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Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa to study – FAQs

Last updated: 17 March 2023

Is study permitted on a Standard Visitor visa?

On 1 December 2020, the UK immigration rules were changed such that study periods of up to six months are now permitted on a Standard Visitor visa (please note: the category of Short-term student is now only appropriate for students studying English Language programmes lasting longer than six months and up to 11 months).

What kind of study can be undertaken on a Standard Visitor visa?

The following types of study are permitted on a Standard Visitor visa:

Can I apply for a Standard Visitor visa on arrival in the UK, or do I have to apply in advance?

If you are a national of a country on the ‘Visa national list‘, you have no choice but to apply for a Standard Visitor visa in advance of travelling to the UK.

If you are a national of a country that does not appear on the ‘Visa national list‘, you are permitted to apply for entry as a Standard Visitor on arrival at the port of entry.

Please note: even if you obtain a Standard Visitor visa in advance, you should carry with you all the documents that you submitted with your application when you travel to the UK, since UK Border Force Officers may ask to see them.

Is a Standard Visitor visa a multiple entry visa?

A Standard Visitor visa that is applied for in advance is ordinarily a multiple entry visa, while a Standard Visitor visa issued on arrival in the UK (applicable to non-visa nationals only) is single entry.

If you apply for your Standard Visitor visa on arrival and then leave the UK during your period of enrolment at the University, please note you will need to re-apply as a Standard Visitor when you re-enter.  For this reason, we recommend that you always travel with a letter confirming that you are enrolled on a course (these can be requested from the Immigration Compliance Team by email at

How do I apply for a Standard Visitor visa?

Please see our step by step guide to applying for a Standard Visitor visa.

What documents do I need to submit with my Standard Visitor visa application?

Documentary requirements are always subject to change, so you should be sure to check the latest information on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) webpage before submitting your application.  As a guide, you can expect to have to submit the following documents:

How do I obtain my Standard Visitor visa support letter from the university?

You need to request this document using the Standard Visitor visa request form.

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Standard Visitor visa request form

Please note that, unless otherwise agreed, your Standard Visitor visa support letter will be supplied as an e-document.

Do my supporting documents have to be in English?

Yes. Where an original document (e.g. bank statement, birth certificate) is not in English, it must be accompanied by a translation certified by a professional translator/translation company.  This translation must include details of the translator/translation company’s credentials, confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document, and the translator/translation company’s contact details.  It must also be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company.

How much does a Standard Visitor visa application cost

See the GOV.UK Standard Visitor visa web pages for up-to-date fees.

How early can I apply for my Standard Visitor visa?

If you are a visa national, you are permitted to submit your application up to three months before your intended date of travel.

How much money do I need to show?

The UKVI guidance does not state how much money you are required to show.  However, in practice, you must show that you have enough money to support yourself without recourse to public funds and without working.  It is advisable to provide evidence that you have enough money to cover your course fees and living expenses (to include accommodation).  Using the Student Route maintenance figures as a guide, it would be reasonable to show that you have the equivalent of £1015 per month for the duration of your course.  Please note: if you will be staying with friends or family while in the UK, you are entitled to include evidence of this, which may decrease the living costs you would ordinarily be expected to show.

Do I need a certificate confirming I am free from tuberculosis?

You do not need a tuberculosis certificate. This is only required for visits lasting more than six months.

Will I be interviewed as part of the visa application process?

UKVI reserves the right to call applicants for face-to-face interview as it sees fit.  Some examples of the sort of questions you might be asked at an interview are as follows:

How much time will I be granted on my Standard Visitor visa?

You will ordinarily be granted permission to enter the UK for a period of six months.

If you have the need to visit the UK regularly (e.g. you are doing a PhD on a distance-learning basis and need to make yearly visits for supervision), you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts two, five or 10 years.  Please note, however, that you will only be able to stay for a maximum of six months on each individual visit.

What conditions will be attached to my Standard Visitor visa?

As a Standard Visitor, you will not be permitted to:

What should I do if my visa application is refused?

It is no longer possible to appeal a refusal of a Standard Visitor visa application. If your application is refused, your only option is to submit a fresh application.

Where can I find further information about applying as a Standard Visitor?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has compiled detailed information about applying as a Standard Visitor

If need further guidance or information, please get in touch with the university’s Immigration Compliance Team by email at

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