I’ve dedicated a number of articles and videos explaining the Tier 4 (General) Student UK Immigration route.
This is when international students would like to enrol on an English language course that lasts longer than 11 months. Alternatively, it will be appropriate to make a Tier 4 (General) Student application when you would like to study at any other course that lasts longer than 6 months. Also, Tier 4 (General) Student UK immigration route is appropriate if your course includes a work placement or work experience.
However what about those students who want to enrol on a short term course? In these circumstances, short-term students’ UK immigration route may be what you need.
Studying if You Entered the UK as a Visitor
First of all, you need to know that you can study in the UK for up to 30 days if you have a visitor’s visa. That is provided study was not your main purpose of visiting in the UK.
Do You Need a Visa?
It depends. You do, if you are from a visa-national country. You can CHECK HERE. If your country is not on a visa-national country list, then you can travel to the UK without applying for a visa first. However, this is only if you intend to study in the UK for less than 6 months. If you would like to remain in the UK and study here for more than 6 months then you’ll need to apply for a visa before travelling.
What Requirements Do You need to Meet as a Short-Term Student?
You must be over the age of 16; with
A genuine intention to study on a short-term basis in the UK.
You need to gather as many documents as possible to prove the genuineness factor. For example, it will help if you write a letter in support of your application and explain why you would like to study in the UK on a short-term basis and why you intend to leave the UK after your short stay. Enrollment papers provided by an accredited institution will add credibility to your application. With all applications, the Home Office will expect you to show that you have enough money to sponsor your trip to the UK.
You need to have documents to confirm that you will be studying at an accredited institution. You can also undertake research or learn about research at a UK higher education institution (HEI). Alternatively, you can undertake an elective course linked to your graduate-level study, where you are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as your principal course of study at an overseas HEI.
You also need to prove that you intend to leave the UK either within 30 days of the end of your course of study or at the end of your visa (leave), whichever is the earliest. You’ll need to prove that you have enough money to pay for your return ticket.
The Home Office will also expect you to provide bank statements and other documents confirming that you will maintain and accommodate yourself independently, without relying on benefits.
If you intend to be in the UK for more than 6 months, you also need to have tuberculosis (TB) certificate, if you are from the country when it is required. You can CHECK HERE.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you’ll also need to get your parents or guardians to confirm that they are agreeable to you travelling to the UK and that they’ve taken care of all travel, reception and care arrangements in the UK.
You need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if you are applying for postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects LISTED HERE.
What You Cannot Do As a Short-Term Student
You should be aware that your visa will most likely to be refused if the decision-maker believes that it is your intention to study in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive periods as a short-term student. This is because in this case you need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa.
What are successive and frequent visits? It all depends on the circumstances. However, it is very likely that your application will be viewed with suspicion if you apply for a second short-term study visa within 2 months after returning from the UK. Also, when you applied for 5 short term study visas to the UK within a 5-year period.
On a short-term student visa, you cannot work or be on a work experience/placement scheme. This restriction includes unpaid, self-employed work or involvement in any business or professional activities.
You cannot claim benefits
Or add additional study after your arrival in the UK that will last for more than 30 days at the end of the original period of entry you requested.
You don’t need to take any English language tests in order to get a short-term student visa.
You cannot study on a part-time basis. The only exception is the Distance learning course.
Can You Travel with Your Family Members?
Unfortunately, short-term students will not be allowed to travel to the UK with their family members. If you would like your spouse or children to travel with you, then they should consider applying to enter the UK in their own rights.
Do You Need to Pay Immigration Health Surcharge(IHS)
You’ll only need to pay if intend to study in the UK for more than 6 months.
How Much Do You Need to Pay for Your Visa Application?
At the time of publishing of this article, the short-term student visa fee for less than 6 months is £97 and £186 if you intend studying in the UK between 6-11 months.
Do You Need to Register with Police?
Yes, you do if your country is on THIS LIST.
To summarise, this is an excellent route for short-term students wishing to study for less than 11 months. This route is, probably, the best one for short-term English language students.