If you want to come to the UK to study a course for less than 6 months, you can choose to get a Student Visitor visa instead of a Tier 4 visa.
You can get a visa that will be valid for 6 months to study in the UK, however the course must be less than 6 months long. If you are studying on an exchange programme at UEA for one semester, you can get this visa. However, we do not recommend you to get a Student Visitor visa, and encourage you to apply for a Tier 4 visa before coming to the UK. You must leave the UK on or before the visa expires.
About the Student Visitor Visa
- The visa will be valid for 6 months
- You must leave when you visa expires
- Non-Visa nationals can get the visa at the port of entry
- Visa nationals must apply for the visa before travelling to the UK
- You must meet the requirements and have the correct documents when entering the UK and/or applying for the visa
- You cannot work or carry out any business in the UK
- You cannot extend this visa
- You cannot apply for another type of visa for the UK
- You cannot bring your family members (dependants)
- You cannot get public funds
- You cannot marry or register a civil partnership
You are not allowed to do paid or unpaid work. This also includes work placements as part of a course. If you decide you want to do another course in the UK, you must leave the UK and apply for a Tier 4 visa from your home country. This includes extending your study abroad programme from one semester to a full year.
If you are a non-visa national (i.e. from a country that does not need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to the UK), then you can get your Student Visitor visa at the port of entry (e.g. airport) when you enter the UK. This will be a stamp in your passport. You can also apply for an Entry Clearance Visa before travelling to ensure you will have a Student Visitor visa. There is not a fee for getting your visa at the port of entry.
It is essential that you get a Student Visitor visa, as this will allow you to study. If you get a General Visitor visa (tourist visa), you will not be allowed to study at UEA. You need to meet the requirements and have the correct documents to show the immigration officer.
Ask the immigration officer to give you a Student Visitor visa and make sure you give them your letter confirming your place on the course at UEA. It is also recommended that you check that the stamp they gave you in your passport will allow you to study.
The visa start date will be the date you enter the country, and last for 6 months.
If you are a visa national, you must apply online* and get your visa before travelling to the UK.
Find a list of visa nationals here.
*Most countries will apply online, however a few countries cannot (as of March 2014 these are Cuba and North Korea).
When applying online it can be confusing to select the correct visa type. To help you, when you are completing the page 'You are applying for Yourself' under 'Select Visa Type' choose the following:
|Reason for Visit||Visit|
|Visa Type||Special Visitor|
|Visa Sub Type||(Special) Student visitor, up to 6 months|
You must be at least 18 years old
Your period of study in the UK must be completed within 6 months
You must be able to prove you have enough money to support yourself while in the UK, including your tuition fees, accommodation, living expensive and your return/onward travel.
You must have an unconditional offer to study in the UK
There is not an English language requirement for this visa.
For more information and to apply for a Student Visitor visa before coming to the UK visit the GOV.UK website.
UKCISA's Student Visitor visa pages are a good resource to get more information.