Unless you are a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, you will need to obtain a visa to allow you to study in the UK. Obtaining a visa is known as ‘entry clearance’.
The type of visa you need depends on the duration of your course:
Courses of more than six months
It is compulsory for you to obtain entry clearance as a ‘student’ before leaving your home country.
Courses of less than six months
You may enter the UK as a ‘student visitor’. You do not need entry clearance as a ‘student visitor’ unless you are a visa national but you will have to satisfy immigration officers that you qualify for entry to study when you arrive in the UK – you must be able to show that you have been accepted on a course of study at an educational establishment that is on the Register of Education Training Providers.
You will then be given permission to stay in the UK to study for up to six months.
Please note that as a ‘student visitor' to the UK, you will:
- not be allowed to extend your permission to be in the UK as a 'student' or apply for more time as a ‘student visitor'
- not be allowed to work or undertake a work placement
- need to be able to support yourself financially without needing to work or claim welfare benefits
We recommend that you always seek entry clearance before you leave your home country.
NEWS - UKBA - List of financial institutions for Tier 4 is published
On Monday, 24th October 2011, the UKBA published a list of financial institutions which they consider, on the basis of experience, do not verify financial statements to their satisfaction. It is important that prospective students do not keep their funding for 28 days in those non verified institutions.
For more information visit ukvisas and UKCISA (the UK Council for International Student Affairs).