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Short-term Study visa (formerly known as 'Student Visitor Visa')

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Find out what is Short-term Study Visa and if this is the right visa for you

Frequently asked questions

Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.
  • A short-term study visa can be a useful option if you are a non-EEA national and coming to the UK for a period of study of less than six months duration.

    A short-term study visa can also be an option if you intend to study a postgraduate course which is longer than 6 months, but you do not need to be based in the UK (e.g., you are able to travel to the UK every a few months to attend the face-to-face element of the course). Please note that the University of Warwick is not currently sponsoring part time/distance learning courses with a Tier 4 visa and so you are unlikely to be able to remain in the UK for the entire duration of your part time course if it is longer than 6 months (unless you already have a visa such as dependant visa).

    Some of the examples include:

    • A study period of 6 months or less as a Study Abroad/Exchange/Visiting student
    • A study period of up to 11 months for an English language programme such as Pre-sessional English course (Phase 1-3), which is not to be combined with any other study and must be applied for through Entry Clearance (a visa application made from outside of the UK)
    • To attend the face-to-face element of a postgraduate distance learning course (or a part time postgraduate course which is akin to distance learning) where the course duration is longer than 6 months but your attendance in the UK is less than 56 days every 6 months, for example, the Distance Learning MBA
    • To re-sit examinations or re-take a module
    • To attend a Summer School or other short course at Warwick
    • To conduct research related to degree-level study overseas
    • To attend a PhD viva
      • You do not need a new ATAS certificate if you are only coming for the VIVA, you can use the one granted for your previous visa application.

    • To come to the UK for Medical Electives
      • The electives must be related to certain overseas degree level courses
        • Medical, Dentistry or Veterinary degrees only
      • Students can undertake more than 1 Medical Elective during the 6-month validity of the short-term study visa, as long as they declared both courses when they applied for this visa
      • Tier 4 will continue to be available for a Medical Elective as an alternative option

    You must:

    • Be aged 16 or over.
      • Students who are under 16 years old will need to apply for a Short-term Student (Child) visa
        • There are different requirements for this visa: please contact the Immigration Team for further information on this type of visa
    • Hold a current passport or other valid travel identification
      • You will need at least one blank page in your passport/travel document, and it must be valid for the entire visa period (6 months - 11 months for PEPS courses)
    • Have sufficient financial resources to accommodate and maintain yourself for the duration of the visit
    • Have a valid UKVI tuberculosis test result if you are undertaking PEPS and you are from a country that has this requirement
    • Have certified English translations for any documents that are not in English
  • On a short-term study visa you can:

    • Complete a period of study or research no longer than 6 months where you are fully enrolled on a degree level course taught overseas, as defined by the Home Office
    • Complete a period of research tuition (i.e. to learn about research) no longer than 6 months where you are fully enrolled on a degree level course taught overseas, as defined by the Home Office
    • Complete an elective where you are registered on a medicine, veterinary medicine and science or dentistry course overseas and this course is equivalent to UK degree level
    • Attend UK based components of a distance learning course (or a part time course which is akin to distance learning) where visits to the UK will not exceed 56 days in any 6 month period
    • Attend an oral (viva) examination for a postgraduate course
    • Re-sit an exam or retake a module
    • Enrol on a full-time English Language course of more than 6 months using an extended 11 month Short-term Study visa

    On a short-term study visa you can NOT:

    • Enrol on a full-time course of study longer than 6 months, other than an English Language course as stated above or a distance learning or part-time course akin to distance learning
    • Undertake placements or internships
    • Undertake employment, either paid or unpaid - see below for more information on volunteering
    • Extend your short-term study visa
    • Switch into another visa category from inside the UK
    • Bring family members to the UK as your dependants
    • Intend to stay beyond the course of study end date given in the visa application (although your visa may be valid for longer)
    You should ensure that a short-term study visa is the most appropriate visa type for your circumstances to avoid any problems at the current time or at a later date.

    Holders of a short-term study visa may volunteer while in the UK provided that they:

    - Do not have a contract of employment

    - Do not take the place of an employee

    - Do not receive payment - travel reimbursement and/or subsistence allowance is permitted

    - Volunteer to help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation

  • If you already hold a long-term, multiple-entry visit visa and wish occasionally to come to the UK solely to study for a short period of time (up to 30 days), for example, you regularly visit the UK for business purposes but need to occasionally visit the UK to study because you are pursuing a distance learning MBA course, you may be able to study using your existing visit visa as long as you meet the following requirements:

    • The main purpose of holding the long-term visit visa must continue to be to undertake visitor activities as set out in paragraphs 3 to 24 and 26 to 27 of appendix 3 to appendix V of the Immigration Rules.
    • This means visits must continue to be mainly for permitted activities other than study – for example, that the time spent studying in the UK does not exceed the time spent carrying out other activities (such as general visiting or for business purposes).

    Please note that if information is available to the UK Border staff that the visits are not mainly for other permitted visitor activities, the visitor visa can be cancelled and you can be refused entry upon arrival in the UK.

    Please note:

    You cannot hold 2 forms of leave which are concurrent at the same time, therefore, if you apply for a short term study visa whilst holding a valid long-term visit visa, your long-term visit visa may be cancelled without prejudice. You should consider your options carefully, taking into consideration the pattern of your course and study dates in the UK to ascertain whether it is best to study using your current visit visa or to apply for a short term study visa.

  • If your application for a short-term study visa is approved you will usually be granted entry clearance for 6 months. If you are undertaking an English language course, for example PEPS, you will be issued an extended 11 month visa.

    Regardless of the length of leave you have been granted, you must leave the UK:

    • Within 30 days of your course end date


    • By your visa end date if this is before the end of the 30 day period following the end date of your course.

    Staying in the UK beyond the visit periods stated in your original visa application, including staying in the UK for longer than 30 days after the course end date, could be viewed by the Home Office as a breach of visa conditions and may lead to future visa applications being refused or a UK time ban.

  • Applying for a English Language short-term study visa

    Extended short-term study visas for English Language courses MUST be applied for in advance from overseas (Entry Clearance).

    Immigration Health Surcharge

    Students applying for an 11 month short-term study visa for an English Language course will be liable to pay a mandatory £150 Immigration Health Surcharge before their application is considered.

    Click here for more information from the Home Office IHS website.

    Police Registration

    Nationals of certain countries issued an 11 month short-term study visa will also be subject to a condition which specifies their registration with the police on arrival to the UK.

    Click here for more information on Police Registration

  • Please follow the link for more information on Non-Visa Nationals.

  • A short-term study visa that is applied for overseas, that is before you travel to the UK (Entry Clearance), is a multiple entry visa. A short-term study visa issued at the port of entry to the UK (available only to non-visa nationals) is a single entry visa.

    If you enter as a short-term student at the border and then leave the UK during your Warwick registration period you will need to re-apply as a short-term student when you re-enter; for this reason you should always travel with your short-term study visa support letter.

    Alternatively if you think you are likely to leave and re-enter the UK during your course you should apply for a multiple entry short-term study visa in advance of traveling to the UK (Entry Clearance).

    • If you are a visiting/exchange student, the Exchange team in Student opportunity: Student Mobility will contact you regarding your visa options and send you a support letter if you decide to undertake your studies using a Short-term Study visa
    • If you are a distance learning student at WBS, your relevant admissions team in WBS will prepare the letter for you a few months ahead of your Warwick week
    • For any other students, the letter will be prepared by the Immigration Service team at the request of your academic department. If you require a support letter, please get in touch with your academic department in the first instance and ask them to request a support letter on your behalf - please note that access to this webpage is restricted to University of Warwick staff members.
  • How do I know if I am a Visa National or Non-Visa National?

    Click here to go to the online Appendix V of the Immigration rules

    Scroll down and click on appendix 2 Visa National list to expand. If your country is listed you are a Visa National. If is not, you are a Non-Visa National

    Find more information if you are Non-Visa Nationals.
    Not sure how to complete the Short Term Study Visa application form? Check our application guide.
    Application requirements for Visa Nationals & English Language (11 Months) courses
    Preparing your evidence before you make your application.

    Before you leave to come to the UK, you must ensure you have all the required evidence to successfully apply for a short-term study visa on arrival.

    You will need:

    • A current passport or other valid travel identification
    • Evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
    • Details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans - you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
    • Contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country if under 18 years of age
    • A valid ATAS certificate if your course, generally postgraduate courses, requires one.
      • Your offer letter should state if the course you are coming to study has an ATAS requirement
        • If you are unsure, you should contact your department for confirmation
        • If it does you will need to apply for an ATAS certificate.
        • It takes a minimum of 28 days to obtain an ATAS certificate from the moment the application is submitted
        • Please ensure you follow the required steps to obtain an ATAS well in advance of your journey
        • If your course requires ATAS, and you are unable to provide a valid ATAS certificate with your application it will be refused
    • A short-term study support letter
      • See previous question for information on how to obtain this letter
    • If English Language course

    Please click on the links below to see the information on GOV.UK: STSV

    Information about where to apply in each country can be found from the Home Office website. It is possible to make an application for a visitor visa from any country, not just your home country, provided the embassy in question accepts visit visa applications - contact your nearest British Embassy for more information.

    Applications for short-term study visas are made online using the application form at GOV.UK application pages.

    • Select the option: Short-term student visa
    • Follow the online instructions

    We advise that you use the STSV application guide to assist you with your application

    Once you have received your short-term study visa you can travel to the UK. You will then need to visit the Immigration Desk at your port of arrival, and ensure that your short-term study visa is activated. To activate it, the short-term study visa must be stamped with a valid entry stamp. Please ensure you check that your short-term study visa has a valid entry stamp before you leave the Immigration Desk.

    Please click here for more information on entry stamps.


    If you will travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland, please note that you will only be granted a 90 day visa.

    This will mean you can only study for a period of 90 days or less.

    If your study period is longer than 90 days, you should either:

    • Apply for a short-term study visa before you travel and avoid entering the UK via the Republic of Ireland


    • If you enter via the Republic of Ireland, you will then need to leave the Common Travel Area (CTA) within 90 days, and return to the UK, visiting the immigration desk on your return to gain/activate your short-term study visa, which will then enable you to study for up to 6 months.
    • The CTA is the UK, Republic of Ireland, The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
    • An example of this would be :
      • If your passport allows you to, or, if you already hold a Schengen visa, you can make a day trip / weekend trip to any EU country
      • You can then visit the Immigration Desk at your port of entry
  • You need to show that you have sufficient funds available to support yourself during your visit to the UK without working or claiming public funds.

    This should include evidence of money to pay for:

    • Course fees
    • Accommodation
    • Daily subsistence (meals, etc.)
    • Onward or return flights

    There is no set amount which the Home Office expects you to show for your living costs but you should show that you can cover these expenses. If you were to use the Tier 4 application requirements as a general guide, you should allow at least £1,000 a month for expenses.

    Entry Clearance Officers will take into account your regular outgoings, e.g. mortgage payments, financial support of dependants, as well as the source of your funds, e.g. your personal salary or that of your parents, when assessing if you have the necessary money to support yourself while in the UK. You should provide evidence of where your income comes from, e.g. payslips, 3rd party bank statements as evidence of transfer of funds.

    Where you are being funded by a family member we suggest that you provide evidence of your relationship to them and/or a letter from them giving consent to use their money for your studies. If you provide insufficient evidence relating to the origin of your funds it is possible that your application may be refused.

    There is no specific length of time that the funds must have been held in your account. However, Entry Clearance Officers are told to make further checks to establish the origin of money where it has not been held for long.

    Third Party Support
    • You should declare support from a third party on your application form
    • Maintenance and/or accommodation support can be provided by a third party providing that they:
      • Have a genuine personal or professional relationship with you
      • Are not, and will not be, in breach of UK immigration laws
      • Can, and will provide support for the intended duration of your stay in the UK.
    • You should provide written confirmation from the third party confirming they will be responsible for your maintenance and accommodation and their relationship to you
    • If your study visit is being funded by your academic department or you are in receipt of a scholarship, you should submit an original letter which confirms what costs are being met
    • Unless the letter states explicitly that all your costs, fees, travel, accommodation, meals, etc., are covered, you will still need to provide financial evidence of your own funds
    • Please refer to Home Office guidance on what you should provide; avoid including documents which are not necessary
    • You need to submit a short-term study visa support letter from the University of Warwick confirming that you have been accepted on a course of study with us - see above sections for information on where to obtain this letter
    • You should provide details of where you will stay during your visit, although we do not advise paying for any accommodation until you have obtained your visa
      • If you are staying with a friend or family member then you should include a letter from them which confirms this
    • If you are enrolled at a university in your home country and are coming to Warwick as part of an exchange/study visit, include a letter confirming the dates of your course and your registration status at your home institution
    • If you are enrolled at a university in your home country and are coming to Warwick to do research, mostly for postgraduate students, or receive research tuition, mostly for undergraduate visiting students, the research you will do at Warwick must be directly relevant or related to the course, and you must provide confirmation of the course and that the research relates to it from your home institution.
    • If you are coming to the UK to undertake a permitted medical elective then you will need to provide details of the course you are enrolled on overseas and how it relates to your study in the UK
    • If you are employed in your home country then you should provide full details of this in the application form.
      • It may be useful to include a letter of support from your employer which consents to your visiting the UK and confirms your intent to return home at the end of the visit
    • If you are applying for an 11 month extended short-term student visa for an English course then you may also need to provide a valid TB certificate with your application
    • The application form also asks for the details of any friends or family you have in the UK and what you intend to do during your visit
      • You should answer fully and honestly
    • You need to show that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your study or at the end of the 6 months, whichever is sooner
      • We recommend that you include details of onward or return flights - it may also be helpful to provide evidence of other ties that you have in your home country, such as family, property or other assets
    • Applicants aged 16 or 17 will also need to provide details of travel, accommodation and care arrangements in the UK and written consent from a parent or legal guardian
    • We suggest that you also read full guidance from the Home Office website, especially if you have had a visa refusal in the past
  • If you have applied for a short-term study visa overseas before you travel, you should receive a student visitor visa vignette (sticker) in your passport which will be valid for 6 months.

    If you apply for a short-term study visa at the port of entry to the UK, assuming you have shown your short-term study visa Support Letter to the Immigration Officer, they should stamp your passport with a short-term study visa stamp, or, they may handwrite 'VST' for Visiting Student or 'STS' for Short Term Student on a visitor stamp.

    If the stamp in your passport does not clearly show that you sought entry as a short-term student then you must ask the Immigration Officer to make sure it does.

    Please click here for more information on entry stamps.

  • In order to become fully enrolled on your course you will have to complete online enrolment AND present your passport and visa at an in-person 'right to study' event. Your immigration documents will then be checked to ensure they are valid and allow for study.

    Click here for more information about enrolment.

    Students on distance learning courses or students coming to re-sit exams will be required to show their visa to staff at the University each time they commence a period of study engagement - this includes examinations, modules, etc.

  • If you will be starting a new course at the University of Warwick using a short-term study visa, you will be required to provide your passport and visa information during online enrolment.

    If you will apply for a short-term study visa before you travel

    You must have received your passport with the short-term study visa vignette (sticker) affixed to your passport. You should then visit the Enrolment homepage and follow the instructions given.

    You should then:

    • Choose 'Student Visitor' as your visa type when prompted
    • Enter the start date, expiry date and visa number when prompted
      • Your visa number is on the top right corner in red
    • Upload a clear scan or photo of your passport data page and the visa vignette when prompted
    If you are a Non-Visa National requesting entry as a short-term student on arrival to the UK

    Click here for enrolment information for Non-Visa Nationals who intend to obtain a STSV on arrival

  • If your visa application is unsuccessful you will receive a refusal notice which sets out the reason the caseworker did not approve the application and grant the leave.

    The most common reasons for visa refusals in the short-term study visa category are:

    • Lack of finances
      • The applicant did not demonstrate access to sufficient funds to finance their visit


    • The caseworker did not believe the source of funds demonstrated was genuine
    • The caseworker did not believe that the applicant intended to leave the UK at the end of the proposed study period
    • The caseworker did not believe that the intent to study was genuine
    • You can also be refused on general grounds, such as failure to disclose information about previous visa applications or breaches of leave

    There is currently no admin review or appeals process for the short-term study route, so the caseworker's decision is final. If you decide to reapply you will need to read the refusal notice carefully to see how you can address the reasons for the refusal and include new documents where needed.

    You must declare the original refusal in any subsequent visa applications.

** Applicants who want to come to the UK to study one of the following courses MUST use Tier 4 of the points based system

  • an English language course that lasts longer than 11 months
  • any other full time course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • a course that includes a work placement or work experience

Quick links

Short-term Study - Application guidance (for students)

Home Office - Short-term students guidance (for caseworkers)

Home Office - Supporting documents for Visitor Visas

Home Office - Immigration rules for students

Home Office - Electronic Visa Waiver