Visa Information 2022

What you need to know about getting a visa to stay and study in the UK

UK visa requirements for students are dependent on three factors: the student’s nationality, how long they want to study for and which course they want to take.

LanguageUK is accredited by Accreditation UK. This means we can support your entry to the UK to learn English for courses with a maximum duration of 11 months. There are different requirements depending on where you come from (your nationality), how long the English language course is, and your personal circumstances. You may need:

  • A letter from us to show border control officials that you are coming to the UK to learn English for fewer than 6 months, or
  • A Standard Visitor visa, or
  • A Short-term study visa

Everyone is allowed to study in the UK for up to six months as a visitor. This means many students can study without a visa and some nationalities need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

Check if you need a visa

Do you need a visa?

English language courses lasting from 1 week to 6 months

All Nationalities

  • You will enter the UK as a Visitor
  • There are no limits on the number of courses you can study but they must be completed within the time of the permission granted
  • You must have sufficient funds to cover your time in the UK
  • Work (paid & unpaid), including voluntary work, is not permitted
  • Any visitor who has come in on business or as a tourist can choose to then take an English language course while in the UK

Non-Visa Nationals

If you have a passport from one of the following countries, you do not need a visa to visit the UK or study for up to six months:

You do not need to apply for a visa in advance

There are no fees to enter the UK

You may use the e-gates at the UK border. However, in the unlikely event that you are questioned, you should carry evidence demonstrating that you meet the entry requirements. Please have your immigration and enrolment letters from the school with you. If the school has not arranged your accommodation, please have your accommodation address

Visa Nationals

Visa nationals need pre-entry clearance for a standard visit visa, so if you are a visa national you must apply for a Visitor Visa before you come to the UK

The normal safeguarding checks will apply to under 18s

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
  • details of where you’ll be staying during your visit
  • how much you think your trip will cost
  • your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
  • your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
  • how much you earn in a year (if you have an income)
  • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed

You might also need to provide:

  • details of your travel history for the past 10 years
  • your employer’s address and telephone number
  • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip
  • the name, address, and passport number of any family members you have in the UK
  • Your intentions will be assessed to check you are a genuine visitor. You’ll be told what other documents and information to provide when you apply online


  • The cost of applying for the Visitor Visa is GBP95

For more information see:

Short-term study visa: 6 – 11 months

The short-term visa is for anyone over 16 years old who wants to study English in the UK for between six and 11 months. This includes students from EU and EEA countries. All international students need to choose an accredited course provider before making a visa application. All centres with the British Council accreditation are suitable.

Key facts: Short-term study visa

  • No minimum level of English is required.
  • Students must be 16 years old or above when they arrive in the UK.
  • Students must have a plan to study at a UK institution with a government-approved accreditation. All British Council accredited language centres are suitable.
  • The visa is only valid for study at the institution that is named on the application form.
  • Students cannot work with this visa, but they can volunteer.
  • The application costs GBP186, plus GBP470 fee for the immigration health surcharge (see below).
  • Extensions: students can extend their original course booking up to the end of their visa validity period (maximum of 11 months).

When and where to apply:

Students can apply for a Short-term study visa up to three months before they travel.

They must apply from the country where they are living.

The application form is online on GOV.UK.

Immigration health surcharge

All students who apply for a visa for longer than six months must pay the immigration health surcharge as part of the online visa application. They will then be able to access national health services in the UK during their stay. This includes free doctors’ appointments and hospital services. For a visa that is valid for between six and 12 months, the cost is GBP470. The cost increases with the length of the visa. Use the government’s immigration health surcharge calculator.

Required Documents

A current valid passport with a full blank page available for the visa.

A letter of confirmation from LanguageUK. This needs to include the course name, duration and cost, including accommodation. Students do not need to pay the full cost before making a visa application.

Details of where the student plans to stay in the UK. If accommodation is booked through the school, details including cost should be included in the confirmation letter.

Evidence of enough money to pay for course fees, accommodation and living costs. Learn more about providing evidence.

Students do not need to pay the full course fees, travel or accommodation costs before applying.

Certified translations are required for any documents that are not in English. See the guide to supporting documents on GOV.UK.

Students from some countries need to show evidence of a valid tuberculosis screening. Check the list of countries on GOV.UK

Extra requirements for students under 18 years old

Students must be 16 years old when they arrive in the UK to be eligible for the Short-term study visa.

Students who are under 18 years old must provide contact details for at least one parent or guardian in their home country.

If they are travelling on their own, they must have written consent from both parents (or one parent if they have sole responsibility) or their legal guardian. Ask the language centre for a template letter to ensure this meets the requirements.

If they are travelling with an adult over 18 years old who is not their parent or guardian, they need to name the adult on the visa application. This name will appear on the student’s visa. Two adults can be named on the application and the student must arrive with at least one of them.

Find full details on GOV.UK

Response Times

Students can usually expect a response within three weeks. Some visa application centres offer a priority service for an additional fee, though service times are not guaranteed. Students should apply for their visa at the earliest possible opportunity, up to three months before their planned travel date.

Biometric Residence Permit

A Biometric Residence Permit is a credit-card sized plastic card which looks very similar to a driving licence.

If you have a Tier 4, a STSV11 or a YMV, and will stay for more than 6 months, you will no longer get a paper visa in your passport.  You will get a vignette (rubber stamp) which will allow you to enter the country, and you will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit after you arrive.

The vignette will be valid for 30 days from the arrival date that you gave when you applied for your visa.  You must arrive in the UK during this period.  If you will arrive later, you will need to apply for a new vignette.

When you are granted your visa, you will be told the address of a Post Office where you can collect your BRP.

After you have collected your BRP you must show it to us as we need to make a copy for our records.

You do not need to carry your BRP all the time and it might be safest not to do so.  But you need to take it with you if you leave the country as you will need to show it when you re-enter the UK.

For more about BRP see here.

Registering with the Police

If you have a stamp in your passport which tells you to register your arrival in the UK you will need to visit The Overseas Visitors Records Office Longport Police Station, Ashford Road, Newington Kent, CT18 8AP. In this case, please see here.

Do you have questions? Do you need more information?

Follow us on Social Media