The Standard Visitor Immigration Rules allow study at an accredited institution for up to 6 months. The Home Office guidance states that 'study' refers to one or more consecutive courses or one or more courses taken at the same time, which must be completed within the duration of your visit (maximum of 6 calendar months). These rules also apply to EEA/Swiss nationals who do not have settlement rights.
You will be required to provide an acceptance letter from the institution or institutions with details of the course(s) you wish to study to apply for entry as a Standard Visitor.
Visitors to the UK cannot work, bring dependants and cannot apply for further permission to stay in the UK for a longer period to study or work. Find out more about what you can do as a Visitor to the UK by reading the UKCISA guidance.
If you are coming to study for more than 6 months or, will be undertaking a work placement as part of your course or, will be studying a pre-sessional English course you should be able to apply under the Student route, if you are eligible for our immigration sponsorship and are issued with a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).
Visit the government website to find out if you need a visa to study in the UK and, if so, what visa to apply for.
Please be aware that those travelling from red list countries can’t come to the UK as a visitor so you’ll need to contact Admissions to see if you would be eligible for a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) to apply for a Student visa instead.
At least 3 months before you are due to start your studies in the UK as a visitor, we recommend you read the UKCISA guidance and government website to find out all you need to know about applying for entry as a Standard Visitor overseas or, at the UK border if you are eligible, and gather all the documents you need. Also:
Find out if you are a visa national:
Check your course end date, you will need to make sure you do not enter the UK more than 6 months before that date. If you are applying for entry clearance overseas make sure your intended date of travel is not more than 6 months before the course end date.
Contact the relevant team, to request a supporting letter from the University, read the ‘What else you will need’ section below to find out who to contact and how.
As well as the information below, please read our Coming to the UK page for more information about travelling to and arriving in the UK.
We recommend you apply at least 2 months before you are due to start your studies, you may have to travel to another country for your biometric appointment and it can take at least 15 working days to receive an outcome from the date of your appointment. You may be able to book a priority service to receive a quicker outcome.
You should complete your application to enter as a Standard Visitor online. Make sure your intended date of travel is no more than 6 months before your course end date.
If you are a visa national, you must obtain entry clearance before you travel.
If you are not a visa national, you can apply for entry overseas before you travel or upon arrival at the UK border. If you decide to apply for entry at the UK border, you must ensure you carry all the documents you require to prove you are a genuine visitor in your hand luggage, including evidence that you meet the requirements to study as a Standard Visitor.
The following types of Essex students should be able to study with us as a Standard Visitor and will need to provide evidence of their studies to apply. Read the information in the relevant category below to find out more.