The Study Visit Visa is a sub-category of the Standard UK Visitor Visa. It allows persons to visit the UK for up to six months to study.
To visit the United Kingdom to study, a person requires permission to do so. This permission can be in the form of a visa or Leave to Enter the UK. You have to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK. Leave to Enter can be obtained at the UK port of entry.
Table of contents
- Visa Nationals
- Study Activities allowed on the Standard Visitor Visa
- How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa to Study
- When can you apply for your Study Visit Visa?
- Length of Stay in the UK with a Study Visit Visa
- Immigration Health Surcharge
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- How Breytenbachs can help you
Whether a person requires a visit visa to study in the UK will depend on whether the person is regarded as a visa national or not. Visa nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to the UK. The UK Home Office publishes a list of countries they regard as visa-nationals. Nationals of these countries need to apply for a Standard Visitor before travelling. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to confirm your situation.
Breytenbachs strongly advise clients who are non-visa nationals who have previously been denied entry at a UK port of entry to also apply for a visit visa before travelling to the UK.
Study Activities allowed on the Standard Visitor Visa
The Standard Visitor visa will allow the applicant to visit the UK for up to six months to study. The study activities that are allowed include the following:
- Study at an accredited institution
- Taking an English language course
- Do a short piece of research relevant to your overseas course
- Sit an entrance exam, retake an exam or course module
- Do a PhD oral exam
- If you are a graduate of a medical, dental or nursing school, you may do an unpaid clinical attachment
- Take the Objective Structured Clinical Examination test (OSCE) or the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test (PLAB)
- Do an ‘elective’ – an optional additional placement if you study medicine, veterinary medicine and science, nursing or dentistry.
How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa to Study
To qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Business, you will have to prove, among other things;
- That you will leave the UK at the end of your visit.
- Prove that you will be able to support yourself and your dependants during the trip
- You have enough funds to pay for your return or onward journey.
You have to meet additional eligibility requirements depending on what you will be studying.
Studying at an Accredited Institution
The accredited institution may not be an academy or state-funded school.
You must prove that you have been accepted on a course provided by the accredited institution. You will also have to prove that the course is not longer than six months unless it is a distance learning course.
Distance Learning Courses
If you are doing a distance learning course, the course may be longer than six months, as most of the study will happen outside the UK. You may then visit the UK to do some activities as part of your course:
- Attend induction weeks
- Face-to-face intensive learning
- Progress checks
- Sit assessments or exams
If you want to do short research in the UK on a Standard Visitor visa, you will need to meet additional eligibility requirements;
- You are at least 16 years old
- That you are enrolled on an overseas course equivalent to a UK degree
- You will also have to show that a UK higher education institution has accepted you to participate in research relevant to your overseas course
- Confirmation from the overseas course provider that the research or research tuition is part of or applicable to your overseas course
Doing an Elective
If you want to visit the UK to do an elective, you will need to meet additional eligibility requirements;
- You are at least 16 years old
- That you are enrolled on an overseas course equivalent to a UK degree, the course must be in medicine, veterinary medicine and science, nursing or dentistry.
- You will also have to show that you are doing an elective and UK higher education institution as part of your course.
- The UK higher education provider will have to provide written confirmation that you will not be treating patients or getting paid for the elective.
Unpaid Clinical Attachment or Dental Observer Post
Overseas medical, dental or nursing school graduates can do unpaid clinical attachment or dental observing for up to six months on the Standard Visitor Visa. However, you may not treat patients.
You will need to show written confirmation of your clinical attachment or dental observer post offer and that you have not done this in the UK before.
OSCE or PLAB Test
To sit the OSCE test, you must provide a letter from the Nursing and Midwifery Council confirming your test registration
To sit the PLAB test, you must provide a letter from the General Medical Council confirming your PLAB test registration.
When can you apply for your Study Visit Visa?
You can apply for your visa three months before you travel to the UK.
Length of Stay in the UK with a Study Visit Visa
The Standard Visitor visa to Study will only allow you to stay in the UK for six months.
There are options to extend your stay if you do not pass your PLAB test and want to retake the test. If you pass your PLAB test, you can also extend your visa to do an unpaid clinical attachment or dental observer post. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for advice in your unique circumstances.
If you want to stay in the UK for longer for study purposes, we advise that you speak to one of our Breytenbachs consultants. They will advise you on the long-term study visas available.
Immigration Health Surcharge
There is no immigration health surcharge payable on the Standard Visitor Visa or any of the sub-categories of this visa.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
The Standard Visitor Visas and its sub-categories do not lead to settlement in the UK. The rules of the visa state that a person must leave the UK at the end of their visit.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs has a dedicated team dealing with the Study Visit Visa and all other visitor visas. Please contact Breytenbachs to apply for your visa or for more information on other long-term study options