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Process Effortless

Learn everything you need to know about UK Student Visa
and get end-to-end expert guidance from us.
Make your UK Visa Process Effortless
Learn everything you need to know about UK Student Visa and get end to end expert guidance from us.

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UK Student Visa for Sri Lankan Students

The UK has become a highly sought-after study destination for Sri Lankan students due to the presence of several world-renowned universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, consistently ranking among the top 10 universities globally. UK universities offer a wide range of courses across various fields, allowing Sri Lankan students to study subjects that may not be available in their home country. Studying in the UK gives Sri Lankan students a unique opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and experiences that are highly valued by employers worldwide. The exposure to diverse cultures, languages, and people also helps Sri Lankan students develop a global outlook, making them more competitive in the job market.

But when planning to study in the UK, it's crucial to identify the specific visa that suits your educational aspirations. Each visa type is tailored to accommodate varied courses, durations, and student demographics. The UK Government has introduced a new Student Route as part of its points-based immigration system, which replaces the previous Tier 4 (General) student visa. The Student Route is designed to be more streamlined for sponsoring institutions and their students, creating clearer pathways for students and ensuring the UK remains competitive in a changing global education market. Students will require a total of 70 points to be granted leave.

To be eligible for a UK Student Visa, international students must be 16 or over and have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor. They must also have enough money to support themselves, pay for their course and be able to speak, read, write and understand English. If they are 16 or 17 and want to study at an independent school in the UK, they may be eligible for a Child Student Visa instead.

The earliest students can apply for a visa is 6 months before they start their course if they are applying from outside the UK or 3 months before their course starts if they are applying from inside the UK. You must apply before your current visa expires, and your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.


Latest Updates on the UK Student Visa

Here are the latest updates on the UK Student Visa for Sri Lankan Students:

  • Sri Lankan students who wish to study in the UK must first obtain a student visa.
  • The type of visa required depends on the student’s age and the type of study they wish to pursue in the UK.
  • Students aged 16 or over who have been offered a place in a course at a UK educational institution with a valid Student sponsor can apply for a Student visa.
  • Students offered a place in a short-term course in the UK, such as an English language course or training course, can apply for a Short-term study visa.

To be eligible for a UK Student Visa, students must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Student sponsor, be able to speak, read, write and understand English, and exhibit enough money to support themselves and pay for their course.


Types of UK Student Visas

The UK Government offers several types of student visas for international students who wish to study in the UK. These visas are designed to cater to the diverse needs of students, depending on their age, the type of study they wish to pursue and the duration of their stay in the UK. The three main types of UK Student Visas are the Student visa, the Child Student visa, and the Short-term study visa. These visas provide students with an opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that are highly valued by employers worldwide. The application process for these visas is straightforward and can be completed online. For more detailed information on the eligibility requirements and application process for each type of visa, please visit the Gov.UK website.

For those looking to study in the UK, it's essential to understand the variety of student visas available. Different courses and durations require specific visas. Let's explore them in detail.

Types of Study Visas


Duration to Stay

Student Route - Student visa

For most higher education courses, including graduate and postgraduate programs.

Up to 5 years for degree-level courses.

Child Student Visa - Tier 4 (Child)

For children between 4 and 17 years old intending to study at a UK school

Up to 6 years.

Short-term Study Visa

For learning English in the UK (6–11 months)

6-11 months.


How much does a UK Student Visa cost from Sri Lanka?

Budgeting for overseas education demands a precise understanding of all related expenses. Beyond tuition fees and living costs, visa expenses play an essential role in the financial planning of your study in the UK endeavour. The UK's visa fee structure, though straightforward, varies based on the visa type. The Student Visa, being the standard visa for university education, attracts a moderate fee, balancing its long-term utility. The Tier 4 (Child) visa is slightly cheaper, in sync with its targeted demographic. On the other hand, for short-duration programs, the Short-term Study Visa becomes the most cost-effective solution. It's paramount for Sri Lankan students to factor in these costs early on to ensure smooth financial transitions.

The Study in the UK costs for visas can vary based on the type and duration of the course. It's crucial to budget accordingly for your UK education journey.

Types of Visas

Average Fee (in GBP)

Student Visa


Child Student Visa


Short-term Study Visa



UK Student Visa Requirements

The UK has a reputation for its rigorous yet transparent visa processing mechanism. Students from Sri Lanka must adhere to these study in UK requirements to ensure a hassle-free application process. At the forefront is a valid passport, an indispensable document for international travel. Next, the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) stands as the golden ticket, authenticating your admission to a UK institution. Financial stability, confirmed through bank statements, assures the UK government of your solvency during the study duration. Depending on your travel and health history, certain medical tests, like the Tuberculosis test, might be mandatory. For those below the age of 18, consent from guardians is a must. Your academic credentials, including past qualifications and English proficiency, round off the basic requirements.

Study in the UK Requirements:

  • A valid passport.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a university.
  • Proof of adequate funds.
  • Tuberculosis test results (if required).
  • Parental or guardian consent if under 18.
  • Academic qualifications.
  • English proficiency proof.
  • Photographs as per UK specifications.
  • Previous immigration history and travel details.
  • Biometric information.

English Proficiency Tests for UK Student Visa

English proficiency isn't just a mere formality; it's pivotal to ensuring that international students can engage comprehensively in the UK's educational ecosystem. Each level of education in the UK demands a specific proficiency benchmark. 

Undergraduate students stepping into the foundational phase of higher education must showcase an IELTS score of 6.0 or its equivalent. As the academic rigour escalates at the postgraduate level, the English skill threshold is nudged to an IELTS score of 6.5. 

For those venturing into research, where nuanced comprehension and articulation become imperative, an IELTS score of 7.0 stands as the norm. Meeting these standards is not just a visa requisite but also a precursor to a successful academic journey.

English proficiency is a vital Study in the UK requirement. The UK has specific tests they accept for visa purposes, contingent on your level of study.

Level of Study

English skill level


IELTS 6.0 or equivalent


IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Research programs

IELTS 7.0 or equivalent

Which documents are required for a UK Student Visa?

Securing your visa hinges on accurate and timely document submission. This process, a pivotal study in the UK requirement, mandates meticulous attention to detail. The passport, your primary identification, is irreplaceable. The CAS, provided by your admitting institution, validates your academic intent in the UK. Proof of financial stability, usually through bank statements or financial guarantees, becomes a testament to your ability to sustain in the UK.
Health clearances, such as the Tuberculosis test, ensure you meet the UK's health standards. Proof of English proficiency, typically through tests like IELTS, underscores your readiness for UK academia. Students below 18 must present guardian consent, vouching for their overseas study. Lastly, past academic transcripts and photographs, adhering to UK specifications, are mandatory.
Securing your visa requires a particular set of documents. As a key Study in the UK requirement, ensure every paper is in place for a smoother process. Documents include:
  • Valid passport.
  • CAS statement.
  • Financial proof.
  • Health documents.
  • English proficiency proof.
  • Photos.
  • Parental consent (if underage).
  • Academic transcripts.

How do I apply for my UK Student Visa Online?

In today's digital era, the UK has streamlined its visa application process to be predominantly online. Students, no matter where they are, can initiate their study in the UK journey from the comfort of their homes. Start by registering on the official UK Visa & Immigration website. The subsequent application form is exhaustive but user-friendly, guiding applicants through every required detail. 

Upon completing the form, the next step involves paying the visa fee. This payment is followed by scheduling a crucial biometric appointment. At this juncture, you'll be asked to submit fingerprints and photographs, reinforcing the UK's emphasis on security. Post submission, all that remains is a patient wait and prompt response to any additional information the visa office might request.

Sri Lankan students can apply for a student visa online using the British Government’s official Gov.UK website. Here is a general guideline to follow to apply for a UK Student Visa online:

  • Apply to the desired university and course.
  • Pay the corresponding course fees once you receive an unconditional offer letter for the chosen course.
  • Complete the visa application form, pay the visa application fees, and collect all the necessary documents, including a passport, CAS, proof of English language proficiency, and bank statement.
  • Schedule a visa appointment at Sri Lanka’s UK Visa application centre to provide biometric data and submit supporting documents.

You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel to the UK. Remember, your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.

How to Apply for a Student Visa for the UK from Sri Lanka?

Embarking on the study in the UK journey from Sri Lanka demands a systematic approach. Begin by securing a CAS, your official nod from a UK educational institution. With the CAS in hand, direct your attention to the online visa application. This digital form captures every essential detail, laying the foundation for your visa request. Upon form completion, you'll be prompted to remit the visa fee, marking the financial commitment towards your UK study aspirations. 

An another integral part of the process, the biometric appointment, ensures your identity verification. Finally, collate every necessary document, ensuring they adhere to UK standards and submit your application. Once dispatched, a watchful eye on communication from the visa office will keep you updated on your application status.

Here is a list of the UK Student Visa application process:

  • Secure a CAS from your chosen institution.
  • Complete the online visa application.
  • Pay the visa fee.
  • Attend the biometric appointment.
  • Submit the application with all necessary documents.

Processing Time for the UK Student Visa

Understanding the visa processing timeline is paramount for smooth transition planning. The UK, with its meticulous verification mechanism, ensures each application undergoes thorough scrutiny. Being cognizant of these timelines aids in preemptive planning, ensuring students are well-prepared for their UK journey.

For the UK Student Visa, a majority of applications see completion within three weeks. However, complex cases might stretch up to seven weeks. The Tier 4 (Child) visa, targeting a younger demographic, has a slightly elongated processing window, with the majority being finalised within four to eight weeks. Conversely, the Short-term Study Visa, catering to brief academic sojourns, boasts of a swifter processing timeline, averaging between two to five weeks for most applications.

Understanding the visa processing time helps in better planning. Here's a quick glance at typical timelines.


50% of Applications Finalised Within

75% of Applications Finalised Within

90% of Applications Finalised Within

Student Visa

3 weeks

5 weeks

7 weeks

Children Student Visa

4 weeks

6 weeks

8 weeks

Short-term Study Visa

2 weeks

4 weeks

5 weeks


How to Write SOP for a UK Student Visa?

Crafting an impeccable Statement of Purpose (SOP) is crucial. This document doesn't just fulfil a mandatory submission criterion but also acts as a window into your academic and personal journey. Start with a crisp introduction, offering a snapshot of your academic lineage. Dive deep into the reasons propelling your decision to Study in the UK, highlighting the country's unique academic allure. Elaborate on your course and university preference, substantiating with reasons tailored to your career aspirations.
An SOP is a glimpse into your post-study ambitions, be it professional endeavours or further academia, that adds depth to your narrative. Throughout the SOP, it's essential to maintain authenticity, steering clear of hyperboles. An SOP, when crafted thoughtfully, can tilt the visa decision in your favour.

An SOP, or Statement of Purpose, is essential for your visa process. This document sheds light on your intention to study in the UK.

  • Introduce yourself and your academic background.
  • Explain the reason for choosing the UK.
  • Detail your course and university choice.
  • Showcase your future plans post-study.
  • Be genuine and avoid exaggerations.

UK Student Visa Rejection

Despite impeccable planning, there are instances when visa applications face rejection. A myriad of reasons can lead to this undesirable outcome. Insufficient financial proof can raise questions about your sustenance in the UK. An unclear intent to return post-study can sow seeds of doubt about your long-term plans. A below-par English proficiency score can raise questions about your academic readiness. Furthermore, inconsistencies or gaps in documentation can jeopardise the application. It's essential to comprehend these potential pitfalls and preemptively address them, ensuring your Study in the UK dream remains unscathed.

Here are some common reasons why a UK Student Visa application may be rejected:

  • Missing or incomplete documents: If you do not provide all the necessary documents or if the documents you provide are incomplete, your visa application may be rejected.
  • Failure of background checks: The UK Government conducts background checks on all visa applicants. If you fail these checks, your visa application may be rejected.
  • Insufficient funds: You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course while studying in the UK. If you cannot provide evidence of sufficient funds, your visa application may be rejected.

Not having the right qualifications: You must have the right qualifications for the course you wish to study. If you do not meet the entry requirements for your course, your visa application may be rejected.

Renewal of UK Student Visa

For many, the UK academic journey isn't limited to a single stint. Whether it's an unforeseen course extension or a decision to pursue further studies, renewing your visa might become necessary. The UK's visa renewal process, though systematic, demands timely action. Initiating the process well before your current visa's expiration is paramount. The renewal process will mandate updated documents, mirroring the original submission. As UK immigration rules can evolve, it's crucial to stay abreast of any new regulations that might influence the renewal process.

Here are the steps you need to follow to renew your UK Student Visa as a Sri Lankan student:

  • Check if you are eligible to extend your visa: You must be in the UK on a Student visa, have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor, and show that your studies are at a higher academic level than your current course.
  • Prove that you have enough money: If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you will need to prove that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.
  • Apply online: You can apply to extend your visa online using the British Government’s official Gov.UK website.
  • Apply at the right time: The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts, and you must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

Apply for your partner or children separately: Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you or at any time before their current visa expires.

How Can AECC Help in Your Visa Application?

Venturing into the visa labyrinth can be daunting. AECC, with its seasoned team, aims to transform this intricate journey into a seamless experience. Our holistic support extends beyond mere document verification. From initial counselling sessions, demystifying the study in the UK landscape, to conducting mock interviews, we ensure every student is visa-ready. With AECC by your side, the UK visa process transforms from a challenge into a well-charted expedition. Our expertise, garnered over years of assisting students, ensures your visa application stands on a robust foundation.

AECC, with its team of experts, simplifies your journey to study in the UK. From document verification to mock interviews, we offer holistic support for your UK Student Visa application.
Contact us today and study at your favourite UK University through AECC.

Frequently asked questions

Is IELTS Required for a UK Student Visa?

Yes, IELTS is required for a UK student visa, but there are some exceptions.

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