What is a Student Visitor Visa?
The Student Visitor Visa, also known as Short-Term Study Visa, is targeted at international pupils who wish to do a short course of study in the UK. This includes English language courses or other training and vocational studies.
This visa can also be requested by students who wish to do a short period of research in the UK as a part of their degree course if they are studying abroad.
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Student Visitor Visa eligibility
The Student Visitor Visa is available for those who:
- Are doing a short course of study in the UK
- Are from outside the EEA and Switzerland
- Meet all the necessary eligibility requirements
Academic visitors are not eligible for this permit, but they can apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
Short-Term Study Visa requirements
To be eligible for this visa, you must prove that you:
- Have been offered a place on a course in the UK
- Have enough money to support yourself during your stay without working or seeking help from public funds
- Are willing to get back home at the end of your course, and you can pay for your return journey.
Student Visitor Visa validity
As a general rule, you are allowed to stay in the UK for the length of your course of study. However, you may be granted an additional 30-day stay if your visa validity is less than 6 months, or no more than 11 months if you are studying an English language course.
Depending on your home country, you may not need a visa to visit the UK. In this case, you can remain in the country to study for up to 6 months without applying for a permit. If you wish to stay longer, you will need to request a Short-term Study Visa.
How to apply for a Short-Term Student Visa
You can apply for your visa online. However, you will still need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre before your request is valid.
You will get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment. Nevertheless, you can get a faster decision if you apply for the Home Office Premium service, which costs £220.
How to study in the UK as a part of an overseas course
If you are at least 16 years old, and you are studying at an overseas higher education institution, you can apply for a Short-Term Visitor Visa to do a part of your course in the UK.
Before you can enter the UK, your education institution must:
- Acquire national accreditation
- Offer its pupils the opportunity to do part of dedicated educational programmes in the UK
- Offer courses that are equivalent to a UK degree
Requesting a visa for researching in the UK
The Visitor Student Visa can also be required by those who wish to come to the UK for a short period of research, provided that they are already enrolled on an overseas degree course.
Eligible applicants must:
- Do a course that is equivalent to a UK degree
- Carry out their research at the UK recognised body
- Be at least 16 years old
Short-Term Student Visa documents
Along with your application forms, you must provide:
- Your passport or any other valid travel document
- Evidence that you hold enough funds to support yourself during your stay in the UK
- Details of your accommodation in the UK and your travel plans
- Your tuberculosis (TB) test results, if applicable
- Contact details of your parents or guardians in your home country (if you are under 18)
Any document which is not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Required additional documents
To be eligible for this visa, you must hold an offer from an educational institution in the UK. Your application portfolio must include:
- A letter of acceptance from your course of study (on official headed paper)
- Details of your previous education, such as academic certificates and transcripts
- Your English language qualifications
- Permission to travel on your own if you are under 18
- Your financial sponsor’s details, if applicable
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It usually takes 3 weeks for the Home Office to process your case and make a decision about your visa. This waiting time may be shorter if you are applying from within the UK.
If you are currently abroad, you can submit your application up to 3 months before your date of entering the country.
As a Student Visitor Visa holder, you are cannot:
- Study at a state-funded school
- Work (including work placement)
- Apply for a visa extension
- Bring your dependants with you (although your relatives can apply separately)
- Get public funds.
The Visitor Student visa costs:
- £97, if you wish to stay for up to 6 months
- £186 for an 11-month visa
Yes, you do not need to be 18 to be eligible for this visa. However, before you apply, you need to:
- Have permission from your parent or guardian to live and study in the UK
- Have made all the necessary arrangements for your travel and stay abroad