Frequently asked questions on studying to become a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom
I want to study physiotherapy in the UK. What do I need to do?
International physiotherapy students should apply for a Student Visa. (This has replaced the Tier 4 General Visa).To be eligible, you must be aged 16 or over and:
- Have been offered a place on a physiotherapy course by a licensed student sponsor
- Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
- Can speak, read, write and understand English
When can I apply for a Student Visa?
This depends upon whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.
- Applying from outside the UK: The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your physiotherapy course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
- Applying from inside the UK: The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your physiotherapy course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires and your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.
From summer 2021, a new graduate immigration route will be available to international physiotherapy students who have completed a degree in the UK. You’ll be able to work or look for work, in the UK for up to 2 years, or 3 years if you are a PhD graduate.
How long can I stay in the UK?
- If you’re 18 or over and your physiotherapy course is at degree level, you can usually stay in the UK for up to 5 years.
How much does a Student Visa cost? Do I have to pay any other fees?
- A Student Visa currently costs £348. The Immigration Health Surcharge costs £300 a year and you’ll need to pay this upfront for the duration of your physiotherapy course. The charge is to fund your own healthcare when living in the UK.
What do I need to include on my visa application?
- Your confirmation of acceptance of studies reference number on your visa application when you are sure you have submitted all the requested documents.
Do I need to provide anything else before I start my physiotherapy course?
- Before you start your physiotherapy course, you must have your biometric residence permit. You’ll get one automatically when your visa is approved. Use this to confirm your identity, right to study or work in the UK, and right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to.
Can I extend my visa?
- You may be eligible to extend your Student or Tier 4 General visa to stay longer and continue your physiotherapy course.