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Student Visa requirements
This section describes the immigration category of student visitor, and explains who can come to the UK as a student visitor. If you are an adult and you want to undertake a short course of study in the UK (such as a beginner's English Language course or a work-related training course), you may be able to come here as a student visitor.
If you want to study a longer course, or you want to work (including on a work placement) alongside your studies, you should apply under Tier 4 of the points-based system. Student visitors are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course). When you enter the UK, we will stamp the duration of your permission to stay in your passport. You cannot extend your stay beyond this period.
Can you come to the UK as a student visitor?
To come to the UK as a student visitor, you must have been accepted on a course of study in the UK. The institution that provides the course must be:
- a licensed sponsor under Tier 4 of the points-based system - you can download a list (or 'register') of sponsors from the right side of this page; or
- accredited by Accreditation UK or the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS), which offer accreditation service for providers of English Language courses; or
- accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) or the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC), which offer accreditation for a range of institutions and courses; or
- inspected or audited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland), Estyn (in Wales), the Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland) or the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI); or
- an overseas higher education institution which offers only part of its programmes in the UK, holds its own national accreditation, and offers programmes of an equivalent level to a UK degree.
You must not intend to study at a maintained school. You must show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:
- take paid or unpaid employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directly to members of the public;
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership;
- carry out the activities of a business visitor, a sports visitor or an entertainer visitor; or
- receive private medical treatment.
You must also be able to show that:
- you are 18 or over;
- you intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months (or 11 months if you will be undertaking an English Language course - see below);
- you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- you have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
- you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and
- you are not in transit to a country outside the 'Common Travel Area' (Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).
Do you need a visa as a student visitor?
This page explains whether you will need to obtain a visa before you come to the UK as a student visitor. You will need a visa if you:
- want to come to the UK for more than 6 months (up to a maximum of 11 months) to study an English Language course; or
- are a visa national (see 'More information' below); or
- are stateless (you do not have a nationality); or
- hold a non-national travel document (a travel document which does not give you the nationality of the country that issued it); or
- hold a passport issued by an authority that is not recognised in the UK.
Refusals and appeals
This page explains what you can do if we refuse to allow you to enter the UK as a student visitor. We will make a decision by carefully checking your visa application, immigration history and supporting documents, to see whether you meet the Immigration Rules. If our visa officer or immigration officer cannot make an immediate decision, they may need to interview you.
Applications to enter the UK
If we refuse your application, our immigration officer or entry clearance officer will send or give you a notice of refusal. This document will list the reasons for the refusal, and will tell you whether you have the right to appeal. The notice will also give you advice on where to send your appeal. You can find more detailed information in our Appeals application guide.
If we refuse your application to come to the UK for between 6 and 11 months to study an English Language course, your right of appeal is limited to human rights and/or race relations grounds only, in accordance with Sections 84(1)(b) and (c) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.
We will make a decision by carefully checking your application, immigration history and supporting documents, to see whether you meet the Immigration Rules. If we cannot make an immediate decision, we may need to interview you.
If we refuse your application for a visa or to enter the UK, our immigration officer or entry clearance officer will send or give you a notice of refusal. This document will list the reasons for the refusal, and will tell you whether you have the right to appeal. The notice will also give you advice on where to send your appeal. You can find more detailed information on our Appeals page.
For more information, please contact one of our offices
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