The basics
THE UK: Visa Guides

Iranian students applying for a UK student visa


Over the years, many Iranian students, including famous figures and politicians, have gained a degree in the UK. Each year the UK welcomes many Iranians to some of its best universities and you could do the same! But before you plan your studies, here are some essential things you need to know about getting your visa.


The first point to note is that  it is not currently possible to apply for a visa to study in the UK from Iran. You have to apply online and book an appointment at the visa application centre either in the United Arab Emirates or in Turkey – see the UK Government’s visa website. If you apply in Turkey you must pay for your application online.


Iranian 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 are processed within 30 days.



It currently costs £322 to apply for a study visa. 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). 


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.  Iranian 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.


Now that you know how to apply for a visa, why not start looking for your perfect course in the UK?


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About Author

Jessica Scott is a University of Louisville graduate with a degree in English and Humanities, specialising in literature, linguistics, and classical and modern languages. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she has been writing since the age of three. Her first novel, Chase and Charlie, was published in May 2015. Her interests include reading, writing, cooking, and studying Italian.

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