Visas and information

EU Nationals and Non-visa Nationals

International students require a visa (also known as ‘entry clearance’) to study in the UK. Non-visa nationals can choose whether to apply for entry clearance for short-term study in advance of travelling, or they may enter the UK without a visa. If you will obtain a Standard Visit visa at the airport, we advise that you travel with your supporting documents in your hand luggage, see information on documents required below, in case you are questioned by a Border Control Officer. 

If you choose not to apply for a visa before your trip you may either see a Border Control Officer at immigration who will provide a visa stamp in your passport or you can enter the UK through an e-Gate.  The eGates, also known as ePassport gates, are automated self-service barriers located at immigration checkpoints at UK airports. They are an alternative to seeing an Immigration Officer/Border Force Officer.  

You can enter the UK via the eGates if you are aged 18 or over and hold a current passport (with a biometric chip) from an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA.

This will grant you the right to study in the UK for a period of maximum six months.

All international students are required to submit their immigration documents for a Right to Study Check before starting their course in the UK.

If you do not receive a visa in your passport because you have use the eGates,  then you will need to save your Boarding Pass and Flight Details to submit for your Right to Study Check, as evidence of when you entered the UK using an e-Gate.

We advise that you do not obtain a Standard Visit visa at the airport if you have had previous UK immigration refusals.

You can be refused entry if the Immigration Officer is not satisfied that you meet the conditions for a Standard Visitor Visa as explained below.

Electronic Visa Waivers

Nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates who hold an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) Document, who wish to study a course of six months or less, do not need to apply for prior entry clearance. Nationals of these countries who hold an EVW document can apply for permission to enter at the airport instead. Permission to enter will be granted for a period of up to 6 months.

Please see further information on the Electronic Visa Waivers page on the website. 

Standard Visitor visa

From 1 December 2020 the Standard Visit Visa has replaced the Short-Term Student Visa for study in the UK of up to six months. The Standard visit visa now allows students to come and study in the UK for a course of up to six months.

Please note that you cannot apply for a Standard Visit Visa from inside the UK. 

You can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to study if you are aged 16 and over and you are:

  • Studying a short course (six months or less) with no work or internship, 
  • Returning to the UK to re sit an exam, retake a module

What are the main conditions for a Standard Visitor visa?

You must:

  • have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, and be able to pay for your return or onward journey out of the UK.
  • Show that you are a genuine visitor
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • if aged 16 or 17 there are additional requirements, please seek further advice before applying, contact

You must not:

  • do any kind of work, business activity, work placement, work experience, self-employment, business activity or professional activity during your studies in the UK
  • apply to switch into any other immigration category while you are in the UK
  • Continue studying in the UK after your immigration permission as a Standard Visit Visa has come to an end. If you want to study full time in the UK you will need to return home and apply for a Student Visa, or apply for a different visa under the appropriate immigration category

You will not:

  • be entitled to free National Health Service health care, you must take out private medical insurance from your home country before you come to the UK

What documents do you need when you apply for this visa?

A full list of supporting documents can be found on the website

Listed below are some of the documents you will need to support your application:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification document, your passport must be valid for the whole of your stay
  • an unconditional offer letter from GB MET. This letter will confirm that we are a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and hold a Student sponsor licence and will confirm the details of your course. 
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, eg bank statements or payslips. You will need to show that you can pay the tuition fees for you course, accommodation and living expenses. The guidance does not state how much money you must have, however using the Student maintenance figures as a guide only, it would be reasonable to show that you have the equivalent of £1,334 per month for the duration of your studies. If you will be staying with friends or family, you can include evidence of this.
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans 
  • previous travel documents/passports, which show previous travel 
  • confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport

You may also need to show evidence of: 

  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies
  • birth certificate and a consent letter from your parent, if your parent is supporting you financially
  • if you are under 18 you will need additional documents, seek advice before submitting your application
  • links in your home country, for example, evidence that you are a student in your home country (if applicable), your employment contract or a letter from your employer (if applicable), evidence of your address in your home country (for example: tenancy agreement or mortgage papers). Business Registration documents or self-employment evidence

All documents, apart from passports, can be originals, scans or photocopies.

If you submit a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office.

You need a page in your passport that is blank on both sides for your visa.

Your passport must be valid for the full duration of your stay in the UK.

If you apply for entry clearance before you travel to the UK, you will be given a vignette (sticker in your passport). This sticker will confirm the duration of your visa and your visa conditions. It is important that you enter the UK after your Standard Visit Visa begins. 

If you enter the UK before the start of your Standard Visitor Visa, you may be asked to leave the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and return during the validity of your visa (as stated on your vignette/sticker).

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