UK Short-term study visa, what you need to know

The 480.000 foreign students in the UK have more than a reason to study in this country. Everything is perfect. The country is ideal for studying and pursuing your dreams. The future career sounds promising. But, you might require a short-term study visa to enter the UK.

This article will explain whatever you should know about the Short-term study visa for the UK. It will explain who needs it, who is eligible for it, requirements, the application process, validity, fees, FAQs, and more.

What is a UK Short-term study visa?

The UK short-term study visa allows foreign nationals to study in the UK for the short-term. Some students want to enjoy the UK’s high-standard education system. So the government has introduced different programs for them. A short-term study visa is the one that allows completing short courses.

If you qualify for the visa, there is not much to do, as its application is online. But remember that you have to be eligible for it. Also, there are some restrictions on it. Read the below sections to know about them.


Who needs a UK Short-term study visa?

Whether you need a UK Short-term study visa or not is a matter of your nationality. The name of the visa bears “short.” However, you can stay in the UK for up to 11 months. Only a few countries are exempt from a UK short-study visa:

  • The EEA members
  • Switzerland citizens

If you are not among the above list of countries, you need a UK short-term study visa.

How to make 100% sure you need a visa?

A guaranteed way to make sure you need a Short-term study visa is the tool on the UK visa and immigration website. When you enter the site, you pick your nationality. Then you have to choose the purpose of your visit. It is studying in this case. On the next step, it asks you the length of your stay.

Bear in mind that under a Short-term study visa, you can stay up to 11 months. So, you may stay longer than six months if you are eligible. Pick the duration that suits you.

If the tool says you need a visa, you have to apply for the UK Short-term study visa. Remember that there is no higher reference than this tool. It is the British government that runs and updates it.


Who is eligible for the UK Short-term study visa?

The British government has set strict eligibility criteria for its visas. You have to comply with them to apply for a UK visa. The eligibility principles for the UK Short-term study visa are as follows:


You must have acceptance from a British education center or school. The British government must have authorized the education center to accept foreign students.

Financial independence

You have to hold enough funds to cover your expenses in the UK. It must be to the extent that you won’t need any public funds. But, the officials accept sponsorship from a friend or relative.

Being able to return

You must have enough money to return to your home country when the visa expires. Bear in mind that the officials need proof of it.

Intention to leave

You must have the intention to leave the UK and return to your home country. When you can prove that, it will raise your chance to get a Short-term study visa.

Eligibility for minors

There are special rules over minors:


The child must have permission from his/her parents. They must state it through a formal-written consent letter.

Requirements to stay

The child must have all the requirements to stay in the UK. Appropriate accommodation is one of them. Also, the child must have enough funds to cover his/her expenses. Make it clear who is paying the child’s expenses.

Eligibility for researchers

Researchers can move to the UK to:

  • Participate in a study or research program
  • Take part in an overseas degree course.

They can use the Short-term study visa to do so. But the eligibility principles for them are as follows:

  • The course they take must be equal to a degree in the UK.
  • The research must be at a UK higher education provider.
  • The researcher can not be younger than 16 years old.

Optional courses

Under a Short-term study visa, you can take optional courses in the UK in the below fields:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary
  • Medicine
  • Science
  • Dentistry


To be eligible for the visa, you have to come up with its terms:


  • The course you will take must be equal to a UK degree.
  • The course you take must be relevant to your main career or major.
  • A higher educational center must have accepted you on a course.
  • You may not get paid in the course. Also, it mustn’t involve dealing with patients.


What are the limitations over a Short-term study visa?

The Short-term study visa has some limitations. You have to know and engrave them in your mind. If you break the rules, you have to face severe penalties for it. “A good beginning makes a good end.” By knowing the limitations, you avoid unwanted trouble.

The things you DON’T HAVE permission to do:

  • You may not study in a school funded by the government or local authority. Some of then include but not limited to:
    • Community schools
    • Foundation schools and voluntary schools
    • Academies and free schools
    • Grammar schools
  • Work or involve in a paid activity. But you can work in the medical fields mentioned above.
  • Take part in internship programs.
  • Extending the visa.
  • Bring your family to the UK. If you want to do so, they have to apply for a UK visitor visa.
  • Receive public funds. Getting health services is one of them.


What are the requirements for a Short-term study visa?

There are a few documents you have to submit for your application. They are the supporting document. They prove you are honest with your application and eligible. They get called the requirements for a UK Short-term study visa, are as follows:


The passport you use for a Short-term study visa must have one blank page, at least. It may not be older than ten years. It must also possess a minimum validity for three months after the date you will leave the UK.

Proof to have enough funds

Bear in mind that you HAVE NO authorization work in the UK under a Short-term study visa. So you must have enough money to support yourself. It is apart from the tuition you pay to the British school or education center.

Biometric information

You might have to submit your biometrics to the officials. They need it when:

  • It’s the first time you are visiting the UK.
  • You have not visited the UK in the latest five years.
  • You will be staying for longer than six months.
  • If the officials deem fit and require it.

Your biometrics include your fingerprints and digital photo. The officials take them when you submit your requirements.

Proof of accommodation

Make it clear where you will stay in the UK. It would be better not to pay for it until you receive your visa.

TB test

The nationals of a few countries have to take a TB test to enter the UK. If you are one of them, you have to take the test in a certified center. The British government has a list of verified centers. If a center is not available in your home country, you can take the test in a neighboring country.

Acceptance letter

You need an Acceptance letter from the British education center. It must:

  • An official member with authorization must issue it.
  • Be on the letterhead of the British center.
  • Include the name of the course.
  • State the length and cost of the course
  • Make clear the accommodation of the applicant.

Proof of the previous study

It includes, but not limited to:

  • Education certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Educational/training courses
  • Academic experience

Language proficiency

You need to provide the certificate of your language proficiency. The British education center will determine the requirements for this section.

Details about the sponsor

If you have a sponsor, provide details about his/her:

  • Career
  • Bank statement
  • Payslips or income
  • His/her residency in the UK.
  • Your relationship with him/her.

Healthcare surcharge

If you stay in the UK for longer than six months, you need to pay for healthcare surcharge. The EU nationals have to pay for it from January 1, 2021. If it is so for you, you can pay for it online.


If you’re under 18

Companion’s information

In case you will be traveling with an adult, name them in your application. If you show up without them, the officials will not allow you to enter the UK. You need the below items for your companion:

  • Your companion’s information:
    • Passport number
    • ID card
    • Address
    • His/her relationship with you.

Contact details

If you are under 18, provide the contact details of your parents in your home country. If both of them are not available, provide the details for one of them. If not parents, provide the details of a guardian.

Host’s information

If you will be staying with a friend or family, provide his/her:

  • Full name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Registered address.
  • The relationship you have with the host. If a family member, provide proof. If a friend, provide an invitation letter.
  • A formal-written letter that the host undertakes to look after you.

Notification letter

The British school or education center must send a letter to the local authorities and inform them of your visit.

Attention: Do not forget to have the documents translated into English. A verified translator or translation office must perform the translation. They must also verify it. The British officials could always ask for additional documents.


UK Short-term study visa Application process

The application process for a UK Short-term study visa is as follows:

1. Do you need a study visa?

As it’s said, “Haste makes waste.” The text clarified that not everyone needs a UK Short-term study visa. A few countries are exempt from it. We also introduced the tool on the UK visa and immigration website. It tells you whether you need this visa or not. So make 100% sure that you need a visa, then apply for it.


2. Are you eligible?

Are you certain that you are eligible for the UK Short-term study visa? Did you see the requirements part above? If you can’t fulfill the eligibility principles, the officials will reject your application. More than 4.000 UK student visas got rejected in 2019. We don’t want you to be among them. So, focus on even small details. They might seem unimportant, but the authorities check everything.


3. Application

The application for the UK Short-term study visa is online. You complete the form on the UK visa and immigration website. There you have to choose a place to submit biometrics and requirements. Then continue the application. Remember that you need an email address. You have to have access to it and the password. You might need to visit your account on the website later.


4. Submitting Requirements

Make an appointment with the center or the British embassy to submit requirements. Don’t forget any piece of requirements. Double-check them. Bear in mind there is no copying service in the center. So make a copy of every original form. There you have to pay the fees for visa processing. So bring enough money.


5. Processing

When you submitted everything, wait until the officials process your visa. The processing time depends on the center. So you should be a bit patient. Remember that the processing time could take longer than usual. So, you should start the process as soon as you can.

When your visa is ready, the officials will inform you to receive it. They might post it to you.


Do I need an ATAS certificate for a UK Short-term study visa?

You might need an ATAS certificate to study in the UK. It is for a few majors. Some sensitive majors that could be used in the Military are some examples.

Luckily for you, the British government has created a tool on the UK visa and immigration website. It tells you whether you need an ATAS certificate or not.

When you enter the site, there are three fields to complete. The first is your major. Be careful to pick the right one. Second is the type of study you will take. The final one is your nationality. When you pick all of them, the system tells you whether you need an ATAS certificate or not. If yes, follow the guideline on the site and get the certificate. If no, you are one step ahead of your application.


Who can apply for the EVW to enter the UK?

Electronic visa waiver (EVW) is a program for some Gulf states to visit the UK easily:

  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates

The nationals of the above countries can use it to enter the UK. They can use it for different purposes. It could be:

  • Visiting friends, family, or tourist attractions
  • Do business with the British companies.
  • Study
  • Receive medical treatment

Bear in mind that you can’t use EVW to work in the UK. The application for EVW is online and through the UK visa and Immigration website.


UK Short-term study visa Fee/ Cost

The fee you have to pay for a short-term study visa depends on the length of stay. If you stay up to six months, then you have to pay £97. But if you stay for up to 11 months, you have to pay £186 for visa processing. Bear in mind that the center you apply to might charge you for other services. You could also receive a discount.


How long can you stay in the UK under a Short-term study visa?

There are two possibilities with the length of stay for a Short-term study visa:

  • Six months
  • 11 months

The time you can stay depends on your course. It is either up to six or 11 months. But have no worries. The British officials will grant you a valid visa to complete your studies.


Short-term study visa Extension

Many students want to know if they can extend the UK Short-term study visa. The answer is a definite NO. You may not extend your visa. You have to leave the UK before your visa gets expired. Also, you can’t switch to another UK visa. It’s not possible to switch to the UK Tier 4 student visa. If you want to stay in the UK longer, you have to leave the country and apply for another visa.


Let’s sum up…

This text brought you whatever you should know about the UK short-term study visa.

It explained who needs it, requirements, restrictions, the application process, FAQs, and more.

Do you wish to know more about other types of UK visas? You can visit the left-sidebar on this page.

In case you need to know about other country’s visas, go through the Visa Library’s home page.

Did you know that visa applicants wish to know your experience or knowledge about visas? If you have any, share them with us in the comment section below. They are precious tips.

Comments (2)

  • Helen Reply

    I have applied for a 6-month short-term student visa. However, the course is not finished yet. Can I extend this visa?

    June 14, 2021 at 7:19 am
    • Support Reply

      Hey there. Thanks for leaving a comment on our website. If you have picked the 6-month student visa, you cannot extend it, as this visa can’t be extended in the UK.

      June 14, 2021 at 7:21 am

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