Short-term study visas
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.
Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility and options for free on 0203 384 4389.
What you can and can't do
- 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
- 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
- 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 should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
- 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
- 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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