Short-term study visa
Short-term study visas allow students to come and study in the UK for a course of six months' duration.
You cannot apply for a short-term study visa from inside the UK.
Study at the University of Westminster
You can apply for a short-term study visa to study at the University of Westminster if you are over 18 and you are
- Studying a short course (six months or less) with no work or internship
- Taking a one semester Study Abroad programme which does not include an internship or work placement
- Returning to the UK to re-take an exam as part of your full-time degree course where we have not been able to issue you with a CAS for a Tier 4 visa
Visiting the University of Westminster as part of an overseas course
You can apply for a short-term study visa if you’re at least 18 years old and studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your course takes place at the University of Westminster.
Your home institution must:
- hold its own national accreditation
- offer only part of its educational programme in the UK
- offer programmes that are equivalent to a UK degree
Researching in the UK for a short time
You can come to the UK for a short period of research if already enrolled on an overseas degree course.
To be eligible:
- your course in your home country must be equivalent to a UK degree
- you must be carrying out the research at the University of Westminster
- you must be at least 18 years old
What are the main conditions for a short-term study visa?
You must prove that you:
- have been offered a place on a short course or Study Abroad Programme at the University of Westminster or
- are coming back to retake an exam as part of your full-time degree course
- have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
- can pay for your return or onward journey out of the UK
- intend to leave the UK once you have completed your study or before your visa expires, whichever comes first
There is no minimum number of hours for the course (unlike for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa) but you cannot work (paid, unpaid, work placement or internship) and you will not be able to extend your visa or switch to any other type of visa from inside the UK.
You will not be entitled to free National Health Service health care on this visa so you must take out private medical insurance from your home country before you come to the UK.
You will not be eligible for exemption from Council Tax for privately rented accommodation, so may need to pay this in addition to your rent.
What documents do you need when you apply for this visa?
You will need to provide the following documents to support your visa application:
- A short-term study visa letter from the University of Westminster. This letter will confirm that we hold a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and will confirm the details of your course. Please contact [email protected] once you have been accepted on to a short course here or
- If you are a one semester Study Abroad student, the Education Abroad team will provide you with this letter
- a current passport or other valid travel identification
- one passport-sized colour photograph
- evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, eg bank statements or payslips for the last six months
- details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances, eg evidence of your:
- previous study, eg academic certificates, references or transcripts
- English language qualifications, eg certificates or awards
- accommodation and travel plans
- permission to be in the country you’re applying from (if you’re not a national)
- financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies
You need to provide the original documents.
You’ll also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English.
You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
Read the guide for a full list of documents you can provide.
How and where to apply for a short-term study visa
If you are a national of a ‘visa national’ country, you must apply for your visa before coming to the UK. You can find a list of visa national countries in Appendix 2 towards the end of this imigration rules document.
Unless you are applying from North Korea, you need to apply for this visa online from your home country or from the country that you are currently living in. You cannot apply from inside the UK.
Even if you are not a ‘visa national’ we strongly recommend that you apply for your short-term study visa before coming to the UK and NOT on arrival at the airport. This is because having the visa in your passport before you arrive will make your entry into the UK quicker and easier. It will also normally allow you to travel in and out of the UK while you are on the course (eg for a weekend in Europe). If you apply for your visa on arrival in the UK, this visa will not allow you to re-enter the UK so if you travel out during the course you would need to apply for a new visa when you return from your trip. You would have to travel with all the financial and other documents as well as the University short-term student visa letter each time you want to enter the UK to show that you still meet the conditions for this visa. You can be refused entry if the Immigration Officer is not satisfied that you still meet the conditions for a short-term study visa.
If you are a non-visa national and do decide to apply for your short-term study visa on arrival in the UK, you MUST make sure that the stamp in your passport says Short-Term Student. If your passport is stamped with a Visitor endorsement, we will not be able to enrol you on your course. You will need to travel with all your supporting documents in your hand luggage, including:
- Your official short-term student letter from the University
- Proof that you have the required money for your accommodation, living costs and cost of travel back to your home country
You can be refused entry if the Immigration Officer is not satisfied that you still meet the conditions for a short-term study visa.
Where is the application form?
To start, go to gov.uk's Apply for a UK visa page.
To access the application form, you need to create an online account. When you have filled in some basic information you will be able to Select Visa Type. From the drop-down menu, choose:
- Reason for visit? – Study
- Visa type? – Study (Non-Points-based system)
- Visa sub type? – Study – Short term student 6 months
The visa application fee is currently £85.00.
Please ignore all references to the 11-month English Language course visa: we do not offer these courses at the University of Westminster so you cannot apply for an 11-month visa for a course with us.
Remember, you can access full information on the application process, eligibility and documents required on gov.uk's Short-term study visa page.
You can also find more information on UKCISA's website.
Plan on working in the UK while studying?
If yes, this is not the page for you