Short-term study visa - Study English in the UK
You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you are coming to the UK to study an English language course which is longer than 6 months but no longer than 11 months.
If your course is 6 months or shorter, you will not qualify for a Short-term study visa and should apply under the Visitor visa route instead.
If your course is longer than 11 months, you will need to apply for a Student visa instead.
You must have been accepted on an accredited English language course before you apply for a Short-term study visa – you will be asked to prove this in your visa application.
Here are some basic facts about the Short-term study visa:
- You must be 16 or over to apply
- You have to apply for this visa from outside the UK
- You must obtain this visa before travelling to the UK
- This visa costs £186
- You also need to pay a health surcharge: usually £470
If granted, the Short-term study visa will impose certain responsibilities and restrictions on the student while in the UK. Under the Short-term study route:
- You cannot work or engage in any business activities
- You must study on the course your visa was granted for
- You must leave the UK within 30 days of completing your study and before your visa expires
- You cannot extend this visa or switch to a different visa in the UK
- You cannot use this visa for frequent or successive visits to the UK
- You may be required to register with the Police once in the UK (see: Police registration)
How to apply for a Short-term study visa
- You need to be outside the UK to apply
- The application form is submitted online
- You will need to pay a visa application fee (£186) and the Immigration Health Surcharge (£470) during the application
- You will be asked to book and attend a biometrics appointment at a local Visa Application Centre
- Current passport with a blank page for your visa
- Written evidence of acceptance onto an English language course
- Financial evidence, showing that you have enough money for your living costs for the duration of your stay in the UK
- Evidence that you paid your course fees or that you have sufficient funds to pay them
- Written consent from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s), if you are under 18
- Tuberculosis test results, if required (this depends on the country where you live, check here)
- Before applying, make sure that you are eligible and you have all the required documents
- To commence your application, go to the government website and click “Apply now”
- Confirm your visa type: Short-term study visa
- Select the country where you will provide your biometrics – this is the country in which you will attend an appointment to provide your fingerprints, photograph, and supporting documents; this will usually be the country where you live, or a neighbouring country, if there are no Visa Application Centres in your country
- You will then need to register your email to be able to access your application at a later stage: please make sure your email is correct
- The application form will ask for your personal information, contact details, details of your passport, your course details, your travel history, your planned arrival date in the UK, etc. You must answer all questions honestly and in line with information provided on your offer letter. If you are not sure how to answer a certain question, contact us for help ([email protected])
- After you complete the application form, you will be asked to make two payments:
- Immigration Health Surcharge (which allows you to access most NHS services free of charge when in the UK): £470
- Visa application fee: £186
- Once the required payments have been made, the application form is submitted
- At this stage, you will be asked to book a biometrics appointment: you must attend this appointment to validate your visa application; you will need to check instructions given by your specific Visa Application Centre for more details
After you’ve applied
If you applied using a Standard visa processing service, UK Visas and Immigration state that it will take around 3 weeks counting from the date of your biometrics appointment to receive a decision on your application.
If your application is successful, you will receive an Entry Clearance visa vignette, which will be placed in your passport. This visa will be valid for 30 or 90 days – check the validity dates in the top right corner of your visa vignette. The validity dates will be the dates during which you need to enter the UK to validate your visa.
If for any reason your application is refused, you must let us know. We will provide guidance on next steps available to you.
Arriving in the UK
At the border
Once your application is successful, an Entry Clearance visa vignette will be endorsed in your passport. This visa vignette will be valid for 30 or 90 days (check the validity dates in the top right corner of your visa). This is the period of time during which you are required to enter the UK to validate your visa. This is based on the information which you provide on your application; namely, your course start date and your planned date of arrival in the UK.
Please make sure not to use E-gates on your arrival. Instead, please go through the standard Border Control queue. When you speak to the Border Control Officer, make sure to tell them you are coming to the UK to study on an English language course and to show them your Entry Clearance visa. We recommend you have your course details and your accommodation details on hand, as you may be asked about these.
The Border Control Officer will need to stamp your visa vignette with the date of your arrival. If the Border Control Officer does not stamp your visa, please ask them politely for the stamp, saying that you were instructed by your University to obtain a stamp.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
Your visa vignette will not be valid for the whole duration of your stay. Instead, once you are in the UK, you will be required to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) – this will be an official document confirming your rights in the UK. Please keep it safe and make sure that all the details printed on it are correct. If there is an error on your BRP, please contact an Immigration Advisor at Regent’s for further guidance.
You may be required to book an appointment to register with the Police within 7 days of your arrival to the UK. This will depend on your nationality. For more details, check our Police Registration page.
Q: How long does it take to get a Short-term study visa?
A: UKVI confirms that you should receive a decision on your application within 3 weeks (15 working days) of attending your biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Centre.
Q: How long can I stay in the UK?
A: Your visa will be granted for 11 months, but UKVI confirms that you need to leave the UK within 30 days of completing your course and before your visa expires.
Q: Can I undertake an unpaid internship during my stay in the UK?
A: No – Short-term study visa does not permit you to do any type of work in the UK (including unpaid work and volunteering).
Q: Can I undertake a supplementary study during my stay in the UK?
A: No – one of the conditions of this visa states that you must study only on the course for which the permission was granted.
Q: How much money do I need to show in my application?
A: Unlike some other visa types, there isn’t a specific amount you are required to show when applying under the Short-term visa route; however, you need to evidence that you have enough money for your living costs (accommodation, maintenance) and to pay for your course, if you haven’t paid yet. As a reasonable guide, you can use the monthly amount required of students applying under Student visa, which is £1,334 per month for London-based studies.
Q: Can I extend this visa in the UK?
A: No – Short-term study visas cannot be extended in the UK. If you wish to make another visa application to stay longer, you will need to leave the UK and apply from overseas.