Short-Term Study VISA Guide
A short-term study visa is required by students who are citizens of non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries who want to live in Britain while they attend a short course.
How long can students stay in the UK with a short-term study visa?
Students over the ages of 18 can stay for a six month course, or 11 months if attending an English language course. The 11 month English language course must be one that teaches English only and not one that includes other subjects.
Who can apply?
Students who enrol in a training course or English language course can apply. If you are taking a degree course outside of the UK, you can apply for a short-term study visa for any UK-based research you need to do as part of your degree course.
If you have failed an exam on a previously taken course in the UK, you can apply for a visa to cover your stay in Britain as you resit it.
If you are studying a PhD from your home country, and there is a PhD viva component held in the UK, then a short-term study visa can be used for this.
Bear in mind that students from some countries, mainly Middle Eastern ones, may be required to register with the police when they come to Britain on a short-term study visa.
What can’t you do with a short-term study visa?
A short-term study visa cannot be used to study at a British state school, and you cannot extend your stay after the visa expires. Dependants and family members are not covered by a short-term study visa they must apply separately.
Students on this type of visa are not allowed to work or receive any state benefits, and cannot undertake paid work. You are allowed to do voluntary activities for a registered charity or voluntary organisation, as long as this is not classed as work that requires a commitment to specific hours or a contract. As a volunteer, you can receive travel expenses and a meal allowance.
Lastly, you cannot attend a course that is longer than the time allowed on your short-term study visa.
If you are caught doing any of these banned activities, your visa could be revoked and you will be forced to leave the UK.
What are the fees?
The visa fee in 2017 is £93 for a three month visa and £179 for an 11 month visa.
How do I apply?
An application for a short-term study visa can be made three months before you are due to travel to the UK, and a decision on the visa will normally be made within three weeks. Online applications can be made via the UK government website.
You will need a letter of support confirming your place from the organisation in charge of your course, which must have an accreditation recognised by the government visas department. Before you enrol on a course, make sure that the training organisation’s accreditation is valid for visa purposes.
You will need to supply evidence that you have enough money to live on when you are in Britain. Living costs in Britain can be between £800 and £1,200 a month, or more in the capital. You will also need either a return flight booked or evidence that you will be able to afford one.
Immigration health surcharge
You may also need to pay a UK immigration health surcharge. If you’re applying for a visa from outside of the UK, you will need to pay the National Health surcharge if you’re a national of a non EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or you are applying for a visa to study in the UK. The cost of the healthcare surcharge for a student visa is £150 for every year you plan to study.
Can I go in and out of the country?
As long as you applied for your visa before you travelled to UK, you can return home and re-enter UK as many times as you want within the visa period. If you applied for the visa at a UK border point, it will be a single entry only visa.
What are the benefits of studying in the UK?
The UK has a high reputation for delivering quality education, which is why hundreds of thousands of overseas students come to UK each year to study. Though visa regulations may appear complex, most overseas students attending short-term training courses in UK should have no problem obtaining a visa.
Overseas students love coming to UK to experience its rich history and diverse culture, meet British people and get to know the way of life.
At the UK border points, as long as you have a valid entry clearance and information you supplied to support your visa application is accurate, relax! You will have your passport stamped for entry and can proceed to your course destination.