UK student visas

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Last updated: Wednesday 22 July 2020     

UK student visas for English language courses

Before you travel to the UK to study an English language course, you may need to apply for a student visa.

Do I need a student visa?

The answer depends on your nationality and how long you want to study for.

Depending on your nationality, you may not need a study visa if you want to study in the UK for less than 6 months.

Students from the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not need a visa to study in the UK in 2020. Find out more+

From January 2021, anyone with a UK visitor visa will be able to study in the UK for a maximum of 6 months, without needing a study visa. 

Do I need a minimum level of English to study in the UK?

No. The Short Term Study Visa is suitable for students who want to study English for up to 11 months, and it does not require a minimum level of English.

If you want to study for longer than 11 months need a different visa, called a Tier 4 student visa. To apply for a Tier 4 student visa, you need to study at a language centre a language centres that is on the UK government's Tier 4 Sponsor register

How do I choose a language centre?

Before you apply for a visa, you must have a course offer from a government-approved accredited language centre.

If you want to study English for up to 11 months, you can choose any English UK member centre.

If you want to study for longer than 11 months you will need to choose a language centres on the UK government's Tier 4 Sponsor register.

More information

For more information, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website is an excellent source of advice for students, on visas, money and living in the UK.