UK Student Visa Requirements for Nigerian Citizens

UK Student Visa Requirements for Nigerian

Studying in the United Kingdom is a dream for many Nigerian students. With world-class universities, a vibrant multicultural society, and abundant post-study work opportunities, the UK remains a top study abroad destination. However, navigating the UK student visa application process can seem daunting, especially when eligibility and documentation requirements are unclear.

The good news is that we break it all down step-by-step in this guide. Whether you’ve received your CAS letter from a British university or are just starting your research on study visa criteria for Nigerians, you’ll find all the key details here.

We’ll cover everything from application timelines to bank statement requirements, English language scores, dependent visas and more based on the latest 2024 UK immigration rules. Read on to fully understand what it takes for a Nigerian passport holder to obtain their tier 4 general UK student visa hassle-free!

UK Student Visa Main Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa as a Nigerian citizen, you must meet certain criteria set by UK Visas and Immigration. Meeting these requirements is crucial for visa approval and allows you to remain legally in the UK as an international student.

Have an unconditional offer from a licensed UK university

The first requirement is having an unconditional offer letter for a place on a course from a licensed UK educational institution. This Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter has details like the course, start date, fees, etc. It confirms that the institution will sponsor your student visa application.

Show proof you can support yourself and pay for tuition and living costs

As an international student, you cannot access public funds in the UK. So in order to get your student visa, you must prove to the embassy that you can cover all costs related to accommodation, transportation, food, and other living expenses.

The amount considered sufficient differs based on where you study. But on average you may need to show funds of at least £1,020 per month that you plan to live in the UK as a student.

Be proficient in English language skills

Nigerian applicants must prove a certain level of English fluency for the student visa process. The acceptable scores are:

  • IELTS for UKVI: minimum score of 6.0 in all four components
  • PTE Academic: minimum score of 43 in all four components

Without meeting this English requirement, your student visa application could get refused even if all other criteria are met.

Get health insurance coverage under the NHS or a private provider

As an international student, you must get health insurance coverage through either the National Health Service (NHS) or an approved private health provider. Your policy must start when you enter the UK on your tier 4 visa.

Required Documents For Student Visa Application

When applying for your UK student visa from Nigeria, you must submit certain documents as part of your application to prove you meet all the eligibility criteria. Having these papers ready in advance will help avoid delays or refusals.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter

This is the unconditional offer letter provided by your university once you have accepted the course. It will include necessary details such as course start/end dates, tuition fees, sponsor license number of the university, and a unique CAS number.

Bank statements showing you have enough funds (£1,020/month)

Submit 6 months of bank account transaction statements from your financial sponsor indicating available balances. If funds aren’t in your name, provide sponsorship paperwork. Statements must not be older than 31 days when you apply.

English language certificate (IELTS)

Submit your official exam results for either IELTS, PTE A, or other accepted test showing you meet the minimum English level. It must be from a UKVI approved secure English testing provider.

Valid Nigerian passport

You need a valid Nigerian passport in good condition to apply. It should have an expiry date of at least 6 months beyond the end of your course in the UK. Submit a scanned color copy of your info pages.

Evidence of parental or sponsor consent if under 18

Applicants under age 18 need signed authorization from parents or legal guardians. Use the UKVI consent form template.

Note the six month validity rule for all documentation except the CAS letter. We next dive into step-by-step instruction on navigating the visa application process itself.

Step-by-Step Visa Application Process

Once you confirm eligibility and prepare all required documents, navigating the tier 4 UK student visa application process itself involves the following steps:

Use UK gov website to apply and pay fee

Go to the UK Visas and Immigration portal. Create an account, choose the Tier 4 (General) student category, and complete the application form. Pay your student visa fee online as well.

Schedule and attend biometrics appointment

After applying online, schedule a biometric enrollment appointment at your nearest visa application center in Nigeria. Your fingerprints and photograph will be taken at this visit.

Receive decision on application (could take a month)

The processing timeline after biometrics and paying the IHS health surcharge can take about 3 weeks. You will get email updates on the decision once it’s marked as “ready for collection” from the VAC.

Request visa vignette to be able to travel to UK

If approved, you must retrieve your 30 day short-term entry clearance sticker known as the visa vignette. This allows you to travel to the UK within that period.

Collect BRP after arriving in the UK

Once admitted, collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) card in person. This is your long-term student ID and proof of right to live/study in the UK for the duration of your program.

Bringing Dependents to the UK

If you receive your Tier 4 (General) student visa as a Nigerian national, you may wish to bring family members to live with you as dependents while you study in the UK. Here are key rules and requirements to understand:

Eligibility rules for bringing children/spouse to UK with you

  • Your husband, wife, unmarried partner, or children under age 18 may be eligible to apply for a dependent visa.
  • They must prove their relation to you and intention to live with you in the UK.
  • Dependents can study or work according to their visa terms.

Added living costs and funds you’ll need to show

  • As the main visa holder, you must provide proof that you can cover living expenses for your dependents as well in addition to your own funds.
  • Costs are a minimum of £845 per month per dependent spouse/child.

Dependent visa application process overview

  • Eligible dependents can apply for an entry clearance dependent visa online up to 3 months in advance.
  • Documents like marriage certificates, consent forms, passport scans, and English tests will be required.
  • Biometrics appointment and approval/vignette process is similar to student visa pathway.

Bringing loved ones along to the UK is possible if planned and evidenced properly. The additional costs, preparation, and coordination is worth understanding earlier on.


We hope this guide gave you clarity and confidence for achieving UK student visa success as a Nigerian applicant.

To recap, you need to have an admissions offer, meet English levels, prove living costs, provide biometrics, and follow other directives we detailed above. It can help exponentially to engage an immigration consultant as well.

Being methodical with sufficient preparation time and complete documentation gives you the best chance for quick approval.

You can soon be testing on the exciting new experience of being an international student in the UK if you manage the visa process well! Don’t hesitate to reach out Uni education with any other questions in your journey of studying abroad.


Q: How long does it take to get a student visa?

A: Most student visa applications from Nigeria take around 3 weeks from biometrics appointment to final decision. However, it’s best to allot 12 weeks maximum when planning timelines for studying in the UK each year.

Q: Can I work in the UK after graduating on a student visa?

A: Yes, you can stay and work full-time in the UK for up to 2 years after your course ends under the post-study work visa. Certain criteria for salary and skills apply.

Q: How much money do I need in my bank account for a student visa?

A: You need to prove available funds of at least £1,020 per month that you plan to be in the UK as an international student (£12,240 per year). Minimum cost of living increases yearly.

Q: Can I extend my student visa if my program gets extended?

A: If your studies legitimately need to go beyond the timeline covered by your first student visa, you can indeed apply for a visa extension to remain legally in the UK as long as required.

Q: Does my passport have to be valid for the entire duration of my studies?

A: No – your Nigerian passport should be valid for at least the first 6 months upon arrival in the UK. You can renew your passport after arriving if needed during your stay.

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