Student Visa UK
UK Student visa for EEA Nationals
If you are a national of an EEA country (European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you can enter the UK as a student with a minimum of formality, you do not require entry clearance or a visa. You may be asked to show evidence that you have been accepted on to a course, and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself whilst in the UK. You will also need your passport. You can apply visa (generally decision is made within 3 weeks) up to 3 months before start of your course. You might have to prove your English proficiency (for non native English speakers)
UK Student visa for Non EEA Nationals
The 'prospective student' (which is for post-16 education like BS or above) category is for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. If you are an EEA or Swiss national. If you are EEA or Swiss national then you can apply for registration certificate. This document confirms your right of residence in the UK under European law.
Nationals from many countries are required to obtain an entry visa or certificate before coming to the UK. They can do this at the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Nationals from countries where an entry visa is not compulsory such as some Commonwealth countries should also consider applying for entry clearance before leaving home. This is to ensure a Right of Appeal in the unlikely event that entry is refused. To check if you need a visa
look at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office web page at
To come to the UK as a student you will have to produce the following documents
- A passport
- A letter of unconditional acceptance for a full-time course
- Evidence of your ability to meet, without working in the UK, the costs of your course, accommodation and maintenance and to support any dependents accompanying you.
- Tuberculosis test (depends on your Country).
Student visas are normally granted for an initial period of one year, usually determined by the length of the course to be studied.
When you arrive in the
UK, an immigration officer may question you, so take all relevant documents in your hand luggage.work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless your placement is part of your studies, has the agreement of your education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognized examining body
do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
work full-time in a permanent job
You may take part-time or holiday work but you must not:
Can I switch to Work Permit employment when I am in the UK?
Can I bring my husband, or wife and children with me?
You may be able to switch if:
you have completed a recognized degree course at either a UK publicly funded further or higher education institution or bona-fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrollment and attendance
you hold a valid work permit for employment
you have the written consent of any government or agency which is sponsoring you
you have not broken immigration law
Your husband or wife and any of your children under 18 can come to the UK with
you during your studies as long as you can support them and live without help
from any public funds.
The authorities must also believe that you are a genuine student, that you intend to leave at the end of the course and that you have the required qualifications to take the course. It is a good idea to keep all documentation in your hand luggage during travel, as it may need to be produced on arrival in the UK.
If you are issued with a visa for more than six months it will be the equivalent of a multiple entry visa. If you are a national of a country where entry clearance is a requirement and your course is for six months or less you may want to consider applying for a multiple entry visa in order to leave and re-enter the UK during this time.
Important note: Do not enter the UK on a visitor's visa with the intention of changing to a student visa at a later date. This is because unless you are from a country whose nationals do not need to obtain a visa before coming to the UK, you will not be able to change to a student visa and will have to return home to make an application
In self-contained flats, your rent will usually be payable monthly and your landlord or landlady is unlikely to live on the premises. Any rules you are required to keep will be written in the lease or agreement you have signed which is legally binding. The lease will usually be for specific periods and once you sign you are committed to renting the flat for that length of time. So study the lease carefully before signing, and if necessary take legal advice.
Passport stickers, stamp and length of stay
If you apply for a visa at a British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission outside the UK, you will receive a sticker called a vignette, in your passport with your conditions and length of stay. When you arrive at the airport, you will receive a stamp to show when you entered the UK.
If you are applying for entry at a port of entry (you can only do this if you are from a non visa national), you will receive a stamp in your passport with your conditions and length of stay.
You can stay for full duration of course + few more months/weeks (1-4 depending on the course). At the end of that time, you must leave the UK unless you have applied to extend your stay or to switch into another immigration category.
The Immigration Officer will have endorsed your passport with any other restriction that may apply to you. Some students will be asked to register with the Police, please see the later section on registering with the Police.