Student visitor visas are for:
- part time or full time courses of less than 6 months
- English language courses of less than 11 months (part-time or full-time)
- courses where study takes place overseas but require defined short periods of attendance at the University (max 6 months in one year)
You should not apply for a student visitor visa if you are coming to take a pre-sessional English language course at the University. You will need a Tier 4 visa so that you can extend it in the UK.
Student visitor restrictions
- you are not allowed to work (paid or unpaid) during your stay
- you will not be able to extend your stay in the UK
- you should expect to answer questions about your studies in the UK by immigration officers and should carry student status and finance documents in your hand luggage.
- immigration permission to enter the UK that is obtained on arrival in the UK by non-visa nationals expires when you leave the UK. You will need to request new permission if you return
Visa nationals must always apply before arriving in the UK. Applications should be made through your nearest British embassy.
Non-visa nationals coming for less than 6 months and studying part time or full time courses, can apply for permission to enter on arrival. You must carry your letter from the University detailing your study dates in your hand luggage.
You can also apply before you come. This is uncommon, but can be helpful if you plan to leave the UK frequently during your stay for short trips as it does not expire when you leave the UK. Permission to enter obtained on arrival in the UK expires every time you leave the UK. The embassy may encourage you to apply on arrival in the UK, but you do have the right to apply for entry clearance if you wish to.
You are strongly advised to check at your nearest British mission (embassy/consultate) for information on which visa you should apply for.
- a letter from the University with details of your course. Contact your department if you do not have this.
- bank statements showing finances
- UKBA information on supporting documents
Check the UKCISA information on making an immigration application as a student visitor.
Other visitor categories
The UK Border Agency provides information on other visitor categories, such as academic visitor.
It is your responsibility to obtain the correct visa. Processing times at British missions may be lengthy, you should apply for a visa in good time.