VISAS

SHORT-TERM STUDENT VISA

11 Month Visa

Overview

You can apply for a Short-term study visa to study English language in the UK.

This visa is for English language courses lasting longer than 6 months and up to 11 months.

If your course is different to this, check which visa you need.

If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

If you or a close family member started living in the UK before 1 January 2021, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.

Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for a visa to study for longer than 6 months in the UK. The earliest date your visa will start from is 1 January 2021.

Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for the length of your course plus an extra 30 days as long as your stay is no longer than 11 months.

Fees and costs

It costs £186 for a Short-term study visa.

Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your online application. It usually costs £470.

This is so you can use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Check how much you’ll need to pay before you apply.

What you cannot do

You cannot:

  • study on any other course or change your course while in the UK
  • study at a state-funded school
  • work or carry out any business (this includes paid or unpaid work, work experience or work placements)
  • extend this visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on this visa
  • apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension

Who can apply

You must be 16 or older to apply.

You must prove that:

  • you’ve been accepted onto an English language course that lasts 11 months or less and includes no other subjects
  • your course is with an accredited institution,
  • you have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
  • you can pay for your return or onward journey

If you’re under 18 you must also:

  • have made arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK
  • have the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK

Your course

Your English language course must be with an ‘accredited institution’.

This can be either:

  • an accredited UK institution
  • an eligible overseas provider, if you’re studying in the UK as part of an overseas course

Accredited UK institutions

An accredited institution must either have a student sponsor licence or have a valid accreditation and be listed by one of the following:

Eligible overseas providers

You can also apply for a Short-term study visa if you’re studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your English language course is in the UK.

Your institution must:

  • hold its own national accreditation
  • offer no more than half of its educational programme in the UK
  • offer programmes that are equivalent to a UK degree

Documents you'll need

When you apply you must provide:

  • a current passport (with a blank page for your visa) or other valid travel document
  • 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 - you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
  • evidence that you’ve paid your course fees or have enough money to pay them

You also need to provide:

Documents about your course

You must provide written proof of the course you’re studying. For example, a letter of acceptance from the educational institution stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation).

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances, such as evidence of your:

  • permission to be in the country you’re applying from (if you’re not a national)
  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies

If you’re under 18

If you’re under 18 you need to provide additional documents if:

  • you’re travelling on your own
  • you’re travelling with someone who is not your parent or guardian

Travelling on your own

You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone 18 or older).

You must have written consent from both parents (or one parent if they have sole responsibility) or your legal guardian. This must confirm they consent to:

  • your visa application
  • your living arrangements and care in the UK
  • your travel to the UK

They also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • an address where you will be living
  • details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you
  • consent in writing so they can look after you during your stay in the UK

Your parent, guardian or school must tell the relevant local authority about your visit if either of the following are true:

  • you’re under 18 and have a disability
  • you’re going to be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’)

You should provide a reply from the local authority if you have one.

Travelling with an adult

If you travel to the UK with an adult (someone 18 or older), you need to identify them in your visa application.

Their name will appear on your visa, and you’ll be refused entry to the UK if you arrive in the UK without them.

You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application, and your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least one of them.

The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.

Apply

You must apply online before you come to the UK. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel to the UK.

As part of your online application, you’ll need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your documents and prove your identity.

Allow time to attend your appointment.

The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

How long it takes to get a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

You may be able to pay to get a faster decision. Check if your visa application centre offers faster decisions and other services.

Apply online

You must apply online.

Before you start, check what documents you’ll need to apply.

Once you’ve started your application you can save your form and complete it later.

 

STANDARD VISITOR VISA

6 Month Visa

Overview

You can come to the UK as a Standard Visitor:

  • for tourism, for example on a holiday or to see your family and friends
  • for certain business activities, for example attending a meeting
  • to do a short course of study
  • to take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic
  • for medical reasons, for example to receive private medical treatment

You may not have to apply for a visa. What you need to do depends on your nationality and what you plan to do in the UK.

Check if you need to apply for a UK visa.

Your application will not be accepted and you will not get a refund if you have the right of abode in the UK (for example you’re a British citizen). You need to apply for a certificate of entitlement instead.

What you can and cannot do

You can visit the UK to do certain activities, for example visiting friends and family or attending a conference.

You cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • claim public funds (benefits)
  • do a course of study that lasts longer than 6 months
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership. You’ll need a Marriage Visitor visa instead

Read the guidance for more information about what you can and cannot do with a Standard Visitor visa.

Eligibility

You’ll need to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements, for example that you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit.

How long you can stay

You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months (£95 fee).

You might be able to stay for longer if:

  • you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment - up to 11 months (£190 fee)
  • you’re an academic and meet the eligibility requirements - you, your spouse or partner and your children may be able to stay for up to 12 months (£190 fee)

If you’re staying in the UK for longer than 6 months, you must collect your biometric residence permit when you arrive. You may also have to take a tuberculosis test as part of your application depending on where you come from.

If you need to visit the UK regularly

You can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years if you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.

If you’re under 18 years old when you apply, your long-term Standard Visitor visa will only be valid for up to 6 months after you turn 18. You cannot get a refund on the fee.

When to apply and how long it takes

If you need a visa, you must apply online before you come to the UK.

As part of your application, you’ll need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove your identity and provide your documents.

Allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country.

The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Find out how to get your visa decision faster - this depends on what country you’re in.

Fees

A Standard Visitor visa costs £95.

The fee for a long-term Standard Visitor visa depends on its length:

  • 2 years - £361
  • 5 years - £655
  • 10 years - £822

Extending your stay as a visitor

You cannot switch from a Standard Visitor visa to another type of visa.

You can only extend your stay for specific reasons, for example needing further private medical treatment.

If you want a visa to do something other than visiting, for example work or longer-term study, you’ll need to leave the UK and make a new application.

What you can do in the UK

You can visit the UK to do different activities. You must meet the eligibility requirements for the things you want to do.

If you’re visiting for tourism or leisure

You can visit the UK to:

  • spend time with friends and family
  • take a holiday
  • do a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course
  • volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • take part in a school exchange programme

If you’re visiting on business

You can visit the UK for many different business reasons, including attending meetings, conferences, trade fairs or negotiating contracts.

You can do certain business activities with UK employees of the company you work for overseas, for example provide training or share knowledge on internal projects.

Check the Visitor Rules for the full list of business activities you can do as a Standard Visitor and any additional eligibility requirements.

If you’re being paid by a UK organisation to visit as an expert in your profession, you should apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa.

If you’re visiting to study

You can visit the UK to study for up to 6 months at an accredited institution, this includes English language courses.

You can also do:

  • a short piece of research that’s relevant to your course overseas
  • an ‘elective’ - an optional additional placement, if you’re studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry

If you want to study longer you’ll need to apply for a:

If you’re visiting as an academic

If you’re from an academic institution overseas, you can:

  • take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts
  • carry out your own research during a sabbatical

If you’re a senior doctor or dentist you can also:

  • take part in research
  • teach (as long as it is not a permanent teaching post)
  • undertake clinical practice (as long as it’s not a permanent position)

If you’re visiting for medical reasons

You can visit the UK if you want to have private medical treatment at a hospital or other medical facility.

You can also visit to donate an organ to a family member or close friend. This includes being assessed for suitability as a donor match.

If you’re passing through the UK to another country

You can pass through the UK to another country as a Standard Visitor.

If transiting is your only reason for coming to the UK, then you may apply for a Transit visa instead.

Eligibility

You must show that:

  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home
  • you’re able to support yourself and your dependants during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)
  • you have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, as allowed by the Visitor Rules

If you’re applying to study for up to 6 months

You must prove one of the following:

  • you’ve been accepted onto a course of no more than 6 months provided by an accredited UK institution (this cannot be an academy or state-funded school)
  • you’re at least 16 years old and have been accepted by a UK higher education institution to take part in research that’s relevant to the course you’re studying overseas
  • you’re at least 16 years old and are doing an ‘elective’ (an optional additional placement) as part of an overseas medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry course

You must already be enrolled on a course that is the equivalent of a UK degree, before applying to do research or a placement in the UK.

To study or research certain subjects, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. You need to apply for the ATAS certificate before starting your course.

If you’re applying as an academic

You can stay in the UK for up to 12 months if you’re applying as an academic. You must prove you’re:

  • highly qualified in your field of expertise, for example you have a PhD
  • currently working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas
  • visiting for a formal exchange or to carry out research
  • not filling a permanent teaching post

If you’re applying to visit for private medical treatment

You must prove that you:

  • have a medical condition that needs private consultation or treatment in the UK
  • have made arrangements for consultations or treatment
  • have enough money or funding to pay for your treatment
  • will leave the UK once your treatment is completed, or when your visa expires
  • are not a danger to public health if you have an infectious disease, such as leprosy

If you’re applying as an organ donor

You can only visit the UK to donate organs to:

  • a family member who you’re genetically related to (for example your sibling or parent)
  • someone you have a close personal relationship with (for example your spouse or friend)

You must prove that the person you’re donating an organ to is legally allowed to be in the UK.

If you’re applying for a long-term Standard Visitor visa

You must prove that you’ll only ever be coming to the UK to visit and that you plan to leave at the end of each visit.

You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you do not do this. You will not get a refund of the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused.

Your visa may be cancelled if your travel history shows you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.

Documents you'll need

You must provide a passport or travel document. Your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK and contain a blank page for your visa.

You’ll be told what other documents and information to provide when you apply online.

You must provide certified translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
  • details of where you’ll be staying during your visit
  • how much you think your trip will cost
  • your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
  • your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
  • how much you earn in a year (if you have an income)
  • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed

You might also need to provide:

  • details of your travel history for the past 10 years
  • your employer’s address and telephone number
  • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip
  • the name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK

Providing documents for certain activities

You must provide specific documents if you’re applying to visit the UK to:

  • do research as part of an overseas study course
  • have private medical treatment
  • be an organ donor
  • take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

Read the full list of supporting documents for more information.

If you're under 18

You may visit the UK if you’re under 18 and:

  • you’ve made suitable arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK
  • you have written consent from your parent or guardian to travel to the UK (if travelling alone)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey
  • you have enough money to support yourself without working or getting help from public funds, or you have family and friends that can support you

Travelling alone

You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone over the age of 18).

Your parent or guardian will need to provide their:

  • written consent for you to travel to the UK
  • full contact details

They’ll also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • an address where you will be living
  • details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you and
  • their written consent for you to stay with that person while you’re in the UK

If you’re not staying with a close relative

Your parent, guardian or school must tell the relevant local authority about your visit if you’re both of the following:

  • under 16 (or under 18 if you have a disability)
  • going to be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’)

You should provide a reply from the local authority if you have one.

The same rules apply to education exchange visits that last for more than 28 days, unless:

  • you’re part of a group that is travelling and staying together, for example a school group
  • you’re accompanied by an adult, for example a teacher

There are different rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Read the guidance for more information.

Travelling with an adult

When travelling to the UK with an adult (someone over the age of 18), you’ll need to identify them in your visa application.

If the person you’re travelling with is not your parent, you’ll need to provide specific information about them in your application.

You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application. Their names will appear on your visa.

The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.

If you arrive in the UK without the person named in your visa, you’ll need to show that your parent or guardian consents to your travel and accommodation arrangements.

Apply from outside the UK

If you need a visa, you must apply online before you travel to the UK.

Check what documents you’ll need to apply.

Proving your identity and providing supporting documents

As part of your online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. You’ll have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at your appointment.

Allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country.

The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

Apply for a Standard Visitor visa

Once you’ve started your application you can save your form and complete it later.

Extend your stay

You may be able to extend your stay as long as the total time you spend in the UK as a visitor is no more than 6 months.

For example if you have been in the UK as a visitor for 3 months, you can apply to extend your stay for 3 more months.

Read the guidance to find out if you can extend your visit.

You must apply while you’re still in the UK and before your current visa expires.

If you want to extend your stay for longer than 6 months

You can only apply to extend your stay as a visitor for over 6 months if you’re:

  • a patient receiving medical treatment
  • an academic and you still meet the eligibility requirements
  • a graduate doing a clinical attachment or retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test

If you did not need a visa for the first 6 months of your visit, you’ll need to apply for permission to stay longer and pay the fee.

If you’re receiving private medical treatment in the UK

You can apply to extend your stay for a further 6 months if you:

  • have paid for any treatment you’ve already had in the UK
  • can and will pay the further costs of your treatment
  • continue to meet the eligibility requirements

You must also get a medical practitioner or NHS consultant who’s registered in the UK to provide:

  • proof of arrangements for your private medical consultation or treatment
  • a letter saying how long your treatment is likely to take
  • details of the progress of your treatment, if it’s already started

If you’re an academic

If you want to extend your stay as an academic visiting the UK, you must prove you:

  • are highly qualified in your field of expertise, for example you have a PhD or higher
  • were working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas prior to your arrival in the UK
  • are visiting for a formal exchange or to carry out research
  • are not filling a permanent teaching post

You can stay in the UK for up to 12 months in total.

If you’re retaking the PLAB test

You can extend your stay in the UK to retake the PLAB test.

You must provide written confirmation from the General Medical Council that you are sitting the test.

You can stay up to 6 months to retake the test.

If you’ve passed the PLAB test and want to do a clinical attachment

If you’re successful in the PLAB test, you can apply to extend your stay to do an unpaid clinical attachment. You must not treat patients.

You must provide written confirmation of your clinical attachment offer and confirm you’ve not done one in the UK before.

You can stay in the UK for up to 18 months in total.

Apply to extend your stay as a visitor

You must apply online before your current visa expires.

Once you’ve started your application you can save your form and complete it later.