The basics
THE UK: Visa Guides

Filipino students applying for a UK student visa

Practical advice for Filipino students travelling to the UK


Thousands of international students come to the UK every year and Filipino students are welcomed at some of its best universities. But before you can begin your studies in the UK, here are some essential things you need to know about getting your visa.


Filipino students wishing to study at a college or university in the United Kingdom need to apply for either a long-term study visa (Tier 4) or a short-term study visa, depending on the duration of their course. Most students will need a Tier 4 visa, which is required for courses lasting more than six months, or more than 11 months if it is an English language course. A short-term study visa is needed if you are over 18 and are studying an English language course for 11 months or less.


Tier 4 visa

You can apply for a study visa (known as a Tier 4 or General student visa) if you are 16 or over and meet the following requirements:

  • have been offered a place on a course
  • can speak, read, write and understand English (see Knowledge of English below)
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances

When to apply

You can apply from three months before the start of your course. You will usually get a decision on your visa within three weeks. Most applications from the Philippines are processed within 30 days.



It currently costs £322 to apply for a study visa from the Philippines. You will also have to pay £322 per person for any dependents.

You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application as well. How much you pay will depend on your age and the length of your study. You can calculate the cost on the UK government’s website.


Knowledge of English

Applicants must prove their knowledge of the English language when they apply. This usually means passing a secure English language test (SELT). This is a written and spoken test that is taken in the Philippines prior to your study in the UK. Tests can be taken in either Manila or Cebu. You can find a list of available test dates on the British Council’s website.


Required documents

When you apply for the visa, you must provide the following:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • one passport-sized colour photograph with your name written on the reverse side
  • proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances
  • proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you are under 18
  • your tuberculosis test results

You may also need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. Your documents will usually be sent back within 14 days.


Credibility interviews

Be prepared for a credibility interview. The interview takes about 10 minutes and is held by video conference. Expect detailed questions about the course contents and structure, your choice of university and also be prepared to explain why you need that particular qualification, why you want to study in the UK and what you plan to do after your course.


Application deadline

If applying for a September start date, you must complete your visa application by 5 July if you have already paid the immigration health surcharge, or you might have to pay it twice. You will be refunded for your first payment. Filipino students must apply online for a student visa. You can find the online application form here.


You will also need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application. The centres are located in Manila and Cebu.

Useful links:


Study in the UK


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About Author

Stephen Palmer graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Film and Media. Since then he has worked as a copywriter, proofreader and web editor. In his spare time he enjoys keeping fit, reading, playing video games and improving his Norwegian.

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