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Medical Electives

Applicants from outside the EU/EEA who are studying a medicine degree abroad are now permitted to enter the UK on a Short-Term Study Visa to take up a clinical elective placement.

The Short-term Study 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

Student are permitted to undertake courses concurrently and consecutively within the six month period of leave granted. This means that it will be possible for visiting elective students to undertake more than one placement during their period of Short-Term Student leave, without having to leave the UK.

Whilst there are some nationalities who are eligible to apply for short-term study clearance at the UK border, we strongly advise all visiting elective students to obtain a short-term study vignette in advance of their journey to the UK. You can make your application from any overseas post.

If your require immigration advice in relation to this immigration route, please contact the Student Immigration Advice Team

Tier 4 (General) students and supplementary study

Tier 4 students who are currently studying a medical degree in the UK at another institution are permitted to enrol on elective programmes as supplementary study. As part of the application process, you are required to provide a letter from your home institution confirming that they support this period of supplementary study.