Each year, thousands of international students successfully gain a visa to study in the United Kingdom. The UK government welcomes international students, and there is no limit on the number of student visas that can be issued. UK immigration and visas are managed by the UK government’s Home Office. Please check the UK Visas and Immigration website for more information.
Do I need a visa to study in the UK?
This depends on your nationality and immigration status. Find out if you need a visa to study in the UK here.
When should I apply for a visa?
It is important to prepare and apply well before you intend to begin your course. Many students do not realize how long the process will take, and do not leave enough time.
Your application may require you to:
- • produce documents showing your finances and qualifications;
- • attend an interview or enroll your biometric information
- • take an English language test.
While there are no vaccination requirements for a visa, some institutions will require you to have certain vaccinations or – if you are coming from a tuberculosis high-risk area – a chest x-ray. Check with your institution, for example your university or college, to see what their requirements are.
You can apply for a visa up to three months before the start of your course, but it’s a good idea to do your research and plan what you need to do before that, if you can.
Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form
You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks. Check the UK Visas and Immigration guide to processing times to find out how long it might take to get a visa in your country.
What kind of visa do I need?
The following two visas are suitable for students who want to do a short course or an English language course for up to 11 months:
- • Short-term student visa: You can apply if you are aged 18 or over, and you want to study in the UK for up to six months. If you want to join an English language course, you can apply for an extended visa to stay for up to 11 months.
- • Short-term student (Child) visa: You can apply if you are aged 17 or younger, and you want to study in the UK for up to six months.
The following two visas allow you to do a longer course in the UK:
- • Tier 4 (Child) student visa: You can apply if you are between 4 and 17 years old. If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent, fee-paying school.
- • Tier 4 (General) student visa: You can apply if you want to study in the UK and you are aged 16 or over, and meet certain eligibility requirements (click here for details).