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Standard Visitor Visas

International students travelling to the UK on a standard visitor visa are allowed to study any course at an accredited institution for up to 6 months. If you don’t need a visa to visit the UK, then you can study for up to 6 months without a visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Standard Visitor Visa?

A Standard Visitor Visa allows non-UK citizens to visit the UK for up to 6 months for a variety of reasons, including leisure, business, cultural & sporting events, private medical treatment and study. It is issued outside the provisions of the UK's Points Based System (PBS) for immigration.

Do I need a visa to visit the UK?

You don’t need a visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months if you are a national of a non-visa country. A list of non-visa countries is provided on the UK Government website and currently includes all countries within the EU and many other countries (e.g. Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico etc.). If you are a citizen of a country that is not listed, then you will need a visa to visit the UK.

What are the requirements for getting a Standard Visitor Visa?

The most important requirements for obtaining a Standard Visitor Visa for the purposes of study in the UK are:

  • You must provide documentary evidence to prove that your planned activities in the UK are allowed by the visitor rules (i.e. show you have been accepted onto a course of study by an accredited education provider).
  • The course must be no longer than 6 months in duration.
  • You must prove you can pay for your course and support yourself during your studies.
  • You must show that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and that you have the funds to pay for your return or onward journey.

When assessing your visa application, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) may take into consideration other factors (e.g. whether you have been refused a visa or refused entry to the UK in the past).

Can I work while I study with a Standard Visitor Visa?

No. A Standard Visitor Visa will not allow you to undertake any employment while you study, even unpaid placements and internships.

Can I bring family members to the UK while I study?

You can bring dependants (e.g. spouse and/or children), provided you can prove you have the funds to support them for the duration of your visit.

Can I extend my visa from within the UK?

No. If you progress to another course (e.g. a foundation course to a bachelor's degree or a pre-master's to a master's), you must return to your own country and apply for a UK Student Visa from there.

How long does it take to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?

The time taken to get a Standard Visitor Visa depends on the country you apply from, but the UK Government advises that you should get a decision within 3 weeks.

Can I speed up the visa process?

Yes. In most countries, you can pay an additional fee to get a faster decision on your application. Use the Priority Visa Service for a decision within 5 working days of your visa appointment, or the Super Priority Service for a decision within 24 hours.

Also In This Section

Further Information

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for guidance only. You should always check with the UK Government's Website (Visas & Immigration) for the latest information before applying for a student visa. Failure to follow the correct procedures is likely to result in your application being refused and could affect your ability to obtain a visa in the future.

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