Short-term study visa

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You can apply for a Short-term Study visa if you are studying a course for less than six months, or you are attending tutorials for a distance learning programme.

This visa can usually only be applied for once every 12 months. Therefore, if you are on a distance learning course, you can only attend tutorials that fall within the six month visa validity period. Check with a University Immigration Adviser for more information - see Immigration advice for contact details. 

This visa is cheaper than the Tier 4 Student visa, but comes with the following disadvantages:

  • You are unable to take employment in the UK
  • You are unable to change your visa category from within the UK - if your course is extended beyond six months or you want to study a different course, you must return home and apply for a Tier 4 student visa before you can continue with your study
  • You are not permitted to bring dependants to the UK 

How to apply for a Short-term Study visa

Documents that you should provide in support of your application include:

  • University letter confirming course of study and including the Tier 4 sponsor license number
  • Bank statements 
  • Accommodation letter
  • Distance learners should ask for a letter from their department confirming the dates of tutorials and also the University's Tier 4 sponsor license number

If you are classed as a 'non-visa national' and will be in the UK six months or less, you can apply for a Short-term Study visa at the airport or other port of entry in the UK - you must have your supporting documents with you. If you are not sure if you are a 'non-visa national', you can check if you need a UK visa ( Please note that nationals who are eligible to enter the UK via eGates at the port of entry, cannot be issued with a Short-term Study visa in this way. You must join the usual immigration queue for non-EU nationals and ask a Border Force official to issue the stamp in your passport. We would recommend that you apply for the Short-term Study visa before leaving home to avoid any problems on arrival in the UK.