International Students

Short-Term Visa Outside the UK

Short-Term Study Visa from Outside the UK

Find out about Short-Term Study Visas and how to apply for one from outside the UK.

What is a Short-term Study Visa?

You can apply for a Short Term Study Visa to do any of the following:

  • a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course
  • a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad

You can not:

  • study at a state school
  • work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business
  • extend this visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you - they must apply separately as visitors
  • get public funds

How long I can stay in UK?

You can stay in the UK for:

  • 6 months - for any short course (including English language courses), or short period of research if you are 18 years old or over 
  • 11 months - if you are 18 years old or over and taking an English language course

This type of visa cannot be extended and you cannot switch into any other immigration categories from inside the UK. If you are planning to study for longer than 6 months (or 11 months for English language students only) then you should apply for a Tier 4 visa instead.

You must intend to leave the UK within 30 days of end of your programme of study or at the end of the 6 month period of leave granted.

You should not add additional study after arrival in the UK that will last in excess of the 30 day period at the end of the original period of entry requested.

If you intend to study on more than one programme of study on a single period of leave as a Short Term Student, you should state this within you visa application, and present all relevant visa letters.

How to apply for a Short-term Study Visa?

Most students should apply for a Short-term Study visa before travelling to the UK. This is known as an entry clearance application.

However, if you are from a country that does not require a visa to come to the UK for short-term study, then you can apply for leave to enter as a short-term student upon arrival in the UK. There is no fee charged for this.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some undergraduate and postgraduate courses you will require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you can study in the UK. When you receive an offer for your programme of study, and if your programme requires ATAS, this will be stated on your offer letter.

If your programme of study requires ATAS, you must obtain ATAS approval prior to making the visa application.

If you are applying for Entry Clearance, you must submit the ATAS certificate as part of your visa application.

If you are seeking a Short-term Study visa on arrival in the UK, you should present the ATAS certificate to the immigration officer upon entry.

You can apply for ATAS online from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.