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UK Visa Information

    There are two different types of visa for which students may be eligible.
    Points-based visas, including the General Student Visa, are necessary for longer courses but students have to fulfill more requirements to be eligible. These visas can only be offered by education institutions on the Register of Sponsors.
    Extended Student Visitor Visas of 6-11 months are available for English language students only, with no requirements about language level.
    Students who want to study in the UK must apply for one of these specialist visas: it is no longer possible to do so on any other type of visa, such as a family or general visitor visa.


    The UK has had a points-based visa system since 2009, and the student part of it is called Tier 4. There are two types of Tier 4 visas: the General Student Visa (GSV) and the Child Student Visa. Students have to prove they have enough money to live in the UK and pay tuition fees, that they have reached level B1 on the CEFR, and have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which is a valid offer of a place at a UK educational institution on the Register of Sponsors.


    The Student Visitor Visa, Extended Student Visitor Visa, Child Visitor Visa and Prospective Student Visa are not part of Tier 4 and have a different set of rules. They are very useful for students on shorter courses or with low starting levels of English.


    From October 1st 2013, the rules allow people on these visas, who are primarily visiting the UK for other reasons, to study for up to 30 days. Time in the classroom can be taken as one consecutive six week course, or spread out in different ways.

    This is intended for people who want to be in the UK to travel, for family reasons, or for business, but would like to spend a short period of time studying while they are here. People who want to come here to study should still apply for one of the specialist visas listed on this page: there is no advantage for them in a visitor visa.

    Study is not allowed on any UK visa. It is still banned for people in the country on the following visas: Approved Destination Status (ADS) with China; parent of a child at school; sports; entertainer; private medical treatment; prospective entrepreneur or for the purposes of marriage/civil partnership.


General Student Visa (GSV – Tier 4 PBS) Student Visitor Visa (SVV)
Any course duration For a maximum of 6 months (or 11 months if applying for an Extended Student Visitor Visa)
an extend visa in UK as long as the new course starts no later than a month after the previous one ended. Cannot extend visa in UK
Can work (10-20 hours in term-time depending on course level, full-time in holidays) but only if studying at a publicly funded institution Cannot work
Costs £310 Costs £80, £150 for ESVV
Applicant must be CEFR level B1 or above No minimum English requirement
Ties the student to the sponsor institution (students cannot change schools without making a new visa application) Students are free to change institution or course
Sponsor institution must be accredited AND on the Register of Sponsors Sponsor institution must be accredited


    To make an application student should refer to By following the links you will be able to download the latest application forms and apply on-line.

    Students cannot apply for a Tier 4 visa:
  • more than 3 months before the start of their course
  • if their CAS was assigned (created) by their educational institution (sponsor) more than 6 months ago – it expire
  • if their CAS has already been used once in a visa application
  • if their sponsor decides to withdraw sponsorship and cancels the CAS

    Students will need to know what qualifications and test results their sponsor used to assess their suitability for a course, because these documents must be included with their visa application. We will provide this information to students.


    You can apply for a student visitor visa if:
  • Your course of study lasts 6 months or less, and is at a college that holds a sponsor license under Tier 4 of the points-based system or is accredited by a Home Office-approved body;
  • You do not want to work in the UK or take a course-related work placement;
  • You have no intention of extending your stay in the UK.


    You can apply for an extended student visitor visa if:
  • Your course lasts between 6 and 11 months and is at a college that holds a sponsor license under Tier 4 of the points-based system or is accredited by a Home Office-approved body;
  • You will only be taking an English language course and not studying any other subjects;
  • You have no intention of extending your stay;
  • You do not want to work in the UK.

    If you want to come to the UK under the extended student visitor route, you will need to apply for a visa before travelling, regardless of whether you are a visa national or non-visa national.