K M Enayet Hossain
17 September, 2022

6 min read


Sponsored study visa UK: approval & refusal rate, year ending March 2022

UK sponsored study visa grant rate is overall 98% for all nationals applied from outside the UK for entry clearance in 2022 – top countries that were granted most visas for UK.

Sponsored study: Student

The Student visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) Student visa as of 5th October 2020. It provides a route for students over the age of 16 to study with an approved education provider in the UK.

Sponsored study: Child Student

The Child student visa has replaced the Tier 4 (Child) Student visa as of 5th October 2020. It provides a route for students between the ages of 4 and 17 years old to study at an approved independent school in the UK.

Study sponsors: Education Providers

The Student and Child Student routes are the primary immigration routes for international students who wish to study full-time, or part-time in some limitedcircumstances, in the UK. These students must be sponsored by an education provider that holds a Student sponsor licence . The education provideris known as a sponsor for immigration purposes and the study undertaken by student at the education provider is known as sponsored study.

Sponsored student visa

To apply for a Student visa or for an extension of stay as a sponsored student/child student, individuals must use a CAS from a sponsoring educational institution. Study visas applied for with a CAS are also referred to as ‘Sponsored visa applications’.

An Entry clearance visas allow a student/child student to enter and stay in the UK within the period for which the visa is valid.A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a secure identity card which contains personal details and biometric information for those who have entry clearance visa to come to the UK for more than 6 months.BRP can be collected from a named Post Office branch or the sponsored education provider once you are in the UK.

Sponsored study visa applications and outcomes by nationality in the Y/E March 2022

Rank Nationality Visa approved Approval rate Refusals
1 China 116,967 >99% 135
2 India 107,978 98% 1,803
3 Nigeria 58,887 96% 2,447
4 Pakistan 21,372 95% 953
5 United States 15,862 99% 78
6 Bangladesh 13,914 98% 275
7 Hong Kong 9,126 >99% 13
8 Saudi Arabia 7,822 98% 125
9 Malaysia 6,702 >99% 21
10 Sri Lanka 5,257 99% 52
11 Kuwait 4,635 99% 16
12 Nepal 4,357 99% 32
13 France 4,247 98% 12
14 Ghana 3,785 90% 400
15 South Korea 4,099 >99% 6
16 Germany 3,966 98% 16
17 Thailand 4,008 >99% 8
18 Canada 4,000 >99% 5
19 Spain 3,586 98% 15
20 Turkey 3,374 98% 35
  Other nationalities 62,667 98% 1,038
Total sponsored study visa 466,611 98% 7,485

The above data relates to entry clearance visa applications made outside the UK and includes main applicants and dependants. Other nationalities include all nationalities that do not appear in the top 20 in the Y/E March 2022.

Source: Entry clearance visa applications and outcomes – Vis_D02, Home Office

Earlier Home office reported grant of total 428,428 sponsored study visas (to both main applicants and their dependants) in the Y/E September 2021 . In the Y/E March 2022, UK issued a total of 466,611 sponsored study visas (to both main applicants and their dependants). 3 Asian countries are in top 5, 8 in top 10 (4 are South Asian countries) and 13 in top 20 of most visa granted nationalities.Chinese and Indian nationals together comprised almost half (48%) of all Sponsored study visa grants.

Top 5 nationalities granted Sponsored study visas, years ending March 2021 and March 2022

Rank Nationality Y/E March 2021 Y/E March 2022 % change
1 China 87,128 116,967 +34%
2 India 55,903 107,978 +93%
3 Nigeria 17,366 58,887 +239%
4 Pakistan 8,641 21,372 +147%
5 United States 8,315 15,862 +91%

Visa grants to Bangladeshi nationals increased from 2,660 to 13,914 (+423%) compared with the Y/E March 2020. This made Bangladeshi nationals the sixth largest nationality amongst those granted a sponsored student visa.

Source: Entry clearance visa applications and outcomes Vis_D02

Sponsored study visa approval rate comparison for top 10 countries: March 2022 vs March 2021

Rank Nationality March 2022 March 2021
1 China >99% 100%
2 India 98% 91%
3 Nigeria 96% 95%
4 Pakistan 95% 96%
5 United States 99% 99%
6 Bangladesh 98% 94%
7 Hong Kong >99% 100%
8 Saudi Arabia 98% 96%
9 Malaysia >99% 100%
10 Sri Lanka 99% 99%

Source: Entry clearance visa applications and outcomes – Vis_D02, Home Office

Of the 466,611 sponsored study visas approved in the Y/E March 2022, 84% of the visas were issued to students and 16% were issued to their dependants. There were 72,554 Sponsored study grants to dependants in the year ending March 2022. This was over four times (+308%) the 17,766 grants seen in the year ending March 2020. Dependants saw a larger relative increase compared to main applicants, who increased by 42% (+115,580) from the year ending March 2020 (Source: Home Office ).


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q What is the difference between Entry Clearance Vignette & BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)?

A When you receive your visa from outside the UK, you will get an entry clearance vignette (sticker) on your passport. If your visa application is for six months or less your vignette will be valid for your whole stay in the UK. Otherwise, the vignette on your passport will be valid for 90 days. (EU International students who have used the UK Immigration: ID check app receive their visa in the form of an online digital status and will not receive a vignette. This digital status can be shared with anyone who needs to check your visa).

Your entry clearance vignette will be accompanied by a letter detailing your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) collection address in the UK and guidelines. After you arrive in the UK, you will collect a biometric residence permit (BRP) showing the full length of your visa. A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your identity, right to study and right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to. You cannot use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent. You’ll need to prove your right to work online or prove your right to rent online instead. Your BRP will include your name, date and place of birth, your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information), your immigration status and any conditions of your stay and whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services.

Q How long visa I will be granted for my course? What is ‘wrap-up period’?

A The end date of full visa will depend on the length of the course. It always includes some extra time after the end of the course;this extra time is known as the "wrap-up period" (the time between the programme end date and the visa expiry date).

Please use the table below to see the length of visa you will be granted as a student:

Type of course Length of course Length of visa
Degree level and above 12 months or more Full course duration plus four months
6 to 12 months Full course duration plus two months
Less than 6 months Full course duration plus seven days
Below degree level: foundation course or presessional English course 6 to 12 months Full course duration plus two months
Less than 6 months Full course duration plus one month
Q What should I do if I find error or a problem on my BRP?

A If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, report it within 10 days. Otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement BRP.

You can report other problems with your BRP online, for example:

  • there’s a mistake on it, for example your name, gender or date of birth is wrong
  • your BRP was damaged when it arrived

Please note that if your name is long it may appear ‘cut off’ on your BRP. This is not a mistake - it is because there is limited space on the BRP card. However, if there’s a spelling mistake, you must report it.

To report a problem with your BRP online, you will need to have the following:

  • your BRP number (you can find it on the top right corner on the front side)
  • your full name, date of birth and nationality as they appear on your BRP
  • an email or postal address

You can report the problem online by yourself or you can get someone to report the problem for you, for example a legal representative, a charity, employer, college or university.

Q Can I change my education provider on my current student visa to study in the UK?

A As the course you will be studying at a particular education provider that sponsored you for study visa for the required duration, your entry clearance vignette and Biometric Residence Permit will be issued with the education provider’s licence number printed on it alongside the visa number and this visa is known as Sponsored Study Visa. Therefore the visa will be granted to study the course at the education provider that sponsored you by issuing a CAS, you will not be able to change to another education provider under that visa. You will require a new visa to study at a different education provider that is student sponsor licence holder.

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