If you wish to do a short course of study, for instance to learn English, or a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad, you can apply for a Short Term Study visa.

The maximum duration of the course and of your stay in the UK and is:

  • 6 months: for any short course (including English language courses) at any age;
  • 6 months: for a short period of research and you are 18 years old or over;
  • 11 months: for only English language courses and you are 18 years old or over.

The duration of the visa cannot be extended. If you intend to extend your visa, you will need to apply for Tier 4 (General) Student Visa under the Point Based System.

Short term study visitors have no work entitlements and cannot bring with them any dependants.

You cannot switch into Tier 4 if you are in the UK as a child visitor or student visitor: you will need to leave the UK at the end of the short course and apply from overseas for permission to study your main course here.

You have no right to administrative review in case of refusal of a Short Term Study Visa.

Eligibility criteria

As well as the normal requirements for visit visas (‘How to successfully apply for a visit visa’), to come to the UK under this category, you must show that:

  • you have been accepted on a course of study provided by an education provider that is:
    • a licensed sponsor under Tier 4 of the points-based system; or
  • if you coming for a short research period, you must be already enrolled in an overseas degree course of an equivalent level to a UK degree and you must be carrying out the research at a UK recognized body or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institution;

You must also show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:

  • take up employment in the UK (including part-time or full-time vacation employment);
  • engage in business, produce or sell goods or provide or sell services within the UK;
  • study at a government-funded school;
  • undertake a work placement or internship (paid or unpaid) as part of your course of study;
  • extend your stay in the UK;
  • marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership;
  • carry out the activities of a business visitor, sports visitor or an entertainer visitor; or
  • receive private medical treatment.

As supporting documents, besides the normal requirements, you need to provide:

  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans
  • Evidence that you have been unconditionally accepted or enrolled on a course of study in the UK i.e. a letter from the school or university;
  • Evidence of any previous study or qualifications gained in the UK;
  • Evidence of any English language ability or qualifications e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic;

If you are under 18 you must also provide:

  • contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country;
  • if you are travelling alone or with an adult who is not your parent or legal guardian, you need to provide the documents required for a Standard Visitor Visa under the same circumstances (see the Standard Visitor Visa section)

Application and fees

You can apply for this visa up to 3 months before the course starts.

The fees for this visa are:

  • £93 for a 6 month visa;
  • £179 for an 11 month visa.