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Short-term study visa

Short-term study visa

You can apply for a Short-term study visa if:

  • you’re doing a short course of study in the UK
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

You need a Standard Visitor visa if you’re an academic visitor.

You cannot apply if you qualify for British citizenship- including if you can have dual nationality. You must apply for British Citizenship instead.

If you are unsure of your position or would like to ensure that your application is handled by a knowledgeable specialist, get in touch with one of our friendly team members now on 0203 384 4389 to find out exactly how we can assist you to get it right first time round, saving you time, money and the heartache of being refused.

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Further Information

What you can and can't do

You can:

 

  • do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course
  • do a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad

You cannot:

  • study at a state-funded school
  • work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business
  • extend this visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you – they must apply separately
  • get public funds

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for:

  • 6 months – for any short course (including English language courses), or short period of research if you’re 16 or over
  • 11 months – if you’re 16 or over and taking an English language course

How long it takes

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Eligibility

You must prove that you:

  • have been offered a place on a course in the UK at an accepted place of study
  • have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
  • can pay for your return or onward journey

If you’re under 18 you must also:

  • have made arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK
  • have permission from your parent or guardian to study in the UK

Where you can study

You must be accepted on a course with an education provider that holds a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

Otherwise your course will need to be held at an educational institution listed by one of the following:Accreditation Body for Language Services

  • Accreditation Service for International Colleges
  • Accreditation UK
  • Bridge Schools Inspectorate
  • British Accreditation Council
  • Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland)
  • Estyn (in Wales)
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland)
  • Independent Schools Inspectorate
  • Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • Schools Inspection Service

Learning English as a foreign language

You must be at least 16 years old and accepted on a course to learn English as a foreign language if you’re applying for an 11 month Short-term study visa.

A mixed course, some of which is spent studying English, does not count.

Visiting the UK as part of an overseas course

You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you’re at least 16 years old and studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your course is in the UK.

Your institution must:

  • hold its own national accreditation
  • offer only part of its educational programme in the UK
  • offer programmes that are equivalent to a UK degree

Researching in the UK for a short time

You can come to the UK for a short period of research if already enrolled on an overseas degree course.

To be eligible:

  • your course must be equivalent to a UK degree
  • you must be carrying out the research at a UK recognised body, or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institution
  • you must be at least 16 years old

Documents you must provide

When you apply you need to provide:

 

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
  • your (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test and you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months
  • contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (if you’re under 18 years old)

You need to provide the original documents.

You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

Documents about your course

You must provide proof of the course you’re studying, for example a letter of acceptance from the educational institution – on official headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation).

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances, such as evidence of your:

  • previous study, for example academic certificates, references or transcripts
  • English language qualifications, for example certificates or awards
  • accommodation and travel plans
  • permission to be in the country you’re applying from (if you’re not a national)
  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies

If you’re under 18

If you’re under 18 you need to provide additional documents if:

  • you’re travelling on your own
  • you’re travelling with someone who is not your parent or guardian

Travelling on your own

You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone 18 or over).

Your parent or guardian needs to provide their:

  • written consent for you to travel to the UK
  • full contact details

They also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • an address where you will be living
  • details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you
  • consent in writing so they can look after you during your stay in the UK

You must provide a letter from the school confirming it has notified the local authority of your visit and the details of who’ll be caring for you if:

  • you’re under 16 (or under 18 if you have a disability)
  • you’ll be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’)

You must include the reply from the local authority if the school has received one.

Travelling with an adult

When travelling to the UK with an adult (someone 18 or over), you need to identify them in your visa application.

Their name will appear on your visa, and you’ll be refused entry to the UK if you arrive in the UK without them.

You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application, and your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least one of them.

The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.

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