system, launched in 2021. It replaces Tier 4 of the previous immigration system. Tier 4 student visas issued before 2021 remain valid until their expiry date.
Will I need a student visa?
Most students from outside the UK beginning a full-time course of six months or longer will require a student visa. They are only available for full-time study, not part-time courses.
For courses or study periods of less than six months, you may require a Standard Visitor visa instead of a student visa.
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are included within the Student route and will require a student visa unless they have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or another valid right to reside in the UK. Find out more in our guidance for EU students.
If you are a UK national, UK citizen or permanent resident, or if you already have permission in a different immigration category which permits study, such as a student dependant visa, you may not need to apply for a student visa.
Students from Hong Kong who have a 'British national (overseas)' nationality may be eligible for the UK's new BNO visa. Find out more on the UK government website.
Please contact the Visa and Immigration Team for further advice if you are unsure about your immigration options.
Applying for your student visa
Use our 10-step visa guides to plan and prepare your student visa application.
Find out more about the requirements for your application and make sure you prepare the correct evidence.
About your visa
Find out more about your student visa and the restrictions, conditions and responsibilities that come with it.