Applying for a Short-term study visa

  • A Short-term study visa is different to a Tier 4 General student visa as it allows you to study part-time, but only for courses up to six months long (or 11 months for English Language students). You may want to apply for this visa if you will be an exchange or English Language student, or if you only need to come to the UK occasionally for a distance learning course (for no more than 56 days in any 6 month period). It may also be possible to apply for a Short-term student visa to resit an exam.

    How to apply

    Read the Home Office guidance on applying.

    If you are a visa national (appendix 2) or apply for the English language course 11 month concession visa, you must apply for your visa before you travel.

    If you are applying for a course of up to 6 months and are not a visa national (appendix 2) you can get your visa when you arrive in the UK, but you will still need to show the same evidence and so we recommend applying before you travel. It is important that you make it clear you will be studying when you arrive so that you are not given a visitor visa that doesn't allow study to be your main reason for coming to the UK. Make sure you show the UKVI official your Brookes offer letter for your course and check that the stamp they give you in your passport says 'short-term student'.

    On arrival in the UK - Important!

    If you did not apply for your Short-term study visa before travelling to the UK, then you must not use the eGates when you arrive at immigration control at the airport. You must see a Border Force officer to get a stamp in your passport that will allow you to study, even if you are a national that can usually use the eGates. If an immigration officer tries to get you to use the eGates then show them this UKVI information sheet (PDF).


    You must check whether you're eligible for healthcare cover in the UK as most students on a Short-term student visa are only entitled to free hospital cover. In this case, we recommend that you take out additional medical insurance.

    Short-term study visa restrictions

    • You cannot apply for a Short-term student visa in the UK
    • You cannot extend your Short-term student visa in the UK
    • You cannot do any work with a Short-term student visa
    • Your family members cannot apply to be the dependent of a short-term student
    • The maximum length of a Short-term student visa is 6 months except English Language only students can apply for a maximum of 11 months.
    • Even if your visa lasts longer, you need to leave the UK within 30 days of finishing your studies. It can affect future visa applications if you do not.

    Help on applying from ISAT

    We respond to most emails within one or two working days.

    Phone +44 1865 484681
    If an adviser isn't available to take your call you can leave your number for us to call you back.

    Email ISAT to make an appointment.