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How can I ace the UK study visa interview?

February 01, 2008 11:48 IST

What questions do UK visa officials ask at the interview? Are you qualified to apply for an MBA course at London Business School? How much does it cost to do a post-graduate course in Scotland? 

To answer these questions and others, particularly visa-related queries, UK officials including Paul Michael chatted with Get Ahead readers on January 24.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's part II of the uneditted transcript:

Part I: Can I study and work part-time in the UK?

Robin asked, Hello sir My self Robin Raj I have completed My Post Gradution In MSW( Master in Sosial Welfare) and now planing to study further can you guide which course will be better for me to study in UK and what is the proudcers & requirments to apply for the Visa

ac answers, Robin, to choose a course of your choice, please log into, you can visit the forthcoming exhibition to know more details.



vinit asked, i want to work in Scotland as skilled worker. explain how!

Paul answers, Vinit If you study in Scotland at HND level or above you may be eligible to apply for the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Schem. This entitles you to seek employment in Scotland for a period of two years. More information can be found by looking at  Paul



vlie asked, how to ace visa interview?

Jon B answers, if you are called for an interview then there is something that needs clarity. we ask about 20 questions about the course, funding and your intentions. good spoken english at interview is very important.



Sujeesh asked, I am a science graduate and i am thinking of doing a MBA from Uk, most preferably Scotland. Can u guide me about the financials????

ac answers, Sujeesh the average cost for an MBA there would be GBP 8000, for more details visit



Indian asked, I have lot of friends who is studying in the UK and almost 90% + is unhappy about the quality of the UK education and lot of them feeling like they are the cash cows for the university and also UK education is very expensive….how to choose real worth university and value for money courses?

Paul answers, Indian You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



Brinda asked, Hi Paul , Please answer my querry in regard to documents to be submitted for student visa

SEAN answers, There is no specific list that you should submit. You should submit documents which relate to your personal financial circumstances, and those of any sponsors such as bank statements, income tax return, bank loan certificates, emloyment letters and payslips.



jatin asked, hello sir, i m a lawyer nryt now i m working in NBFC looking after the legal section and i want 2 pursue specialisation in Forensic Science and Crimonology from UK, wht r the relevant formalities n all. could u plz help me in this regard


ac answers, Jatin you can take up the course of your choice,please visit to decide for yourself, you can visit the forthcoming exhibition to know more about the courses available, for details log on to



Bharat asked, Jobs in UK are hard to come by. Australia and US are much easier when it comes to the job scenario. What are the prospects of getting work permits are studies?

Paul answers, Bharat Once you have completed a period of study in the UK or Scotland then the course that you have finished may make you eligible to apply for permission to work under the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Sceme or the International Graduate Scheme.\Details of these schemes can be found at Paul



mike11 asked, sir, do you stay here in India or on a short visit? May I have your email address?

Jon B answers, we are Entry Clearance Officers from the Home Office and Foreign Office in the British High Commission in New Delhi. We do a three-year tour and live here. visit to contact us.



Gopalakrishnan asked, Hello sir, are there any universities in UK which offer distance education programme and if so can one study for that course and sit for the exam in India itself?

ac answers, yes there are few universities offering such facilities, i suugest you visit the nearest council for more details, you can also visit



kulbir asked, i am 40 years of age & graduate of commerce from india in 1986.Can i persue higher study in u.k. What about professional courses in u.k & which will be the best for me. Thanks

JON answers, Kulbir, thanks. There are no age restrictions on those wishhing to study in the UK. However, as you last studied in 1986, you would have to explain why you now wished to return to full-time education. There are a huge amount of professional and post-graduate courses in the UK to choose from - please contact the British Council in India for more details at . They will also be able to advise you on what course is appropriate for you.



sherine asked, how many days prior we should strat our visa process

Paul answers, Sherine This is a very important point. You should think about putting together your visa application as soon as you receive your offer letter. If you can try to have your finances in place before this so that you can make a fully documented application then I reccommend that you apply 4-6 weeks in advance of your course date. This gives us time to process the application and also allows for an interview to take place should we decide that one is required. Paul



thomas asked, i am a sowftware professional with 18 months of exp. i am intrested in doing my mba in jan 09,which exams i have to appear. what are the job prospects and approximate expneses.

SEAN answers, Each institution has its own entry requirements depending on the course you plan to study. The approximate cost for living expenses in london as suggested by the British Council is 7200 pounds per year plus tuition fees. The following links may be useful to decide which instition and for jobs Thank you for your question



veeru asked, I am a 24 yrs Computer science Post graduate(MCA) and working with a reputed software company. Is there any university offering the higher education in Computer Science?

Paul answers, Veeru You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



sach4u2007 asked, hi sir,iam sachin can u tell me the study about MS(master of science)

Jon B answers, visit and look for a UK Fast Track Institution.



mrutyu asked, In terms of B Schools, how are Cass, Judge, Cranfield, LSE? I am looking for a General Management degree.

ac answers, Mrutyu to understand the rankings of the institutions please log in at , you can also log in at



Gopalakrishnan asked, I was told that the funding the universities get in UK is much less compared to US and so cost of education in UK is high compared to US. Is it true? I want my daughter to take up graduate programme in Electrical engineering in US or UK

SEAN answers, I am not able to answer questions relating to funding of US universities however should your daughter wish to study in the UK the funding required depends on the course fees of the specific institution, and the british council suggest that students in London require a further 7200 pounds per year for living expenses.



Molu asked, Hello, A) Every international student who comes to study MBA in UK in any respected b-school would get 100% loan for the program from UK banks. Is this assumption correct ? If not then what are the other means of organising loan for MBA program in UK only ? B)While applying for student visa in UK through a b-school its mandatory to show a bank balance, equivalent to amount to be spent for the whole stay in UK,by a student to the Visa issuing authority. Is this assumption correct ? If yes we need to show only bank balance or we can show asset papers also ?

JON answers, Thanks for your question. Some colleges do have agreements with banks to assist international students with the payment of tuition fees. However, this is certainly not true of every college. It would be best to contact the chosen college before application for a visa to organise arrangements for a UK loan. In answer to your second question, yes, we need to see a bank balance. It does not necessarily have to show funds for the entire stay - but then you should demonstrate that your parents are in employment and through their wage (or any number of other ways), they could fund the rest of your stay.



ABC asked, Hello Sir, This is Puneet here. I am planning for an MBA from LUBS.. For how long can I work in UK after completing my course in 2009?

ac answers, Puneet, you can work for 12 months under the IGS scheme if you finsish our course in UK, except the scotland, there you can work for 24 months after the completion of the course



nitin asked, I am a chartered accountant in service. Pls let me know relevant job oppertunities in UK. Thanks in advance.

SEAN answers, please see the following link



ashwath asked, Hi!! how many years can i stay in uk after completion of my mba course?

Jon B answers, after your studies are completed you are granted an additional four months to write your thesis etc.



Rahul_jis asked, Hello Sir, I am Rahul Singh, an ACCT HONS. GRADUATE. I have got an unconditional letter from Cardiff University. I want to ask you about the CArdiff university regarding studies and job prospects after completion of my course. Is it worth going there for my higher studies..?? Also i want to know that is it mandatory to take the IELTS as i have scored good marks in english throughout my academic journey..?? Thanks in advance.

Paul answers, Rahul You should look at Cardiff University's own website and see if it suits your requirements. British Council will be able to provide you with some information aswell. IELTS is not mandatory but it makes your application easier to assess if you have this qualification. We will also consider other evidence of English ability such as TOEFL and your scores at 12th standard stage of your education. If you can show that you have done a degree in India in English then we will also consider this. Paul



raghuvir asked, hi sir i am ravi. can you tell me about mba in (management of business administration)

ac answers, Ravi this is a one year course in UK. the average course fee would be GBP 8000, for more details visit



zubair asked, Hello Sir! I have completed my MSc from sheffield hallam university, uk and I am now in india. I wud like to go back on the IGS scheme. I have a 1 year IGS scheme. But from this year onwards every student is eligible for 2 years IGS. is there any chance that i can also avail 2 years of IGS instead of 1 year. Thanks. UK was a very good experience and I look forward to work there.

JON answers, Hi Zubair. The two-year visa for IGS is not currently in place, although it is planned to be implemented within the next few months. It currently remains at one-year only and I apologise but I can't say exactly when the two-year visa will begin to be issued. If I were you, I would use your current visa and then seek to switch into the HSMP category - which is also valid in the first instance for two-years. Thanks.



nikhilf asked, how much money must we show on registration and visa forms

Jon B answers, you must show that you can support yourself fully for the duration of the course, this includes the course fees. eg tuition fees GBP 7000 living expenses GBP 7400 per annum - you must show cash availabe at application of GBP 14,000



lenin asked, Hi Mr.Paul, I would like to register for my PhD(Engg) in UK university. Can I know the probability of getting financial aid to pursue it. and also tell me the prerequisites for eligibility. I am having a masters degree in Electronics Engg.

Paul answers, Lenin In terms of financial assistance you should contact the British Council to see if you are eligible for a scholarship. Paul



swapnil asked, Good Afternoon sir, I am a B.E Mechanical Student having 2 years Exp. in Automotive Sector in Design Field & I want to know will i get Visa for a part time course in Automotive Design Or Product design Course with 2 to 3 years programe???

SEAN answers, It depends if you have been accepted onto a course in the UK. You will also need to show that you are able to pay for the course fees and living expenses in the UK.



acdadc asked, student visas are expensnive?

Jon B answers, a student visa costs Rs 8,450



sreekanth asked, hello what are the prospects of studying in a good college with excellent placements for an MBA course in uk (i have very avg agg in acads but still want to pursue )

ac answers, Sreekanth please log into, you will be able to decide a good courrse for your self thnaks



soumitra asked, i am 44 years and want to study and work and settle in uk,any options

Jon B answers, visit or and for general information



kupidkutty asked, University of Aberdeen (Scotland) offers a post graduate LLM programme in International Business Law. The course is conducted in India and the Course fees are minimal compared to the cost that would be incurred if one were to do the course in Scotland. It also gives the student an option to do the last six months (?) of the course in Scotland. They say the student would then be eligibile under the Fresh Talent Scheme for staying back in scotland for a cple of years to gain work experience in that area of study. Is this true ?

JON answers, Hi. Thanks for your query. You would only be able to qualify under the Fresh Talent Scheme, if you completed the last six months of the course studying in Scotland. This is because the Fresh Talent Scheme states that you have to have previously lived and studied in Scotland to qualify. So, if you did the last six months in Scotland and were successful, yes, you could apply under the Fresh Talent Scheme - but not if you studied the same course entirely from India.



vvsnr asked, what about scholarships for bright students in UK universites /

SEAN answers, I suggest you visit the following website -



NEVIN asked, I want to do my MBA in Media Management which college do you recommend in UK ?

ac answers, Nevin to decide for an institution, i suggest you visit, you can also vist the forthcoming exhibiton, for details log in to



ankur aggarwal asked, Hello sir, If I take up one yr diploma course, once I finish my course how long can I stay in UK?

Paul answers, Ankur Thankyou for your question. If you are to study a one year diploma in the UK we will normally give a period of two months in addition to that year. If you wish to seek further study then you should contact the home office with proof or registration onto another course and apply for an extension. Paul



Aleixo asked, What is the procedure to study in UK?

Jon B answers, visit or better visit one of our British Council offices in India.



habib asked, pls tell abt HSMP

Jon B answers, read about it at



geeta asked, HI i am geeta having two yer kids and willing to study in UK? Can spouse can give company during study.

ac answers, Geeta your spouse can accompany you during your studies




SEAN answers, I suggest you visit the following website if you are already a doctor then you visit the following website or if you want to study to be a doctor in the UK then visit



soumitra asked, what can i study


Paul answers, Soumitra You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



ashwath asked, Hi John thx for the reply. Sir, i came to know from frnds that after the MBA course peroid u cant stay back for a year to gain hands xperience and take a full time job is it right?pls confirm.. & Also i am 28 years old will age be a hurdle in getting student visa for MBA course.. thx

JON answers, Yes, you are correct. Upon successful completion of a UK MBA, you can apply under the International Graduate Scheme. This is a visa valid for one-year and allows you to look for, and take employment in the UK. There are no age restrictions on UK student visas. Thanks.



Namita S asked, How do i come to know the rankings for MBa colleges in uk? which one would be the rite option for me which would match my current IT experience?

ac answers, Namita you can log into, to decide a good intitution for can also visit for more details



PHDAspirant asked, Hello Mr Paul. I am an MBA in Finance with 3 years of work experience in a Investment Bank. I wish to do my doctoral studies in Finance from UK. Could you suggest good programs

SEAN answers, I suggest you visit, thank you for your question



Prasant asked, I am an IITian. I have completed my M.Tech from IIT Kanpur. looking for a university to pursue my PhD

Paul answers, Prasant You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



kulvinder asked, hello what are the prospects of studying in a good college with excellent placements for an MBA course in uk.

Paul answers, Kulvinder You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



saharsh asked, hi paul i want to do Mba or masters course from uk which have very good prospects in any country. i hv 3 years of exp.
Paul answers, Saharsh You should contact the British Council for their guidance as to the course and institution to chose.\\Contact them via Paul



SRK asked, Hello, How do I choose good universities ? Is their any place for RANKING of the same ? Also for 1 yr post-graduate course what would be the approx. Fees ?

SEAN answers, the following website provides information regarding universities in the UK - the fees depend on which university you attend.



reddy asked, ANy Course inMAll Management

ac answers, Reddy please log on to to know more about courses.



soumitra asked, even if i decide not to study and need job at UK,is that possible?,please guide

Jon B answers, You must study for 15 hours per week during term time. you are permitted to work 20 hours per week part-time on a student visa.



bleimis asked, are dubai rules different from india visa rules?

Paul answers, Bleimis If you wish to study in the Uk then you should access the Uks immigration rules via I am afraid I am unable to comment with regard to the rules for studying in Dubai. Paul



ankur aggarwal asked, If I am on student visa can take my spouse with me? and can spouse work there as wel?

ac answers, Ankur you can take your spouse with you and the spouse can work as well



Namita S asked, Can i work in Uk if i purse a full time MBA ?

Jon B answers, you are permitted to work 20 hours per week part time whilst doing your MBA. Best of luck.



ishan asked, I am PG in Chemistry and having 5 yrs of experience in industries. i want to go for research/ Ph.D. programme. what are the requirements?

ac answers, Ishan you can log into  for details on the research program



niraj asked, Dear sir , I am currently studying in 2nd year architectureand wnt to do my Masters in Architecture in Uk..can please help me woth the proes for it

SEAN answers, I suggest you visit the following website regarding institutions and courses in the UK and  regarding the visa application process



Namita S asked, i have done completed my graduation here which is 10 + 5 is that fine ? can i pursue my MBA in Uk? wht kind of Exams do i need to appear to apply for Student visa in uk?

JON answers, Morning Namita. Yes, you would be eligible to apply to universities for MBA's in the UK. They will then decide what exams or interviews you will need to sit before deciding on whether to grant you admission into the university. You will need an unconditional place at a college or university to apply for a UK visa. For more information on MBA's, please refer to or . Thanks. asked, If there is any course after 12 in uk in the field of management.If yes what is the approximate cost per year and procedure of getting addmission in that course.I want to ask this for my daughter.

ac answers, Dinesh thesr are many UG courses available, please visit for more detiails



Ramavatar asked, Hi, I am an MBA and now i want to work in the UK to get good earning and learning. Please tell how can I apply there for a Job and where to apply to get a visa for the same.

JON answers, For more information on working in the UK, please refer to . The visa process after you obtain authorisation is explain at . Thanks.


saharsh asked, sir i m looking for essex univ. for masters in finance is it good or i should look for other univ. can you pls suggest

SEAN answers, There are numerous institution in the UK we are unable to offer specific advice if one institution is good or not. However the follwoing website may be of use



Rahul_jis asked, Hello Sir, I have applied to Cardiff University few weeks back with all my documents of studies. Now i have got the unconditional offer from Cardiff. So does it mean that i dont hav to take the IELTS.???

Jon B answers, its looks like they are accepting you on the English ability you have shown. it is not necessary to take the IELTs if they are accepting you. make sure when you apply for your visa that you show your English % result at class 12. good luck



babu asked, Dear Sir thanks for communicating kindly please advise shipping and logistics short term diplomas in uk


ac answers, Babu for details log into



ashwath asked, Hey John i am very excited to begin student life again in UK after reading ur replies. i have bangkok and singapore holiday visas will tht be a part of concern ? it was holiday visa for 1 week each country in consectuive years in '03&'04 do i need to give an xplation for it?.. can get ur contact email id.. Thx

Jon B answers, there is a box on the visa application form to show what previous foreign travel you have done. if you travelled to singapore, thailand and malaysia in the week before your uk visa application it might raise some doubts. enjoy your studies!



Mahesh asked, Hi Sir,i am an IT Graduate with 5 years of Experience in same domain.I wish to do MS in Information Science from a Reputed UK University can you tell me the details and charges involved

SEAN answers, please visit the charges involved depend on which course an institution you are accepted on. The British council estimates that the cost for living expenses in London to be 7200 pounds per year. Thank you for your question.



Aspirant asked, Which are the top UK MBA programmes and wht were the GMAt cutoff's and average exp required by them also After doing an MBA from UK .. are their good job opportunities in UK/ US / India.

JON answers, Thanks. For an independent view, a list of comparative ratings, is listed at . Ths website lists the university, subject and its ratings against other universities offering the same subject.



zeletic asked, I would like to know why the visa officer is calculating the funds in a exorbitant rate of 1 pound =Rs 81 when todays conversion rate is only Rs77 maximum?On what basis do they consder Rs 81 instead of Rs 77?

Jon B answers, we are using Rs 80 to the UK pound at the moment.



sach4u2007 asked, sir,what are the requirments of higher education in uk

ac answers, thanks for the question, visit  for more details



geet asked, On what basis does visa get granted? What are the main criteria for the avialment of visa???

Jon B answers, 1. course you have chosen. 2. funding available to pay for your studies. 3. English ability. Best of luck



Paul says,  Thankyou to you all for your questions. This is the first webchat hosted by the British High Commission in India this year. There will be follow up webchats hosted by our offices in Chennai and Mumbai which will be advertised shortly. We here in Delhi will host another webchat before the main student season later in the year. If you have any other questions or queries please take note of the following websites that may be able to guide you,,,,,,,,,,, If your query cannot be answered by any of these sources then please contact our offices via Thanks again Paul Michael


Part I: Can I study and work part-time in the UK?