If you are deemed to be a 'non-visa national', you do not need to apply for an STSV in advance before you travel to the UK. However, it is important that you bring certain types of documentation with you to show at the UK border, in order to gain an STSV stamp.
You can travel to the UK and present official documentation to immigration border officers upon arrival, where you will receive a visa stamp in your passport.
It is very important that you check the stamp you receive to ensure it is an STSV stamp and not a general visitor stamp.
To avoid being stamped as a 'general visitor', you must have the following documentation with you to present to immigration border officers:
If you are entering the UK on an STSV:
If you arrive to study for one term at Regent’s as part of an exchange/study abroad programme on an STSV, and then decide you wish to complete a second term at Regent’s, you will not be able to extend your current STSV inside the UK.
You must return to your country of residence and apply for a Tier 4 student visa for the second term. You cannot apply for two consecutive STSVs, this is not permitted by the UKVI.
If you complete a pre-sessional English course on an STSV, you must return to your home country to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa before you can continue to your degree programme.
There is an option to request a single Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) to cover the pre-sessional English course that allows you to apply for your new Tier 4 visa to study the degree-level programme from within the UK.
However, you must ensure that you fulfil the Tier 4 requirements if you want to use this option.