Short-term student 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.

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 their 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

The short-term student 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.

If you are coming to the UK for a short period of full-time study and planning to continue onto further full-time studies in the UK (eg taking a pre-sessional course followed by a full-time Master’s programme), you should apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

If you don't have to obtain a visa before your arrival to the UK (check the Home Office visa national list to find out if this applies to you) and you 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.

Find more information at the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.

Visa restrictions

  • 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.

Required documents

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.