Knowledge of English study in the UK

You must prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. For the main eligibility requirements, continue reading after English requirement section.

(Source -

This usually means passing a secure English language test (SELT).

Where you’re studying

What you’re studying

Knowledge of English needed


Higher education institution (HEI)

Degree level or above

Reading, writing, listening and speaking

Equivalent to CEFR (Common European Framework for languages) level B2

Institution that’s not HEI

Degree level or above

SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking

CEFR level B2

Any institution

Below degree

SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking

CEFR level B1

HEIs can choose how to assess a student’s knowledge of English. They must still be at:

Overview of Studying in the UK under the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

Main Source –

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

When to apply

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course. You must have received an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor (see the link, above)

What course could you pursue?

Applicants outside the UK

The official rules on the Tiler 4 Guidance may be summed up as:

Processing times

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country. At time of writing, the following processing time was generated:

Points Based System Visas

PBS Tier 4

Most applications are processed within 15 days.

Number of days to process application

10 days

15 days

% of applications decided



Note: actual processing times may vary depending on a range of factors.

The above data is for all decisions made in May 2017

Fees (amount in Philippine pesos will vary depending on the exchange rate at time of lodging)

It costs £335 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.

You must pay £335 per person for any dependants.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:

How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

You can’t:

Sign up for our school and program matching today and get a FREE Ebook!

Check the opportunities available to you.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

IVC and IVC staff are proud members or affiliates of

ICCRC logoIBP logoICEF logoPIER logo
MARA logoCANCHAM logoANZCHAM logoBritish Council logo