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This category is designed to allow both children and adults from non EU countries to live and study in the UK and gain recognised qualifications from UK colleges and universities under the Tier 4 points based system.
Upon completion of studies in the UK an individual may then switch into another immigration category, subject to satisfying the Home Office requirements, which can lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In order to obtain a Tier 4 visa the applicant must gain 30 points for obtaining a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies letter from their prospective university or college. The applicant will have to demonstrate that they have been offered a place at the college or university and also that they have the requisite English language skills as specified by the Home Office.
An applicant must also produce documents which demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their course fees for the first year of their studies and maintain themselves whilst in the UK.
Obtaining a Tier 4 visa is also dependent on the applicant having a proven track record in studying, including a qualification equivalent to National Qualification Framework in the UK.
Whilst in the UK those studying for degrees may work for up to 20 hours during term time and those studying below degree level may work for up to 10 hours during term time. There are no restrictions on working during holidays.
Work placements which form part of the course of study are allowed.
Applications for Tier 4 visas may be made inside or outside of the UK.
The spouse and / or children of the main applicant may also apply to enter the UK as dependents as the main applicant.
A child may also apply to study in the UK and but must demonstrate that he or she is able to pay their school fees and have funds in place to maintain themselves for the period that they are in the UK.