Short-term study visa for courses up to 6 months Short-term study visa for courses up to 6 months


If you are coming to the UK to study for 6 months or less, you may have the option to apply for a Short-term study visa.

A Short-term study visa is only usually applicable to students participating in an undergraduate one-semester study abroad programme, UEA summer school programme, a visiting researcher, or for existing students requiring re-assessment. However, it could also be an option for other short-term programmes that are less than 6 months.

About the Short-term study visa

  • The visa will be valid for 6 months
  • You must leave when your visa expires
  • 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 in the UK
  • You must have private healthcare insurance, as you will be responsible for all your healthcare costs
  • 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 to apply for a Tier 4 visa. This includes extending your study abroad programme from one semester to a full year.

Non-Visa Nationals

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 Short-term study visa at the port of entry (e.g. airport) when you enter the UK. This will be a stamp in your passport. However, we recommend that you apply for a Short-term study visa before you travel to the UK.

It is essential that you get a Short-term study visa, as this will allow you to study. If you get a Standard Visitor visa (tourist visa), you will not be allowed to study at UEA. Inform the immigration officer that you need a Short-term study visa and make sure you give them your letter confirming your place on the course at UEA. It is also recommended that you check the stamp in your passport when the immigration officer hands your passport to you. Find examples of visa stamps here

You need to meet the requirements and have the correct documents to show the immigration officer, so keep them in your hand luggage. See the requirements below.

The visa start date will be the date you enter the country, and last for 6 months.

Visa Nationals

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.

In the Immigration Rules Appendix V: visitor rule, look under APPENDIX 2. VISA NATIONAL LIST.

*Most countries will apply online, however a few countries cannot (as of March 2014 these are Cuba and North Korea).

Applying for a Short-term Study Visa

If you are applying for a Short-term study visa before you travel to the UK, you will need apply online. It can be confusing to find the correct visa type to apply for, so to help you follow the example below to find the correct form. When completing the page 'You are applying for Yourself' under 'Select Visa Type' choose the following:

Question Select
Reason for Visit       Study
Visa Type Study (non Points-Based System)
Visa Sub Type Study - Short-term student 6 months

You should then get a visa type "(Special) Student visitor 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 expenses 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.

Useful Resources

For more information and to apply for a Short-term study visa before coming to the UK visit the GOV.UK website.
UKCISA's Short-term study visa pages are a good resource to get more information.