Visit to Study

  • study at an accredited institution (this includes English language courses)
  • do a short piece of research that’s relevant to your course overseas
  • do an ‘elective’ – an optional additional placement, if you’re studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, nursing or dentistry
  • sit an entrance exam, retake an exam or course module, or do a PhD oral exam (a viva)
  • do an unpaid clinical attachment if you’re a graduate from a medical, dental or nursing school
  • take the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) test or the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test

before visiting the UK for study purposes, you should:

  • check you meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor and any relevant extra eligibility requirements listed below
  • prepare any required documents that prove your eligibility
  • check if you need a visa to visit the UK
  • apply for a Standard Visitor visa online – if you need one

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    What documents can I use to prove I meet eligibility requirements?

    The documentation that you may be required to provide varies depending on the purpose of your study visit. For instance, if you are visiting to do a short piece of research, you must prove that

    • you’re at least 16 years old
    • you’re already enrolled on a course overseas that is the equivalent of a UK degree
    • you’ve been accepted by a UK higher education institution to take part in research that’s relevant to the course you’re studying overseas

    You will also need to provide confirmation from your overseas course provider that the research or research tuition is part of, or relevant to, the course you’re doing overseas.

    If you want to study for more than 6 months, you will need to apply for either a:

    • Short-term study visa – for English Language courses up to 11 months
    • Student visa – for courses run by licensed student sponsors or
    • Child Student visa – to study at an independent school if you’re between 4 and 17 years old.

    Short-term Study visa

    You can apply for a Short-term study visa to study English language in the UK. This visa is for English language courses lasting longer than 6 months and up to 11 months. You can stay in the UK for the length of your course plus an extra 30 days as long as your stay is no longer than 11 months.

    The application costs £186. You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your online application. It usually costs £470. This is so you can use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

    You cannot extend further your initial period of a UK Short-term Study visa.

    You are not permitted to study on any other course or change your course while in the UK:

    • study at a state-funded school,
    • work or carry out any business (this includes paid or unpaid work, work experience or work placements),
    • extend this visa,
    • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on this visa or
    • apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension.

    To be able to apply, you must be 16 years or older. You must also prove that:

    • you have been accepted onto an English language course that lasts 11 months or less and includes no other subjects,
    • your course is with an accredited institution,
    • you have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you and you can pay for your return or onward journey.
    • If you are under 18 you must also have made arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK and have the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK.
    • You must also provide proof of your earlier education, English language skills, school letter confirming that the UK local authority is informed about your visit along with details of accommodation.
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