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Short-term study visa

This visa allows students who are 16 years old and over to enter the UK to study a short course of no more than six months. You must intend to leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your course(s) or at the end of six months, whichever is the earliest.

The short-term study route can also be used if you are re-sitting an examination, retaking a module or attending your viva (oral examination) if you are a postgraduate student. The study period must not exceed six months on any one occasion within a 12-month period.

If you are coming to the UK for a short period of full-time study and planning to continue on to further full-time studies in the UK (e.g. taking a pre-sessional course followed by a full-time Master’s programme), you should apply for a Student visa.

Distance learning

  • If you are studying a distance learning course that is longer than six months, you may be eligible to apply for a short-term study visa.
  • In order to obtain the visa, you must not study in the UK for longer than 56 days in any six-month period.

Additional requirements for 16- and 17-year-olds

  • If you are aged 16 or 17, you must also:
    • show that suitable arrangements have been made for your travel to, reception and care in the UK
    • have a parent or guardian in your home country who is responsible for your care and who confirms that they consent to the arrangements for your travel, reception and care in the UK.

How and when to apply

  • You can apply up to three months before the date that you intend to travel to the UK.
  • Depending on where you live, you may be able to make your application online.
  • Some students will be able to apply for their visa upon arrival to the UK (non-visa nationals) - others will need to apply in their countries of residence before travelling to the UK (visa nationals). Please check the Home Office visa national list to find out which category applies to you.
  • If you are a non-visa national and are planning to request a short-term study visa upon arrival in the UK, you must include the relevant documents in your hand luggage and speak to an immigration officer when you arrive.


  • Nationals of the following countries are able to enter the UK using the eGates system:
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • USA.
  • However, if you are a national of one of these countries and require a short-term study visa, you must not enter using an eGate. Please see a Border Force officer at passport control and ask for a short-term student stamp in your passport. You can print a a passport stamp request form to hand to the officer if you wish.
  • If you enter the UK using an eGate, you will automatically be given a standard visitor visa which does not permit you to study for more than 30 days.

Required documents


  • This visa has certain restrictions which include the following:
    • You must leave the UK at the end of six months or within 30 days of the end of your course(s) (whichever is sooner).
    • You will not be able to work here - this includes paid, unpaid and voluntary work, and work placements.
    • You cannot bring your dependant(s).
    • This visa cannot be renewed or switched to a different visa category in the UK.


  • Once you arrive in the UK, you will need to present your original passport and visa at the Student Advice Service before beginning your studies.
  • The International Student Administration team will contact you before your visa expiry date to remind you of your requirement to leave the UK before the end of your visa or within 30 days of the end of your studies, whichever is sooner.

You can find more information on short-term study visas on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.