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Need UK student visa? Submit original documents
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June 19, 2007

Planning to study in the UK but don't know how to go about selecting the right course?

Want to know when is the right time to apply for a UK student visa?

Has your student visa application been rejected, leaving your wondering what to do next?

Can you work in the UK after you get your degree?

How long can you stay in the UK after you finish your studies?

Kevin Woods, head of the visa department at the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai, shared his expertise in UK visas during a chat with Get Ahead readers on June 13.

For those of you who missed it, here's the transcript:

Part I: Apply early to avoid rush

Ani asked, 1)HI Can you please tell me whether it is tough to get HSMP after IGS when I finish masters degree or will it be better to apply for HSMP directly after masters. 2)Also, if my degree finishes in due time and I am still left with 10month visa (temp resi after 1 extension in uk)Can I work full time in that 10months before taking IGS?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Ani, to qualify for HSMP, you need to score points in specific cateogories that are about education, previous earnings, age, etc. Sometimes students do not qualify for HSMP because they cannot score enough points from their earnings. That is why students who have studied qualifying courses can do the IGS or Fresh Talent then switch to HSMP afterwards -- this gives students time to work in the UK and allow them to earn sufficient earning points for HSMP. If you have 10 months remaining on a student visa after you have finished, you should look to switch your visa appropriately or leave the UK, as you should not be working full-time for 10 months on a student visa

rahul asked, If I'm travelling to the UK for higher studies in September, what is the ideal time to apply for visa if I have the documents ready by the end of this month?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Rahul, you can apply for a student visa three months before the course starts. So, if you are ready at the end of the month, you can beat the rush!

WASstrel asked, How to get scholarship for MBA? Does your office select supreme students to get UK scholarship?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear WASstrel, for more information about scholarships, you can contact the British Council:

gautam asked, Greetings Mr. Kevin, I have applied for a Working Holiday Maker Visa in November 2006, so far I haven't recieve any interview call, could you please throw some light on this? Also, if I would be eligible to apply for a student visa? I mean converting the WHM visa to student visa?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Because of the high volume of applications in this category across India, and our need to ensure that we are able to provide a quality service to all our customers, we have been authorised to queue working holidaymaker applications separately. Where possible, we will seek to decide these applications without interview, but often that is not possible. At the moment the waiting time for interview in the south of India is approximately seven months. We will be doing what we can to reduce that in the coming months. If you wish to apply for a student visa, you are of course free to do so and we will normally be able to provide you with a decision on that application within 24 hours. Please be aware that the WHM scheme should not be used to enter the UK in order to pursue full time studies.

syed razi uddin asked, Respected Sir, This is syed razi uddin pursuing B.Phamacy here and wanna choose M.Pharmacy from London [Images] Universtiy is that a Right Selection for my future... Pay u r regards Sir,...

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Syed, if you need advice about selecting the right course, I recommend you ask the British Council for advice as they have the expertise in the different types of courses available. You can also look at this website:

suman asked, or what are the ways to get the jobs in uk.

KEVIN WOODS answers, There are several ways of obtaining employment in the UK. A useful website for information is which provides information both for employees and employers.

Philip B.Kassey asked, Dear Mr.Kevin, This is Philip and I had done M.Sc(Physics) with specialisation Fiber Optics/Optoelectronics in 2003. I had more than 3 years R&D experience on Fiber Optic Sensors. I want to pursue my PhD in UK. kindly suggest me in this regard

KEVIN WOODS answers, Information on courses is available from the British Council at

sunil s sharma asked, do u really consider the differences between college and university courses while getting visa? because some time some courses are usefull in colleges than in universities...

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Sunil, there can be differences in the quality of education between universities and colleges but that is very individual. You should look on the Department of Education and Skills website to make sure the institution you want to go to is listed -- and you can also research the different colleges and universities with the help of the British Council in your area.

Partho asked, Hi Kevin, Few days back we got news that one of the university in UK declared themselves bankrupt. The students of that university forced down to return to India. The university asked them to pay 2000 pounds for getting admission in another university. No assistance provided them from UK goverment as well as that university. What are the precaustion UK govt. is taking to prevent such fake university admissions?

KEVIN WOODS answers, I have not heard of any university in the UK in this position. The list of approved education providers is administered by the department for education and skills. My advice would be to look at their website first. More generally, take the advice from the British Council and our preferred agents on which establishments you might consider applying to.

abh asked, sir i would like to know what percentage of amout do you expect in a person's liquid asset statement consiedring his fees and the bank loan he has got sanctioned??

KEVIN WOODS answers, We do not ask for a statement as such. You should be able to show that you have enough liquid funds to cover the cost of your course fees together with enough for your maintenance and accommodation for the duration of your course. British Council guidelines recommend � 7,300 for London and � 6,000 for outside London locations. You should be able to show the source of your funds.

Partho asked, It would be very kind of you if you tell us What Part of UK have more IT opportunities

KEVIN WOODS answers, IT opportunities are available throughout the UK and are not limited to one area. The bigger the centre the more opportunities there will be.

atul1981sharma asked, Hi Keven I am Sumit solanki and applied for student visa but the same was refused on the basis that enough many was not available with my paresnts, my ability to understand to the course and a doubt that I may not return to India after compliting my studies. I preferred an appeal with against the refusal and the tribunal decided in my favour and allowed my appeal on 14 may 07. I am frustrated that how long I have to wait give me ur answer pls

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Sumit, if you have made an appeal, it can take some time. We are not able to give any time guarentees to when it will be considered by the immigration judge in the UK. I'm afraid you will have to be patient.

swaroop asked, hai sir iam an MBA graduate can i apply for another degree over there

KEVIN WOODS answers, Yes but you should be able to show that it is related to what you have already done and that you will obtain clear benefits.

VijayaLaxmi asked, Hi Kevin..this is Vijaya willing to pursue MS in UK...i'm ready with IELTS band of 6.0 and 81% in my Bachelors of Technology...can i know the best universites available

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Vijaya, you can look at this website for more information about UK universities:

srinimisha asked, 1) Is it necessary to give the original certificate of IELTS rank? 2)Column 6 is not applicable for students ,who just complteted 12 th schooling and applying for Undergraduate course. 3) For a undergraduate student ( 17 years old) ,parent accompanies for onward travel only.So is it necessary to fill up columns 3.6 to 3.9

KEVIN WOODS answers, We always find that original documents should be submitted where possible in order that their authenticity can be checked. It is not clear what columns you mean -- is it the visa application form? If so, then the parts you mention are only for visits, not for students.

sunil s sharma asked, what mainly u consider while getting or refusing student visa........

KEVIN WOODS answers, We work to the Immigration Rules, paragraph 57. Please check these on

Thangaraj asked, I got visa rejected twice for UK Student Visa for not providing gud sponsor. This is was due to improper guidance. And i came to know the things only after getting rejected. Its because of the sponsor. Am going for complete educational loan this time for both tuition fee n living expenses..And that too now moving with a reputed agent..Am a bit fear on applying this time. I dont know wether my Visa get through this time...Can u giv me a suggesstion? But this time there is no fake documents...giv me a suggestion???

KEVIN WOODS answers, Your application will be considered on its own merits. You should be careful to show the source of your funds and to be able to address the concerns raised in your previous refusal notices.

Gaurav asked, Hi I have been working in a reputed software company for 2 yrs now. I am planning to study abroad. Arent there any scholarships for studying into management courses? Also how much scholarship can we get if we are planning to study Masters in Engg?? And approx what all are the costs involved???

KEVIN WOODS answers, You can obtain information on all available scholarships from the British Council.

Raja asked, Hi Myself Raja, I received offer letter from exeter & total expenses are 18600 pounds. How much money I have show for successful VISA passing?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Raja, congratulations on your offer from Exeter. You need to show you have enough funding for your course fees and living expenses in the UK for as long as you are there. Visa officers use the British Council estimates for living and accommodation in the UK. In exeter, it is estimated at about 6,000 pounds per academic year.

ravi asked, which UK university is good for MBA as i want to do in area of IT & systems?

KEVIN WOODS answers, I cannot comment on the relative merits of individual universities. My advice is to take expert counselling from the British Council or one of our preferred student agents.

srinimisha asked, the sponsor is my business assoicate .Is it acceptable.My income and my spouse income will be considered for funding the education of a 4 years course apart

KEVIN WOODS answers, Anyone can sponsor you but they will need to clearly explain how they are related to you, why they have decided to sponsor you, how much they are going to sponsor you for and show they have the funds to do so. If you are self-funded, you will need to show you have the funds for your study.

sindbad asked, Dear Kevin Whats the visa sections position on students holding offer letters from private colleges which offer degrees in partnership with British Universities.Do you require a letter from the university as well

KEVIN WOODS answers, We are aware that many private colleges in India have partnerships with British Universities. Yes, you will need to provide evidence that you have been offered admission from the British University concerned.


KEVIN WOODS answers, No, please provide original documentation.

rahman asked, Is brunel one among the top UK universities as they claim. Please comment.

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Rahman, you can check the UK University quality and rankings on this website:

priyas asked, hi, i am already doing a MIT from Australia that is finishing in december. I wud like to take an IT job in UK.. what are the prospects and any other course in IT to enhance my skills as a programmer?

KEVIN WOODS answers, You should research further IT courses; information is available on the British Council website There is a wealth of information about job prospects on the internet as well.

pukka asked, Kevin you are a nice help. My daughter has studied at oxford for 6 years now. She cannot find a sponsor or employer to immigrate her. She has earned top marks and is great in research. Can you help?

KEVIN WOODS answers, Dear Pukka, if your daughter has now completed her studies at Oxford University, she may qualify for the International Graduate Scheme. For more information on this, please look into this website:

agentsmith asked, Sir, what are the various programmes availbe in India for UK degree. Is it possible to earn UK degree while being in Inida?

KEVIN WOODS answers, There are some distance learning programmes available through University of London. Further advice can be obtained from British Council.

Part I: Apply early to avoid rush
Tomorrow: Part III

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