4 main reasons for UK student visa refusals (Tier 4).
How to avoid it?
Many international students believe that getting a student visa to the UK is a challenging process. Some say the British immigration service is strict and even unpredictable.
Is there any ground for these fears and what are the true reasons for Tier 4 visa refusals?
Student visa categories
There are two different categories of student visas in the UK:
- Short term study visa for studying English language and other short-term courses;
- Tier 4 student visa for studying at school and university.
The requirements for these two types of visas are very different. In this article we will look at what you need to do successfully get your Tier 4 student visa.
Main reasons for Tier 4 student visa refusals
The most common reason for visa refusals is missing or incorrect documents. In simple terms, if you forget to include one of the required documents, your visa application will be refused.
The best source of information about the UK student visa is the Tier 4 student visa policy guidance (you can find the link at the end of this article). This is the only document that contains all up-to-date Tier 4 visa requirements and the full list of documents you need to prepare. Following all the rules set out in this guidance is a key to a successful visa application.
One of the requirements is to provide every document in original. There may be a situation, when you don’t have an original of one of the documents and can only provide a copy. In this case, you must enclose an explanation letter clarifying why you are not able to provide the document and, if necessary, even produce another document to support your statement.
Failure to meet financial requirements
Another common reason for visa refusal is a failure to meet the financial requirements. Every student has to show a specific amount of money to cover their course fees and living expenses in the UK for the period of their studies (up to 1 year).
The Tier 4 guidance policy contains information on how to calculate this amount correctly for your particular case. The immigration officer will use the same rules, so it is important to follow them precisely. The specified amount of money has to stay in your account for at least 28 days and not a day less.
Incorrect document format
Students often underestimate the importance of a document format. Please refer to the Tier 4 guidance notes for information on what each document must contain.
For example, each document translated into English must contain a date, signature, name and contact details of the translator. If the translation is missing the date, it might seem like a small thing, but the whole document may be considered invalid.
When you make a visa application, every detail on a document is important.
Genuine student interview
There is also a more subjective reason why you might be refused a visa. In the past, Tier 4 visa assessment used to be strictly point-based. If you supplied all the required documents, you would gain sufficient amount of points and automatically be issued a visa.
Then the rules have changed. Now in many countries applicants may be invited for a genuine student interview. Not all students are invited to this interview, only a small percentage of those who applied.
At the interview, an immigration officer decides if the applicant seeks to come to the UK to study and not for any other purpose.
The interview is conducted in English via a video link. Applicants are asked to answer a number of questions about their choice of university and programme, the course content and the future plans after graduation. They might also be asked about how they finance the studies. The immigration officer also evaluates if applicant’s English skills are sufficient to study in the UK.
None of the interview questions are difficult, but it’s easy to lose the focus under pressure. This is why if you are invited for an interview, you need to make sure you are prepared: research all the information you can find about your course and university and think about the reasons why you want to study in the UK and not in your home country.
A successful application for a student visa in the UK is not luck but a result of good preparation. All you need to do is to fulfill the requirements.
You can find the guidance notes for Tier 4 study visa here.
Have you already successfully applied for a Tier 4 visa? Read our article about ways to remain in the UK after graduation.
Disclaimer: Please note that this document should only be used for information purposes and cannot not be regarded as a substitute for immigration or legal advice. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, Fastrack Education can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions.