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Admission in UK

This page describes the different UK immigration categories for students, to help you decide which is the most appropriate for you. It also explains how a Tier 4 applicant should apply to study a 'pre-sessional course'.

Student categories

Category
Who can apply?
Tier 4 (Child) student
You can apply as a child student under Tier 4 of our points-based system if you are between 4 and 17 years old. If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent fee-paying school.
Child Visitor
You can apply as a child visitor if you are under 18 years old and you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months.
While you are in the UK as a child visitor, you cannot 'switch' and apply to extend your stay as a Tier 4 (Child) student. If you want to study here under Tier 4 (Child), you must leave the UK and apply from the country where you live.
Tier 4 (General) student
You can apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of our points-based system if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.
Student Visitor
You can apply as a student visitor if you are at least 18 years old, you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months, and you do not want to work while you are here.
While you are in the UK as a student visitor, you cannot 'switch' and apply to extend your stay as a Tier 4 (General) student. If you want to study here under Tier 4 (General) , you must leave the UK and apply from the country where you live.
Prospective student
You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the UK to help you finalize the arrangements for your Tier 4 course of study (by attending an interview at a university which has made you a conditional offer, for example).
You will be able to switch and apply for a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) student visa while you are in the UK.



16- and 17-year-old students who want to study here for more than 6 months

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you and your approved education provider (also known as your sponsor) should agree whether you should apply under Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system.

If you will be studying a course below National Qualification Framework level 3, you must apply under Tier 4 (Child).

If your course is at National Qualification Framework level 3 (or equivalent) or above and is longer than 2 years, we recommend that you apply under Tier 4 (General).

If you want to study for an English Language qualification at or above level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you must apply under Tier 4 (General).

If you are applying to study in the UK under Tier 4 of the points, based system, you can also apply to study an intensive English language course, or any other course, to prepare you for your main course of study here.

Pre-sessional courses
A pre-sessional course is a short course (such as an intensive English language course) to prepare a Tier 4 student for their main course of study. If you want to study a pre-sessional course before your main Tier 4 course, you must apply for permission to study the pre-sessional course.

If you have an unconditional offer of a place on your main course of study, we may grant you a visa or permission to remain which covers both your pre-sessional course and your main course. We will only do this if your pre-sessional course will be:

• With the same education provider as your main course; or
• With a partner institution named on your education provider's sponsor license.

Your education provider will need to assign you a single confirmation of acceptance for studies that covers both the pre-sessional course and the main course. The pre-sessional course must end no more than 2 months before the main course starts.

If you only have a conditional offer of a place on your main course of study, or if your pre-sessional course provider is separate from your main course provider, you must first apply to us for permission to take the pre-sessional course. If you successfully complete the pre-sessional course, you can apply from inside the UK to extend your stay under Tier 4 and study your main course.

For more details please visit http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/