Short Term Study Visa

Our student visa application team provides free assessment, admission and visa application support for a short-term study visa. To speak with our student visa team, call us on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.

This information is for you if you are currently outside the UK and you want to come to study in the UK as a ‘short-term student’ because either:

  • you are not eligible to apply for a Tier 4 student visa OR
  • you have chosen not to apply for a Tier 4 student visa as you meet the requirements for a ‘short-term student’ visa

The ordinary ‘short-term student’ category will allow you to come to the UK if you are 18 years or older, and want to enter:

  • for up to 6 months to study a short course (this can include people on distance learning courses who only want to come to the UK for a few weeks at a time, people coming to re-sit an exam, re-take a module or undertake a viva if they are a postgraduate student according to the Home Office’s modernised guidance for its staff. OR
  • for up to 11 months to study an English language course OR
  • if you are enrolled on a course abroad that is at least equivalent to the level of a UK bachelor’s degree, you can enter for up to 6 months to do research, or to receive tuition on how to conduct research, at a UK institution

The ‘short-term student (child)’ category will allow you to come to the UK if you are under 18 years old, and want to enter:

  • for up to 6 months to study a course (this can include people on distance learning courses who only want to come to the UK for a few weeks at a time, people coming to re-sit an exam, re-take a module or  undertake a viva if they are a postgraduate student according to the Home Office’s modernised guidance for its staff. But read page 12 of their guidance carefully for a warning about not doing this too frequently)

As a short-term student, you cannot do any kind of work, work placement or work experience during your studies in the UK. If you want to be allowed to work in the UK during your studies, you will need to apply to enter the UK as a Tier 4 student or in another appropriate immigration category instead.

Is a Short-term Study (STS) Visa right for me?

A Short-term Study visa can be a useful option if you are a non-EEA national and come to the UK for the study of less than six months, perhaps for the following purposes:

  • as a Study Abroad/Exchange/Visiting student (or up to 11 months for an English language programme
  • to undertake elements of a distance learning course, such as the Distance Learning MBA
  • to re-sit examinations
  • attending a Summer School at Warwick
  • returning to education/ training provider following a period of temporary withdrawal
  • attending a PhD viva

You must be at least 18 years old, and have the financial resources to accommodate and maintain for the duration of the visit. Students who are under 18 years old will need to apply for a Short-term Student (Child) visa.

You should ensure that a Short-term Study Visa is the most appropriate visa type for your circumstances to avoid any problems at the current time or at a later date.

You should be aware that unlike Tier 4, there are no set application requirements for this visa type so applications are more open to caseworker interpretation, meaning visa refusals in this category are often subjective; applicants are advised to read the immigration rules for this visa category linked to on the right-hand side of this page.

If your application for leave to enter as a short-term student is refused you will not have the right to an Administrative Review and will have to declare the refusal on all future UK visa applications.

What can I do on a Short-Term Study visa?

On a Short-term Student visa you are permitted to:

  • Complete a period of study or research no longer than 6 months where you are fully enrolled on a degree level course taught overseas, as defined by the Home Office
  • Complete a period of research tuition (i.e. to learn about research) no longer than 6 months where you are fully enrolled on a degree level course taught overseas, as defined by the Home Office
  • Attend UK based components of a distance learning or part-time course you are following (i.e. where frequent and successive visits to the UK are not required)
  • Attend a PhD viva (where the course is delivered exclusively overseas)
  • Re-sit an examination
  • Enrol on a full-time English Language course of more than 6 months using an extended 11 month Short-term Student visa

What can’t I do on a Short-Term Study visa?

On a Short-term Study visa you are NOT permitted to:

  • Enrol on a full-time course of study longer than 6 months, other than an English Language course as stated above or a distance learning or part-time course akin to distance learning
  • Undertake placements or internships
  • Undertake employment, either paid or unpaid (*see separate note below on volunteering)

*Volunteering: Holders of a Short-term Student visa may volunteer while in the UK provided that they:- do not have a contract of employment

  • do not take the place of an employee
  • do not receive payment (travel reimbursement and/or subsistence allowance is permitted)
  • do volunteer to help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation
  • Extend your Short-term Student visa
  • Switch into another visa category from inside the UK
  • Bring family members to the UK as your Dependants
  • Intend to stay beyond the course of study end date given in the visa application (although your visa may be valid for longer)

Extended Short-Term Study visas (11 months) for English Language courses

Students applying for an 11 month Short-term Study visa for an English Language course will be liable to pay a mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge before their application is considered.

Nationals of certain countries issued an 11 month Short-term Student visa will also be subject to a condition which specifies their registration with the police on arrival to the UK.

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