Short Term Study Visa UK: Rules, Requirements, Refusal Reasons

Student Visitor Visa UKThis relates to the 6 and 11-month Short Term Study Visa UK: Rules, Requirements and Refusal Reasons. Perhaps, the 11-month short term student visitor visa is commonly known as the UK English Language visa. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  1. A general overview of the Short Term Study Visa UK for 6 and 11 months
    • Types of Short Term Study Visa UK
  2. 6-month short-term study visa UK rules and requirements
  3. 11-month English language student visa UK
  4. Accredited Institutions for Short Term Study Visa UK
  5. Common Reasons for UK Student Visitor Visa Refusal
  6. UK Student Visitor Visa Refusal Rate

1) Short Term Study Visa UK for 6 and 11 months

The short-term student visa is for those, who intend to visit the UK to study a short duration course. However, the course does not include either a work placement or a work experience. The short-term student visa is previously called a student visitor visa.

This study route enables a non-EEA national to study a course up to six months in the UK. In the case of an English Language course, the time duration is up to 11 months. A short-term study visa is usually for:

  • a Study Abroad, Exchange or Visiting student
  • an English language programme
  • distance learning course, such as the Distance Learning MBA
  • re-sitting in examinations or re-taking a study module
  • attending a Summer School or other short course
  • conducting research related to degree-level study overseas
  • attending a PhD viva

Types of Short Term Study Visa UK

There are three (3) types of short-term student routes:

  1. UK short-term study visa for six (6) months
  2. short-term student eleven (11) months for studying the English Language
  3. short-term student (child) visa for a maximum duration of six (6) months.
Same Requirements for 6-11 months ST Student Visitor
Short term study visa UK formAccess UK online application form
Conditions of leave to enterNo work and No recourse to public funds
ATAS certificate required (if applicable)
Are dependants allowed?Not permitted
Is switching into this category permitted?No
Can you apply for further leave to remain (in country) after this visa?No
Does this category lead to settlement (ILR)?No
Knowledge of language and lifeNot required

Different Requirements for 6 and 11-months ST Study Visa

Requirements6 month ST Student11 month ST Student
Entry clearance mandatoryVisa nationals onlyAll applicants
Short Term Study Visa Fee£97£186
Entry clearance endorsementsCat C: ST studentST student Code D
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)Not requiredRequired
Leave to enter endorsements6 months: ST studentCode 3: 11 months: ST student
Length of leave6 months11 months
TB certificateNot RequiredTB certificate (if applicable)
Is the Immigration Health Surcharge payable?NoYes
Does police registration apply?NoYes

Tier 4 Student Visa UK

Those who intend to visit the UK to study one of the following types of courses are required to apply for a visa under the Point-Based System (PBS) Tier 4 route:

  • an English language course that lasts longer than eleven (11) months
  • any other course that lasts longer than six (6) months
  • a course that involves a work placement/experience

Can You Study in the UK on a Tourist Visa?

Yes, a person on a visitor visa to the UK for instance as a tourist or family visitor can pursue a course of study for up to thirty (30) days. However, studying should not be the main purpose of the visit. Moreover, if an applicant intends to study on visitor visa then needs to apply for a standard visitor visa.

2) 6-month short-term study visa UK rules and requirements

A short-term student {six (6) months} can come to the United Kingdom for up to six (6) months for studying a course, completing a period of research and completing research tuition (for instance, to learn about research/methods and techniques).

Applicants intending to apply for entry clearance or leave to enter to either study or conduct research thesis as a short-term student (six months) are required to meet all the requirements of paragraphs A57C and A57D of the UK Immigration Rules.

General requirements for 6-month short term study visa UK

The general requirements for short term student visa UK are:

  • an applicant must seek a genuine entry to study in the UK as a short-term student
  • the applicant need to be eighteen (18) years or above
  • either an accredited institution in the UK or HEI accepts the applicant as a short term student. In case of a higher education institution (HEI) for research or learn about research for up to six (6) months
  • the applicant intends to leave the UK either at the end of the study course or at the end of six (6) months or eleven (11) months leave granted to the student, whichever is the earliest date
  • the applicant is able to maintain and also accommodate himself/herself with his/her own funds
  • an applicant is able to meet the cost of onward/return journey;
  • the individual has a valid entry clearance to the UK as a short-term student (at the time of arrival in the United Kingdom) if he/she is a visa national and/ or the individual is seeking to study in the UK for more than six (6) month

Student Visitor Visa UK Duration

The applicant can live up to 6 months – for any short course (including English language courses), or a short period of research if an applicant is 18 or over. The applicant can live up to 11 months – if he/she is 18 or over and taking an English language course. However, applicants can not bring family members (‘dependants’) as they must need to apply separately.

Short Term Student Visa UK Extension

Short term students in the UK can’t extend their visa. Accordingly, an application for leave to remain as a short-term student is refused under paragraph 322(1) of the Immigration Rules. Most noteworthy: there is no provision in the Rules to grant a leave to remain in the UK for the purpose of short term study in the UK.

Short Term Study Visa UK Financial Requirements

Unlike the Tier 4 student entry clearance application, there are no specified funds requirements for short term student visitor visa UK. However, applicants must demonstrate the availability of sufficient funds to cover the price of short term course, cost of living and accommodation and that of the return journey. Certainly, without working in the UK and recourse to public funds.

Cost of Living for Student Visitor Visa UK

A Tier 4 student requires £1,265 per month for living costs for studying in London. Therefore, if an applicant is intending to study a short course in London then £1,265 is a good proxy for computing cost of living, inclusive of accommodation. However, if an applicant intends to stay with friends or family during the duration of study in the UK, then can include proof of accommodation in the UK. Accordingly, the inclusion of such accommodation proof reduces the cost of living in the UK.

Course Fee for Short Term Study Visa UK

Moreover, the price of short term course depends on the length and nature of the course. The min course fee usually starts at £150-200 per week. However, the course fee per week may go higher many folds. Accordingly, 12 weeks or 3 months short course may usually cost a min of £2,500-4,000.

Computing Min Financial Requirements for Student Visitor Visa UK

In light of the above, the financial requirements for a 3 months short term student visa UK may hover in the range of £6,000 to cover course fee and cost of living in the UK. Moreover, add up the return ticket cost to get an idea about the approximate final financial requirement. Preferably, an applicant may provide a bank statement to cover the financial requirements for short term study visa UK.

Multiple entry short term study visa

Certainly, all visa nationals need to apply for an entry clearance visa to study a short course or English Language in the UK. Accordingly, the UK short term study visa for entry clearance is a multiple entry visa. The multiple entry short term study visa enables a student to enter and exit the UK on more than one occasion during the validity period of the visa.

Single entry short term study visa

However, short term study visa grants on arrival in the UK to non-visa nationals is a single entry visa and is usually at the most for six months.

Can a student visitor work on short term study visa UK?

In the UK, short-term students are not allowed to work, either in a paid or unpaid employment or a job. The short-term students are not allowed to enrol in a course of study that includes either a work placement or a work experience.

Short-term students can volunteer but are not allowed to undertake voluntary work.

Voluntary workers

  • often have a contract with the employer, which means the employer is required to provide work and the voluntary worker is expected to attend at particular times to carry out specific/particular tasks;
  • are also usually remunerated in kind;


  • do not have a contract of employment
  • must not receive payment in kind but are reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses
  • must not take the place of an employee
  • generally, help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation

Statement of Changes Jan 11, 2018, Short-Term Study Visa UK

In terms of Statement of Changes announced on Dec 7, 2017, and effective from January 11, 2018, the min age of an applicant for short-term study visa is now 16 years, previously it was 18 years. Moreover, now a student on a short-term study visa can:

  • remain in the UK for up to 30 days after the course end date, provided that the student’s total time spent in the UK does not exceed six (6) months
  • study consecutive and concurrent courses using the same short-term study visa provided that the total time spent in the United Kingdom does not exceed six (6) months
  • come to the United Kingdom for studying elective courses related to certain overseas degree level courses.

Acceptance Letter for Short Term Study Visa UK

If a short-term student (6 months) is coming to the UK to study, he/she needs to be accepted for a course of study at an accredited institution. The applicant is required to furnish an acceptance letter from an accredited institution with the necessary details of the study program/course in the United Kingdom.

Short-Term Study in the UK as Part of a Course

genuine short-term student applicant, who intends to complete part of a study course in the UK needs to satisfy the following criteria in the visa application:

  • studying outside the UK for a UK qualification (for instance, by distance learning);
  • a course that is longer than six (6) months;
  • a student needs to spend a period of time in the United Kingdom studying as part of the course;
  • the student is not spending more than six (6) months studying in the UK on any single occasion;

A student who is either re-sitting a formal examination or retaking a study module, or a postgraduate student who is taking his/her oral (viva) examination, can also apply as a short-term student if the study course does not take more than six (6) months on any occasion.

If the student is spending multiple periods in the UK, then he/she needs to clarify that his/her frequent/successive study visits do not mean he/she is full-time studying in the UK. For instance, student spending some months studying in the UK, leave the UK for a few days and then return for a further period of study.

Research and Research Tuition on Student Visitor Visa UK

If a short-term student (six months) is intending to visit the UK for completing a short period of research or for learning research methods and techniques. For instance, how to conduct research, then an applicant needs to satisfy that he/she:

  • is studying a course overseas which is equivalent to a UK degree level course:
    • the applicant may check if the overseas course is equivalent to a UK degree from UK NARIC;
    • research should be either part of the overseas course or is relevant to the overseas course;
    • the applicant is required to provide confirmation of the course and relevance of the research to the course from his/her overseas education provider/institution;
  • has been accepted by a higher education institution (HEI) in the UK. And the HEI is funded by one of the following funding bodies/councils in the UK for either conducting research or teaching research methods (i.e., research tuition):
    • Wales – Higher Education Funding Council;
    • Scottish Funding Council;
    • Northern Ireland – Department for Employment and Learning;
    • England – Higher Education Funding Council;

A short-term student (six months) cannot:

  • undertake a research assignment in any other circumstances
  • employ as a sponsored researcher- to do so, he/she is required to apply either under Tier 2 or Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) of the points-based system (PBS)

3) 11-month short term study visa for the English language

English Language Student Visa UK is for those applicants who intend to come to the United Kingdom for studying ‘English Language’ for more than six (6) months but not more than eleven (11) months.

Definition of English Language Study

For the purpose of this route ‘English Language Study’ is a course which teaches English as a Foreign Language only and does not include any other subject(s). An applicant is not allowed to study mixed courses under this study route.

Requirements for Entry Clearance or Leave to Enter

A short-term student for studying the English Language in the UK is required to meet the conditions stated in Paragraph A57C and A57E of the Immigration Rules. Perhaps, a leave to enter is likely to refuse to those applicants who do not have entry clearance as a short-term student (eleven months). Moreover, a decision maker may refuse any other type of application under this route, including applications to undertake research as a short-term student (eleven months).

Acceptance letter for English language student visa UK

The applicant is required to be accepted for a course of study at an accredited institution. Accordingly, for getting a UK English language student visa an applicant needs to provide an acceptance letter from the institution with details of the course.

Police registration for English language student visa UK

All applicants coming to the UK for more than 6-months under English language student visa route for up to 11-months need to register with the police in the UK if the applicant is a:

  • national or citizen of a country or territory listed in Appendix 2 to the UK Immigration Rules;
  • stateless person;
  • a person holding non-national travel documents.

Health surcharge £150 for English language student visa UK

All Short Term Students (11 months) applying for UK English language visa needs to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge at the reduced rate for students (£150 for every 12 months of leave) at the time of making the entry clearance application.

4) Accredited Institutions for Short Term Study Visa UK

A short-term student is only accepted on a study course offered by an accredited institution.

An accredited institution in the UK falls into either one of the categories:

  • holds a Tier 4 PBS sponsor licence;
  • holds a valid accreditation from:
    • Accreditation UK;
    • ABLS – the Accreditation Body for Language Services;
    • BAC – the British Accreditation Council;
    • ASIC – Accreditation Service for International Colleges;
  • valid full institutional inspection by any one of the following bodies:
    • Estyn;
    • Bridge Schools Inspectorate;
    • Education Scotland;
    • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education;
    • Ofsted;
    • the Independent Schools Inspectorate;
    • Education & Training Inspectorate Northern Ireland;
    • the School Inspection Service;

Definition of Higher Education Institution (HEI)

A UK HEI is a recognised body or a body, which receives public funds as a higher education institution from at least either one or more of the followings:

Short Term Study Visa UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI)
EnglandOffice for Students (see the Register section of the website)
ScotlandScottish Funding Council.
WalesHigher Education Funding Council for Wales
Northern IrelandDepartment for the Economy

Moreover, HM’s Home Office also accepts the following educational institutions as HEIs:

  • Richmond, the American International University in London as it is recognised in the statute in the Education Order 2006 (Recognised Awards) (Richmond The American International University in London);
  • Health Education South London as an HEI for sponsored students who were assigned a certificate of acceptance for studies (CAS) between 1 July 2015 to 31 October 2016 to undertake a recognised Foundation Programme for postgraduate doctors and dentists;
  • Health Education England as an HEI for the sponsored student to take a recognised Foundation Programme for postgraduate doctors and dentists from 1 November 2016;

Accredited Overseas Higher Education Institutions

An overseas higher education institution (not applicable to the short-term child student) can be accredited if the overseas institution:

  • offers only part of its study programmes in the United Kingdom;
  • holds its national accreditation and offers study programmes that are equivalent level to a United Kingdom degree.

5) Common Reasons for UK Student Visitor Visa Refusal

In order to mitigate misuse of the short term study visa UK route, an applicant needs to establish his/her credentials as a genuine short term student. Therefore, if an applicant is not able to establish himself/herself as a genuine short term student then this usually leads to application refusal. Perhaps, the most common reasons for UK short term study visa refusal are:

Doubtful intentions to study on the student visitor visa UK

If an applicant fails to furnish a true account of the intentions for the duration of study in the UK as a genuine student then this usually leads to application refusal. Therefore, an applicant needs to establish genuine intentions to study in the UK on a course that will be either completed during the stay in the UK or in agreement with the provisions set out for study in the UK for part of a course. Moreover, an applicant must provide verifiable evidence for studying a course at an accredited institution.

Doubtful intentions of studying at public expense

Moreover, an applicant must clearly establish that he/she is not intending to study at a state maintained institution.  A stated maintained institute is one that provides free education and is mainly funded through public funds. However, a short-term student can study at a UK Higher Education Institution (university) if the student pays fees.

Not enough funds to support the cost of living and study

An applicant must demonstrate that he/she has enough money to support himself/herself during the duration of short term study visa UK. However, if an applicant fails to establish the proof of funds then it may lead to short term study visa refusal.

Doubtful Intentions to Return to the Home Country

Perhaps, an applicant needs to prove ties to the home country so as to establish that he/she will leave the UK at the end of the study period. Moreover, this may also help establish that the applicant does not intend to live in the UK through frequent and successive periods of study in the UK.

Refusal on General Grounds Student Visitor Visa UK

If the application falls under general grounds for refusal then this leads to short term study visa UK refusal.

Intention to Work in the UK and Recourse to Public Funds

Short term students cannot seek paid as well as unpaid employment in the UK. And also work placement, work experience, self-employment, business and any professional activity in the UK. Therefore, all applicants need to clearly establish their credentials so as to satisfy the caseworker that they will not seek employment, work and business in the UK on the short term study visa UK.

Similarly, if an applicant fails to satisfy that he/she will not seek recourse to public funds then the short term study visa UK application is usually refused.

6) UK Student Visitor Visa Refusal Rate

The number of applications for short term study visa UK has increased from 72,954 to 118,911 during 2015-17. Accordingly, 73,077, 101,415 and 118,331 applications for short term study visa UK resolved during 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. Moreover, the number of short term study visa UK grants increased considerably from 62,608 to 106,840. However, the number of total short term study visa refusal hovered in the range of 10-13K. Therefore, the short term study visa UK success rate increased from 85.67% to 90.29% and refusal rate decreased from 14.09% to 9.50%. Perhaps, in the light of UK immigration statistics, 9 out of every 10 applicants are likely to get a short term study visa UK.

Applications for short term study visa UK72,954102,402118,911
Success Rate85.67%86.13%90.29%
UK Short Term Study Visa Refusal Rate14.09%13.69%9.50%

Student Visitor Visa UK Grants During Q2 2018

The short term study visa UK due to its flexibility has become very popular, especially amongst the Chinese, Russian, Turkish, Saudi and Indian nationals. Accordingly, during the Q2 2018, as many as 55,780 applicants get the UK short term study visa.

Country of nationalityTotal StudyTier 4 General (Main apps)Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps)PBS Tier 4 (Deps)Short-term study (Main apps)
Saudi Arabia7,41657046126,230
United States1,2481,0782922119
Hong Kong617181368266
Korea (South)59828425137152
South Africa1611442141
United Arab Emirates972511952
Occupied Palestinian Territories60110445
Sri Lanka57102441
Bosnia and Herzegovina2800028
Ivory Coast2710026
Other and unknown2700027
Dominican Republic2400024
Cyprus (Northern part of)1700017
New Zealand1650011
Congo (Democratic Republic)1520013
Sierra Leone120138
Gambia, The73004
Trinidad and Tobago55000
St. Kitts and Nevis42200
Costa Rica33000
Bahamas, The22000
Sudan (South)21001
Cape Verde11000
Central African Republic10001
Korea (North)10001
St. Lucia11000


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