Summer in Scotland UK Short-term Study Visa

Do you need a visa to study in the United Kingdom?

To study in the UK, you WILL need to obtain a Short-term Study Visa. It’s extremely important that you read the information about the process of obtaining a visa included in the acceptance packet emailed to you from your Program Coordinator. Still unsure about which visa you need? Check here.

Please read through this information carefully, as visa instructions can be complicated, and materials can take weeks or months to obtain.

IMPORTANT: CISabroad will only advise students on visa procedures for travel requirements for your CISabroad program only and as this visa process pertains to U.S. citizens. CISabroad is not responsible for advising students on visa issues if they plan to travel internationally before or after the program dates or for non-U.S. citizens. These instructions are intended for US passport holders. International students must also be aware of additional documentation and/or processing time needed for their visas.

Please note that you will need a passport to receive your visa and if you do not yet have one, the process of obtaining a passport can take time. All consulates have varying processing times. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the required documents for their visa and to begin the process of obtaining the required documents well enough in advance. The UK government website lists the required documents for a Short-term Study Visa visa on their website. Note: Required documents for your visa are always subject to change at the discretion of the consulate.

For up to date information on the Short-term Study Visa please refer to the UK.Gov website.

The Short-term Study Visa

This visa is for students coming to the UK for a short course of 6 months (1 semester) or less. On this visa you can Study only! With the Short-term Study Visa you CANNOT work, participate in an internship, get married, or use public funds. If you have any dependents or family coming to the UK with you they will need to apply separately for their own visa. You cannot extend a Short-term Study Visa from the UK, you must re-apply from outside of the UK.

For students entering the UK from the U.S. this visa is obtained when you arrive in the UK. When entering the country at customs you will need to provide your documentation.  There is a fee for this visa, which is always assessed for students who apply for this visa in advance, and typically not assessed for students who apply for the Short-term Study Visa at the UK border. This is visa is in the form of an official Stamp in your passport.

If you are applying at the border, please do not fly through Ireland!  You will end up bypassing the immigration line, which you must pass through in order to receive your visa stamp!  Please make sure to carry all of your travel documents with you whenever you exit and re-enter the UK!

PLEASE NOTE: If you are taking part in an internship you will need a Tier 4 Visa even if you are studying and interning less than 6 months. Please ask your advisor for information on this visa if you need it.

Documents You Must Provide

You must have these with you when you arrive at Customs. Do not pack them in your checked baggage. Make sure you have the originals as well as copies at the ready. For a full list of supporting documents check here.

You will need a valid passport. Your passport cannot expire within six months of your program’s end date. You will also need evidence that you can support yourself for during your trip financially, an address where you are staying, a letter of invitation and acceptance from the university you are studying at. Additional documents may be necessary so please check with your program coordinator if you have any questions.