Studying in the UK


A Short term study visa is an academic subcategory visa meant for prospective students who have been accepted in a short term course of 6 to 11 months. The ordinary 'short-term student' category will allow you to come to the UK if you are 18 years or older, and want to enter:

  • for up to 6 months to study a short course OR
  • for up to 11 months to study an English language course OR
  • if you are enrolled on a course abroad that is at least equivalent to the level of a UK bachelor's degree, you can enter for up to 6 months to do research, or to receive tuition on how to conduct research, at a UK institution
The 'short-term student (child)'; category will allow you to come to the UK if you are under 18 years old and want to enter for up to 6 months to study a course.

To qualify under this category 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 financially and accommodate 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 either of the following:
  • A Tier 4 sponsor licence.
  • 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)
  • 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 18 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, doesn’t count.

Visiting the UK as part of an overseas course
You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you’re at least 18 years old and studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your course is in the UK. To qualify 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 18 years old
Visa Conditions
As a short-term student, you must leave the UK on or before the date that your immigration permission ends. Short-term students are not allowed to apply to switch into any other immigration category while still in the UK. If you wish to continue studying in the UK after your immigration permission as a short-term student has come to an end, you will need to return home and apply for entry clearance as a Tier 4 student, or in another appropriate immigration category.
Furthermore you cannot do any kind of work, work placement or work experience during your studies in the UK. If you want to be allowed to work in the UK during your studies, you will need to apply to enter the UK as a Tier 4 student or in another appropriate immigration category instead.

The immigration rules do not allow a short-term student to bring family members to the UK, because there is no such category as 'dependant of a short-term student'.
Therefore, if you are applying as a short-term student and you have a spouse, partner, child or other person who wants to come with you to the UK, they must apply to come to the UK in their own right as standard visitors.
A standard visitor will be granted a maximum of 6 months' immigration permission, even if you have been granted immigration permission for more than 6 months. They will not be allowed to work or study (although in certain circumstances study of up to 30 days is allowed). If they want to study, they should also apply as a short-term student.

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