Study for less than 6 months

From 1 December 2020, the Visitor visa will replace the Short-term study visa for students coming to study in the UK for up to 6 months.

This visa will apply to international students, as well as EU, EEA and Swiss students who have not secured Settled or Pre-Settled Status and enter the UK on or after 11 pm on 31 December 2020.

The Short-term study visa will only be applicable to students coming to study English language courses lasting between 6 and 11 months.

Visitor visa

From 9 am (British time) on 1 December 2020, the Visitor visa will replace the Short-term study visa for students coming to study in the UK for up to six months.

Students on a visitor visa may also undertake research visits or educational exchanges or visits lasting up to 6 months.

The Visitor visa also allows academic visitors who are experts in their field, and were working in that field in an academic or Higher Education institution overseas prior to arrival in the UK, to extend their permission to stay in the UK up to a total of 12 months. Previously, only academics who were undertaking their own research in the UK whilst on sabbatical leave could extend their permission to stay beyond six months.

Additionally, a Visitor visa permits attendance at recreational courses undertaken for leisure that may not lead to a qualification nor include English Language training, for a maximum of 30 days.

Applicants to the Visitor visa will need to prove that they have enough money to cover all reasonable costs of their visit.

Under a Visitor visa, students do not have to see a Border Force officer on arrival if they are permitted to use automatic ePassport gates.

This visa is also appropriate for tourism or family visits for up to 6 months.

Short-term study visa

From 1 December 2020, the Short-term study visa will only be applicable to students coming to study an English language course that is between 6 and 11 months long at an accredited institution. Students cannot study any other subject under this visa and must leave the UK within 30 days of the end of their course, or at the end of 11 months, whichever comes first.

Students on a Short-term study visa must apply for entry clearance before coming into the UK and must have enough money to cover their fees, living costs, accommodation costs and cost of return or onward journey.