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Visas and immigration

Before coming to the UK, it’s important that you check if you need a visa to live and study here.

If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you do not need a visa. The EEA consists of European Union countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Nationals of Omar, Quatar and United Arab Emirates do not require a visa to come to the UK as a visitor, including a short-term student visa for up to six months if they complete a free online Electronic fee waiver document. Applicants must complete the document between 48 hours and three months before the date of travel. The document will be valid for entry to the UK on one occasion.

Studying for less than six months?

If you want to study in the UK for six months or less*, you could apply for a short-term student visa or child visitor visa (if under 18 years old).

If you come to the UK on a short-term student visa or child visitor visa, you will not be permitted to work (paid or unpaid as part of your course). You cannot apply to extend your stay in the UK as a Tier 4 student, you will have to return home and apply. Please visit the UK Visas and Inmmigration website for further information.

*Note: if you are studying on an English language course, you could be allowed to stay in the UK on a short-term student visa for up to 11 months.

Studying for more than six months?

If you are not an EEA or Swiss national and you want to study in the UK for more than six months, you must apply for Tier 4 entry clearance.

Your application must be made less than three months before the start of your course. Please ensure that you leave enough time for your application to be processed before you arrive in the UK.

Please visit the UK Visas and Inmmigration website or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for further information.

Extending your visa from the UK

If you are already in the UK, but need to stay longer to complete your course or start a new course, you will need to make an application to extend your stay. You can only do this if you meet the Tier 4 requirements.

It is important that you apply to extend your stay in the UK before your current visa expires. Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website for guidance on Tier 4 requirements and how to apply.