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Posted Aug. 28, 2019

Top Tips To Getting Your Postgraduate Student Visa

Student VisaIf you're planning on travelling abroad for postgraduate study, then there is every possibility that you will need a visa.

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Here's our simple guide to getting your student visa with the least amount of stress or fuss.

Do you need a visa?

The first step is to double check that you actually need a student visa. Large parts of Europe allow students from other European countries and often countries that they have close historic connections with to study visa-free. Many countries in Africa also have a similar system. Once you are sure you do need a visa, then start the application process. 

Check which type

Make sure you work out whether you need a student visa or residency permit or both? With the UK’s exit from the European Union looming, many students might find that they need a residency permit to live in some European Union nations. Some countries only require international students to have a residency permit and others require a specific student visa. Other nations, like Italy, require international students to have both a student visa and a residency permit. 

Determine documentation

The vast majority of visa applications are done completely or partially online. This means you will probably find a list of documents that you need to compile to apply to your student visa, the UK Government lists them online. Most countries want proof of your financial situation, medical certificates, information about any dependents and confirmation of your place on your course. 

Postgraduate funding 

Prodigy FinanceYou will want to get your postgraduate funding sorted out long before you start applying for your student visa. Unless you are being sponsored by your host nation, you will most likely need to find all of your funding from home. Keep good records of every piece of funding you are awarded, as you will need to provide evidence of how you are funding your postgraduate course. If you need additional funding support, private loans company Prodigy Finance offers international students tailor-made student loans to help support their postgraduate studies. Because Prodigy Finance offers loans specifically to students, they better understand the constraints and difficulties of student life, so their terms and conditions are better suited to students. Since they are a global company if you move internationally to continue your postgraduate studies you can continue to borrow from Prodigy Finance.

Language tests

If English is not your first language, then you will probably need to prove that your English skills are of the required level. Unless your undergraduate degree was from an English speaking institution you will need to undertake an English test.

Check study & work rules

Most student visas allow students to work for a few hours outside of their studies, but check this before you start working. The majority of countries have student visas that allow working in paid employment outside of their studies, but some universities put controls on their students about working when they are not studying. 

Apply in plenty of time

Finally and most importantly, apply for your student visa in plenty of time as processing times vary between nations. Most online visa applications will tell you how long it will take to process your application – just like Canada does – and this is often anything from just a few days to a few weeks.

International PG Students In The UK

There are plenty of international students choosing to study their postgraduate program in the UK – so to avoid disappointment make sure you get your visa application in in plenty of time!

This table shows the number of international students in the UK from 2013 to 2018.

Student Visa

Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international postgraduate students. Other student funding options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.

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SALIM Aug. 29, 2019, 7:14 a.m.

how much time will take to get a post graduate medicine student visa in U.K ?

Charlotte King Aug. 29, 2019, 9:26 p.m.

Hi Sailm,
The earliest you can apply for your student visa in the UK is 3 months before the start of your course and the application process can take anything from between one week to the full three months. Our article here has some more information on getting a student visa for the UK
Good luck – Charlotte

Annie Philip Sept. 6, 2019, 10:46 a.m.

Our daughter is currently doing a one year internship after completing her dentistry bachelors degree in india. The internship gets over by August 2020. She is thereafter thinking of doing her masters in orthodontics in the UK. Could you please let me know how she should go about it?
Thank you

Adeniyi Gbadebo Sept. 9, 2019, 12:13 p.m.

Hello,please I'm thinking of doing a Masters in International relations in any good university in Europe.i studied History(second class) as my first degree.Also I'm in Nigeria and I'm trying to look at the not so expensive Universities.

Charlotte King Sept. 9, 2019, 1:33 p.m.

Hi Annie. Here is a list of the current Masters in Orthodontics that your daughter could opt to study in the UK >
And don’t forget that once your daughter is accepted onto a program she will be eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each to help you with your studies >
Good luck!

Charlotte Sept. 9, 2019, 7:24 p.m.

Hi Adeniyi – here is a list of all the International Relations masters courses in the UK and Europe >
Some of them are likely to offer scholarships or part-funding so it’s a good idea to check with the ones you are interested in directly to see what funding options they have. And once you have been offered a place you will be eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each. Good luck!

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