Student Visa Information

  • United Kingdom -
  • Ireland +

This page provides concise visa guidance for students wishing to learn English in the United Kingdom. Please note this information is for guidance only and is subject to regular change and British Study Centres cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For up-to-date information, please refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website.


Do I need to apply for a visa?

Students from European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to learn English in the UK. Other nationalities require a visa; however, students from certain countries do not need to apply for it prior to arrival in the UK. You can check if you need to apply for a visa on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Which visa should I apply for?

We normally recommend applying for Short-Term Study Visa which is suitable for any of our courses. Please see below for more information.

1. Short-Term Study Visa

The Short-Term Study Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months for any short course or up to 11 months if you're 18 or over and taking an English language course. Students on Short-Term Study Visa may not work nor extend their visa.

Students from visa national countries must apply for Short-Term Study Visa before coming to the UK. Short-Term Study Visa is a label affixed to the passport.

Students from non-visa national countries do not need to apply for a visa before coming to the UK to take an English language course of 6 months or less. They must bring all the school documents in order to show the immigration officer at the UK border, who will then stamp a visa into their passport. Students wishing to take an English language course for longer than 6 months must apply for Short-Term Study Visa before coming to the UK.

You can check if you are required to apply for a visa in advance on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Please note that if you are coming to the UK for longer than 6 months on Short-Term Study Visa, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in your first 10 days in the UK. It is very important that you bring your UK Visas & Immigration letter to school on the first day so we can help you and show you where you can collect it. If you do not, you have only 30 days to stay in the UK and you may have to pay a fine (financial penalty) or go home earlier than you expected with no refund. So please come and speak to us about your BRP on your first day at school.

2. Electronic Visa Waiver

Passport holders of Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates qualify for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW), which will allow them to study for a period of up to 6 months. An EVW form can be completed online; it is free of charge and quicker than applying for a visa. Students do not need to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), attend a visa application centre or hand in passport in advance of travel. You must apply for an EVW online at least 48 hours before you travel.

What if I already have a visa?

If you already have a valid UK visa, you might be able to take a language course with us. If your visa is not listed below or you are not sure if your visa allows you to study in the UK, please feel free to ask us for more information.

1. You can study for any period of time on:

Short-Term Study Visa, Student Visitor Visa, Tier 4 (General) Visa (must obtain written permission from Tier 4 sponsor), Tier 1 Visa, Tier 2 Visa, Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa, Diplomat Visa, Residence Visa.

2. You can study for up to 30 days on:

Standard Visitor Visa, Tourist Visitor Visa, Business Visitor Visa, Academic Visitor Visa.