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There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on the visa you need for your studies in the UK, these can include, but are not limited to, the nationality on your passport, your age and the length of your study. This page is designed to provide you with information about visas, but please refer to https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa for further information and clarification if necessary.
If you are a citizen of a country in the European Union or the European Economic Area, or of Switzerland, you do not need to apply for a visa to enter the UK. If you are from any other country, please continue reading for more information.
The world is divided into three separate areas for the purpose of visa applications, as described below.
2. Visa Nationals
3. Non-visa Nationals
To decide if you are a member of the EU or EEA, a Visa National or a Non-visa National, please refer to this list: Visa information
There are many types of visa, but these are the main ones you need to know about. Once you have decided on the visa you need, you can apply for a visa here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa
Short Term Study Visa (6 months)
This is the normal visa used to study English. The visa lasts 6 months. It’s available for people at any level of English. A Short-term study visa is right for you if you want to do a short course of study in the UK and are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is valid for up to 6 months if you're over 18 and taking an English language course. Please note that you need to tell the visa officials how long you intend to study. If you intend to study for 4 weeks, tell them this and show them evidence of your bank account to show you have funds to support yourself for this length of course. If you intend to study for 6 months you must show funds to support yourself for 6 months. If you want to book a short course with us and then possibly extend your course, you must tell the visa officials this, show that you have the funds available, and ask us for a letter stating that you intend to extend the course to a particular date. You can only stay for 30 days after the date that your course ends, or by the end of the visa, whichever is shorter. If you stay longer than this date, you will be considered to have "overstayed" your visa and will be banned from entering the UK again.
Short Term Study Visa (11 months)
This is a special visa available if your course will last for more than 6 months. A STSV11 lasts 11 months and is available for people at any level of English. A Short-term study visa is right for you if you want to do a short course of study in the UK and are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is valid for up to 11 months if you're over 18 and taking an English language course.
Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
A Tier 4 (General) Student Visa is right for you if are 16 or over and are from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is recommended for students who need to study for longer than the 11 months a Short Term Study Visa allows.
Other Types of Visa
Standard Visitor Visa
This visa has replaced the Visitor Visa (VV) and Business Visitor Visa (BVV)
The Standard Visitor Visa primarily allows you to enter the UK for leisure, business, to take part in a sporting or creative event or to receive private medical treatment.
It is possible to study with a Standard Visitor Visa provided that your course lasts no longer than 6 weeks (30 days) and studying is not the main reason for your visit. If you want to study for longer than 6 weeks you will need a STSV even if you have a Standard Visitor Visa. You can get a STSV at the same time as an existing Standard Visitor Visa.
If you have a Diplomatic Visa you can study without any problems.
Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) Visa
This Visa will allow you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years.