Applying for a student visa can already be a daunting process. By this point, you’ve already received acceptance into a university. The last thing you would want is a UK Student visa refusal, setting you back from beginning your study abroad journey. The goal should always be that you cover all your bases, so your application succeeds the first time. And if it doesn’t, you need to know exactly what went wrong, so you can proceed accordingly. Take a look at the most common UK Student visa rejection reasons so you know what to avoid.
What Are the Reasons for Student Visa Rejection?
1. Insufficient Proof of Financial Support
This is the most common reason for UK Student visa refusal. To apply for a Student visa, you have to prove that you have the funds to cover studying and staying in the UK. This is part of what informs UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you fit their profile of a “genuine student”.
To make sure your application goes through, the necessary funds must be in your account for 28 days. Within these days, the funds can’t slip below the specified amount you need to have. Your university specifies the tuition fee amount for one academic year in your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter. Along with this amount, you need to be able to cover the cost of living in the UK, too. If you’re studying in London, you need to have £1,334 every month, for up to 9 months. And if you’re studying outside London, you must have £1,023 every month, for up to 9 months.
If you don’t meet any of the conditions above, your UK student visa won’t go through. Remember, also, that your financial documents must be valid within a period of 31 days of your visa application. If the documents are older than 31 days, your application won’t go through. If the statements are from an account of a relative or someone who isn’t your parent or legal guardian, your application is also invalid.
2. Unsuccessful Credibility Interview
Another one of the common UK Student visa rejection reasons is an unsatisfactory credibility interview. This is an interview the UKVI conducts to determine whether you’re a “genuine student”.
Among the things the interviewer asks you about are:
- Travel history to other countries
- Academic history, and your detailed plans to study (e.g., what program or courses you’re enrolling in, your motivations for studying these fields)
- Post-study plans
- Personal and financial status
- Why you chose the UK to study abroad in
- Reasons for choosing the university you applied to
Your interview will be recorded in either audio or video form. Immigration officers review the written transcript of this interview alongside supporting documents. Through your answers, the UKVI determines whether your intentions to study in the UK are genuine. If you’re unable to answer questions about your program or school in detail, it’s a red flag that you didn’t thoroughly research to study abroad in the UK. Being unable to answer questions about your financial status, including how much your degree will cost, and the financial details of your sponsor, such as how much they earn, how much you need in your bank account to qualify for the visa, etc., is also a red flag. Discussing post-study plans that don’t involve returning to your home country may, meanwhile, imply that you’re planning on staying in the UK beyond study purposes.
Another thing the interviewers will look out for is your ability to communicate in English. Part of your visa application asks for proof of your English proficiency. You also need to be able to demonstrate that you can understand and communicate clearly in English during your credibility interview.
The UKVI takes these measures to filter out applications from people who apply for the Student visa but don’t intend to study in the UK. To make their jobs easier and ensure the success of your application, prepare to answer all these questions thoroughly and confidently!
3. Missing Documentation
One of the UK Student visa rejection reasons could also be missing documentation. You may be missing specific documents you need to provide, like a letter of consent from parents if you’re under 18. For some applicants, you may need to provide documents like tuberculosis test reports or an ATAS certificate. If you provide copies of documents which require the originals, you might also end up receiving a UK student visa refusal.
As you prepare to apply for your visa, make sure you’ve researched everything you need. Make a checklist to track all the components of your application.
4. Missing Emails and Calls
The Home Office may try to get in touch with you to follow up on your application. You may need to verify your supporting documents or attend an interview. If you fail to respond to calls and emails, your application won’t go through.
What to Do If You Receive a UK Student Visa Refusal
If your visa doesn’t go through, the UKVI sends you a notification stating the reasons. First, be sure to contact the international office of your university. They can help you figure out whether the visa refusal is valid. The school can also help you identify mistakes or inadequacies in your application. You can work together to figure out how to proceed.
In your UK student visa refusal letter, the UKVI will tell you whether you qualify for an administrative review. This is an opportunity to appeal the rejection. Your school can advise you on whether your visa rejection is valid. If it isn’t, you can apply online for an administrative review, for a fee of £80. This must be within 28 days of receiving your visa rejection notice.
Once you apply, the errors in the refusal decision you specified (with help from your school) will undergo review. It’ll take you up to 28 days to get the results of the administrative review back.
If the university determines that the reasons for the Student visa rejection are valid, they may ask you to reapply. To reapply for your visa, you’re going to need a new CAS number from your university. Make sure you consult the school’s international office to know exactly what to avoid and how to proceed.
How to Avoid the Chances of Visa Rejection in the UK
Given how costly and long the process can be, our advice is to make sure your first application is as solid as possible. Getting everything right from the get-go is the best guarantee of successfully getting your visa.
Start Early to Avoid UK Student Visa Refusal
You can start applying for your Student visa as early as 6 months before your semester begins. Begin preparing early. Create a thorough checklist of everything you need to provide. Be sure to look up specific requirements depending on your age, course, nationality, and so on. Giving yourself more time allows you some room for error to account for mistakes or delays. You get to put together a more robust and complete application.
Manage Your Financial Matters
Starting early also lets you get your financial affairs in line before applying. The official bank letters or statements you present must show that you can reasonably cover your expenses in the UK for the first academic year. Thus, make sure that the funds you need are present in your account for 28 days. Over these 28 days, the amount can’t slip below the necessary funds you need to study and live in the UK. Your bank statements must also be valid within 31 days of your visa application. If they’re older, your visa may get rejected. Huge transactions from your account within the 28 days can also raise suspicions regarding your application. So, be mindful about tracking your finances during this period.
Practice for Your Credibility Interview
Your credibility interview reflects both your intent to study in the UK as well as your communication abilities. Practice answering the questions clearly and confidently. Don’t default to generic answers. Be aware of what might count as a red flag against you by contradicting your intentions as a “genuine student”. Answer calmly and with eloquence. You want to be able to reflect that you clearly understand and speak English. This doesn’t mean you have to answer in long, complicated sentences. Rather, show that you’re answering thoughtfully, and have solid reasons and plans for your motivations to study in the UK.
Our Concluding Thoughts
Now that you’re aware of the most common UK Student visa rejection reasons, we hope you know what to avoid when you apply. If you received a UK student visa refusal, we hope you now know how to proceed! Applying for a Student visa isn’t exactly a short and simple process. Our best advice is to always make sure that your first application is as robust as possible. In the face of a rejection, though, don’t feel discouraged. There are mechanisms and options in place to still get a visa. This is why beginning early is so important! You give yourself more time to tackle the possibility of a rejection and get a visa in time to begin your studies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the reasons for student visa rejection?
Among the most common UK Student visa rejection reasons are:
- Insufficient proof of financial support
- Unsuccessful credibility interview
- Missing documents
- Missing calls and emails from the Home Office
How long does it take to apply for a UK visa after refusal?
If you’re applying for an administrative review, you must apply within 28 days of receiving the rejection. The administrative review costs £80. An administrative review is an opportunity to appeal your visa rejection. If your visa rejection qualifies for administrative review, the UKVI will let you know in the visa refusal letter.
To reapply, there is no specific timeframe. The Student visa can take up to 3 weeks to process. So, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to apply and receive your visa before your semester begins. To apply for the Student visa, you need to pay the application fee of £348.
Does US visa refusal affect UK visa?
When applying, disclose any previous visa rejections to other countries. The UKVI will follow up on these things, and not disclosing this information may count against your application.
What are the chances of student visa rejection in the UK?
The rejection rate for UK Student visas in 2020 was less than 4%. By ensuring that your application is complete and strong from the get-go, you ensure your success in getting your visa!