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Short-term Student Visa



This visa is for short periods of study in the UK. You should apply for this visa if the following circumstances apply to you:

  • Your programme of study is 6 months or less in duration and you do not need a Tier 4 visa
  • Your programme of study is by distance but requires you to be in the UK for face to face study for a period of 6 months or less and you do not need a Tier 4 visa
  • You are required to take resits and you need to be in the UK for 6 months or less

The Short-term Student Visitor visa is generally easier to obtain than a Tier 4 visa but does have some limitations, these are as follows:

  • You cannot switch into another visa category once you are in the UK. That means you must leave the UK on or before the visa expiry
  • You are not allowed to work in the UK
  • You are not covered under the NHS (National Health Service), this means you will need to make sure you have adequate medical insurance to cover your stay in the UK
  • You cannot bring dependants with you

Can I get a Short-term Student visa on entry to UK?

Depending on your nationality you may not have to apply for this visa in advance of entering the UK. The UK separates countries into two categories for visitor visas: non-visa nationals and visa nationals.

  • Non-visa nationals do not need to apply for this visa before entering the UK. All they need to do is ask for a Short-term Student visa stamp at the immigration desk when entering the UK. You can obtain this visa upon entry to the UK from any country of departure. It is still advisable to have all the necessary documents required in case you need to show them. 
  • If you are a visa national then you must apply for this visa before entering the UK.

Making your application

For information and guidance about how to apply for a Short-term Student visa and the documents you will need to prepare please see our guidance document.


For further information and guidance please contact UCLU Rights & Advice.

Page last modified on 05 may 15 12:14