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Short-term study visa

Many UK universities and colleges offer excellent short courses for international students, so you can gain skills and knowledge without having to leave home for too long. To make it easy for you to apply, the government offers a short-term study visa.

If you’re planning a short course in the UK, and are from outside the EEA and Switzerland, you may find a short-term study visa to be ideal for you. When you are ready to apply, our solicitors can help you go through the application process for your visa with confidence.

Our expert solicitors are here to help you, so you can start looking forward to your studies.

Please note: A 30-minute consultation with one of our immigration experts can be held in our offices or over the phone or Skype. Please be aware that we do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable fee of £60 per consultation.


Short term study visa


What your short-term study visa will allow

With a this visa you can spend your time:

  • Attending a short course of study, such as training or an English language course
  • Conducting research for a short period of time as part of your degree if you are studying abroad

However, you can’t:

  • Study at a state school
  • Work (this includes work placements and work experience)
  • Extend the time period of your visa
  • Bring family members with you – they have to apply separately
  • Access public funds

You can stay in the UK for 6 to 11 months when you are granted your short-term study visa. You can stay for:

  • 6 months for any short course (including English language), or a short period of research, if you’re 16 years old or over
  • 11 months for an English language course, if you’re 16 years old or over

General requirements of a short-term study visa

If you are currently studying at an overseas higher education institution, and part of your course is in the UK, you should be eligible for this type of short-term student visa.

However, you must check that your institution:

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

In order to qualify, you must be able to prove that you:

  • Have been offered a place on a course in the UK at a recognised university or college
  • Have enough money to support yourself without working or applying for public funds (or that you have relatives and friends who can support and house you)
  • You can pay for your return or onward journey

If you’re under 18, to apply for a short-term study visa, you must also:

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

Documentation you need to provide

When you apply for your short-term student visa, 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 six months
  • Details of where you intend to stay as well as any travel plans. It’s not advisable to pay for accommodation or travel until you have received your visa
  • Your tuberculosis (TB) test results (If required)
  • Contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (if under 18 years old)
  • You need to provide the original documents when you apply. If your documents aren’t in English or Welsh you’ll need to provide a certified translation as well. Lastly, you will need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides so your visa can be stamped.

For your  visa application to be successful, you also need to provide proof that you’ve been accepted onto your course. This is typically a letter of acceptance from the educational institution, on official headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation).

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to provide additional evidence, such as of your:

  • Previous study, such as academic certificates, references or transcripts
  • English language qualifications, such as certificates or awards
  • Accommodation and travel plans
  • Permission to be in the country you are applying from, if you are not a national there
  • Your financial sponsor’s occupation, and proof of their income, savings or funds that will support your studies

Researching in the UK for a short time

Short-term study visas can also be used to conduct short-term research, as long as you are already enrolled on a degree elsewhere.

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 one that receives public funding as a higher education institution
  • You must be at least 18 years old

Travelling to the UK

Once you have been accepted onto your course and your short-term study visa has been granted it’s time to hop on a plane and make your way over to the UK.

The trip will be one of the most exciting step of the process, but you must keep in mind that some restrictions do apply here as well, especially if you are travelling under the age of 18.

You can travel to the UK without an adult if you are 18 or younger, as long as your parent or guardian provides you with:

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

Proof of accommodation

You also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during their stay. This includes:

  • The name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • The address where you will be living
  • Details of your relationship with the person who will be looking after you
  • Written consent from that person stating that they are happy to look after you

If you require extra care

Some visiting students need additional care. You’ll need to provide a letter from your  school confirming that it has notified the local authority with details of the visit if:

  • You are under 16
  • Your are under 18 and have a disability
  • You will be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’)

If your school has received a reply from the local authority, you’ll need to provide that too.

Travelling with an adult

If you are travelling to the UK with an adult that person needs to be identified in your visa application too. Their name will appear on the short-term study visa, which means that you will be refused entry to the UK if you arrive without that person.

There is space to identify two adults in your student visa application. In that case your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least one of them.

The adult you travel with needs to apply for their own visa. We can help them do this at the same time as you, but they will need to be processed as separate applications.

Education institutions you can study at

Where you can study

Get in touch

Let us help you

Let our immigration solicitors help you apply for your short term study visa for the best chance of a successful visa application. Call us today or request a call back for a time that is best suited for you.

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