How To Apply As Short-Term Student Visitor In The UK?


If you are a visa national (a person who needs a visa to enter the UK) then you must apply for entry clearance as a short-term student before you travel to the UK. If you are a non-visa national (a person that does not need a visa to enter the UK) then it is not compulsory for you to apply for entry clearance before you travel, if you wish to come to the UK as a short-term student for up to 6 months.

If you are a non-visa national and you want to study an English language course which will last for more than 6 months but a maximum of 11 months, you must apply for entry clearance (and if you are from certain countries you will have to pass a tuberculosis screening test before you apply).

Entry clearance as a short-term student can be applied for from within any country outside of the UK (it does not have to be the country where you normally live).

Your application must include:

  • The completed online application form.
  • The current application fee
  • Your current travel document
  • One passport sized colour photograph
  • Evidence of your unconditional offer of study from a bonafide educational institution in the UK.  This is normally a letter from the institution that you intend to study at, on official headed paper, stating the title, duration and cost of the study.
  • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK. You need to show you can pay for your tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses.  There are no specific requirements which state the amount of money you must show when you apply for a short-term student visa. However you must show that you have enough money to support yourself without recourse to public funds and working. It is advisable to provide evidence that you have enough money to cover your course fees plus accommodation and living expenses. Using the Tier 4 maintenance figures as a guide only, it would be reasonable to show that you have the equivalent of £820 per month, or £1020 per month if studying in Inner London, for the duration of your studies. If you will be staying with friends or family while in the UK, which will decrease your living costs, you can include evidence of this
  • All other supporting documents listed in the Home Office’s website information for short-term students

You must submit the original documents along with a photocopy of each. You will also need to provide a translation of any documents which are not already in English.

You must submit your completed immigration application to your nearest UK Embassy. You do not need to apply in the country where you live.

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 can’t:

  • study at a state 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 18 or over
  • 11 months – if you’re 18 or over and taking an English language course

Fees (as of 27 August 2015)

It costs:

  • £85 for a 6 month visa
  • £162 for an 11 month visa

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.


Don Magsino MBA is a student of Oxford Brookes University at Post-Graduate Degree in Law in Oxford, England, UK. He is a graduate of Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. He is a qualified and a practicing Immigration Lawyer in the UK. His mobile phone is 07446888377 / Direct Line: 0207 316 3027 Email is don@stanfordlawassociates.co.uk. His London office is located at Regus, 239 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SN. He is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 3: highest level in immigration professionals. He has represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration Detention Courts and Deportation and Bail Hearings and to the Upper Tribunal and won many difficult cases in immigration law in the United Kingdom.

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