If you are coming to the UK to study for 6 months or less, you may have the option to apply for a visitor visa but you must still meet the study requirements.
Who can apply
Whether you can apply depends on what you are studying and how long you are studying for. You can find a list of the sorts of study you can do on a Visitor visa on UKCISA’s website.
To study or research certain subjects, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. You need to apply for the ATAS certificate before starting your course.
Who needs to apply before coming to the UK?
Whether you need to apply for a visa depends on your nationality and what you plan to do in the UK. You must check beforehand if you need to apply for a UK visa and you can do so here. If you see an asterisk next to your country, open the heading 'Exceptions to the list of visa nationals' to see if you fall into any of the exceptions listed there.
If you need a visa, you must apply online before you come to the UK. As part of your application, you will need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove your identity and provide your documents. Allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country. The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application. The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel.
You can find a list of the supporting documents you will need on the Gov UK website.
Original documents and translations
All supporting documents must meet the Home Office's requirements.
If your bank statement or any other documents are not in English, you will be required to send the original along with a fully certified translation by a professional translator. This translation must include the following details:
- Details of the translator's credentials
- Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The translator's contact details
- The date and original signature of the translator
If you are not sure how to get your document translated you can contact Student Life who can provide you with a list of translation services.
How to apply
If you are applying for a Visitor visa before you travel to the UK, you will need to apply online.
If you require help with your application form, you can the Student Life team (email@example.com) with any questions. They can also look at your supporting documents, if you send an electronic copy to the team.
If you are coming to study in the UK for less than 6 months or you have not been covered under the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), you cannot access the NHS free of charge. This includes anyone on a Visitor visa.
Some people can access free hospital care. You can check whether you can or not on UKCISA’s page under ‘People who don’t pay hospital fees'.
Accessing medical treatment (other than if you are entitled to free hospital care) is not allowed as a visitor and you will need to get private medical insurance for your time in the UK. You must take out private healthcare insurance that covers your stay in the UK before travelling to the UK.
How can I find out more?
The Student Life team have a help guide to assist you in preparing for your visa application. You can obtain this document by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are welcome to contact us at any point if you are unsure of anything, have a query related to your supporting documents or a query related to your visa application.
Useful resources and contact details
- Student Life Team – email@example.com
- UKCISA – advice on visas, immigration and life in the UK
- UKCISA Student Advice Line – this is open from Monday to Friday 1.00pm to 4.00pm (UK time)
- Gov UK – information on the Visitor visa
- ATAS – Academic Technology Approval Scheme
- OANDA – Currency Converter website