Student Visitor visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You can apply for a Student Visitor visa if:

  • you’re doing a short course of study in the UK
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

How long you can stay if you application is successful

You can stay in the UK for:

  • 6 months - for any short course including English language courses
  • 11 months - an extended visa for English language courses only


You must prove that you:

  • are 18 or over
  • have been offered a place on a course in the UK at an accepted place of study
  • have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
  • can pay for your return or onward journey

You may be able to apply for a Child Visitor visa if you’re under 18.

Where you can study

You must be accepted on a course taught by an organisation that is licensed to sponsor Tier 4 migrants or accredited by one of the following:

  • Accreditation UK
  • Accreditation Body for Language Services
  • British Accreditation Council
  • Accreditation Service for International Colleges

Otherwise your course will need to be held at an educational institution listed by one of the following:

  • Bridge School Inspectorate
  • Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland)
  • Estyn (in Wales)
  • HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland)
  • Independent Schools Inspectorate
  • Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • Schools Inspection Service

Learning English as a foreign language

You must be accepted on a course to learn English as a foreign language if you’re applying for an 11 month extended visa.  Please note that a mixed course, some of which is spent studying English, doesn’t count.

Visiting the UK as part of an overseas course

You can apply for a Student Visitor visa if you’re studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your course is in the UK.

Your institution must:

  • hold its own national accreditation
  • offer only part of its educational programme in the UK
  • offer programmes that are equivalent to a UK degree

Researching in the UK for a short time

You can come to the UK for a short period of research if you’re already enrolled on an overseas course.

To be eligible:

  • your course must be equivalent to a UK degree
  • you must be carrying out the research at a UK recognised body, or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institute

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, eg bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans - you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa

In addition to the above you will also need to provide the following:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • 2 passport size colour photographs
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

Documents about your course

You must provide proof of:

  • the course you’re studying, eg a letter of acceptance from the educational institution - on official headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation)
  • your previous study, eg academic certificates, academic references, academic transcripts
  • any English language ability or qualifications, eg test certificates, award certificates for degrees taught in English
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course

You can’t:

  • study at a state school
  • work or carry out any business
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or a civil partnership
  • come to the UK specifically for private medical treatment
  • extend this visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you - they must apply separately
  • get public funds