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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Short visit

A Standard Visitor visa lets you do a short course of study that lasts no longer than 6 months, provided you meet eligibility requirements. 

You can check if you need a visa and what type you need using the GOV.UK self checker. Depending on your nationality, you might not need to apply for a visa before you travel.

A Visitor can come to the UK to:

  • study a course at an accredited institution (meaning one or more consecutive or concurrent programmes of study that will be completed within the validity period of the visitor permission)
  • complete a period of research
  • complete research tuition (for example, to learn about research)
  • complete one or more elective courses linked to their overseas study, where
    they are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as
    their principal course of study equivalent to at least degree level study in the UK
  • complete a study-abroad programme in the UK as part of an overseas course,
    where the programme is less than 6 months in length
  • sit an entrance exam
  • re-sit an examination or retake a module
  • take an oral (viva) examination for part of a PhD qualification at a UK institution

Conditions of a Standard Visitor Visa

Check your decision letter or email for full details of the conditions of your visa.

You cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • usually extend this visa for study or switch from a Standard Visitor visa to another type of visa in the UK
  • do a course of study that lasts longer than 6 months

Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa

When to Apply

When you need to apply for your visa will depend if you are a visa national or not.

If you are a visa national, you must apply for a visa before you travel to the UK. You can check if you need to apply for a UK visa. You can also find a list of visa nationals in the Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list.

If you are not a visa national, you must prepare the correct documents to show at the UK border. If you have a criminal record or a complicated immigration history, it is advisable to apply for a visa before you travel, even if you are not a visa national.

Please note: Even if you don't need to apply for a visa, you are still subject to visa conditions once you enter the UK.

If you are eligible for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW), you can use this visa type to study a programme which will be completed in less than 6 months.

Documents Required

You must request a visa letter from your Faculty Office when you have been unconditionally accepted on your programme of study to use as proof of the course(s) you will be studying while you are in the UK.  

The documents you must provide include an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you are applying for postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects listed in Immigration Rules Appendix ATAS. If you are not sure if your programme requires ATAS, check your offer letter or contact your Faculty Admissions Team. You can find information about ATAS on the University Admissions ATAS webpages.

You can find full information about the other documents you must provide on the UK Government webpage:
Standard Visitor visa

Enrolling for your Programme

When you arrive in Southampton you will need to attend a right to study check before you begin studying. 

You can find more information on the University enrolment and registration webpage.

Upon Arrival

You must provide evidence of your Visitor visa to the VISAS team. You will need to provide your Visitor visa (or stamp). If you were permitted to use an eGate, please provide evidence of your date of arrival in the UK such as an e-ticket or boarding pass.

 

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The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

Short-term study visa lets you come to the UK to study an English language course that is over 6 months and up to 11 months, provided you meet eligibility requirements. For courses less than 6 months, please see the Visiting Student - 6 months or less tab.

You can check if you need a visa and what type you need using the GOV.UK self checker. Depending on your nationality, you might not need to apply for a visa before you travel.

You will need to request a Short-Term study visa letter from your Faculty Office when you have been unconditionally accepted on your programme of study to use as proof of the course(s) you will study.

Conditions of a Short-term Study Visa

Check your decision letter or email for full details of the conditions of your visa.

You cannot:

  •  study on any other course or change your course while in the UK
  •  work or carry out any business (this includes paid or unpaid work, work experience or work placements)
  •  extend this visa
  •  bring family members ("dependants") with you on this visa

Applying for a Visa

Please apply for a Short-term study visa if you are coming to study an English language course for 6-11 months.

Documents Required for Application

You must request a visa letter from your Faculty Office when you have been unconditionally accepted on your programme of study to use as proof of the course(s) you will be studying while you are in the UK.  

You can find full information about the other documents you must provide on the UK Government webpages: Short-term study visa

Enrolling for your Programme

When you arrive in Southampton you will need to attend a right to study check before you begin studying. 

You can find more information on the University enrolment and registration webpage.

Upon Arrival

You must provide evidence of your Short-term study visa to the VISAS team. You will need to provide your Short-term study visa (or stamp).

 

Useful External Links

Useful Internal Links

Contact Us

Contact Us

You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments  

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

If you are attending an exam/viva, you may be able to come on a Standard Visitor visa. Please see the Visiting Student - 6 months or less tab.

Repeating your studies including exams

You should speak to your faculty in the first instance to find out what type of repeat is most suitable in your situation.


There are two types of repeat available: 

  • Repeat in attendance (also known as internal repeat):  this means repeating the whole year in full, including attending all lectures and usually re-submitting all assessed work.  It also usually requires you to pay full tuition fees to the University.
  • Repeat non-attending (also known as external repeat):  this means that you only repeat the assessments for the year, but are not required to physically attend on campus, and you are usually not required to pay tuition fees. 

If you repeat in attendance, you will normally be able to keep your Student visa.  If you repeat the year non-attending, your Student visa will be cancelled and you will be expected to either leave the UK or switch into a different visa category. 

Re-sit Exam

If resitting an exam as part of a repeat in attendance, you should extend your visa to complete your current period of study. You will be exempt from the academic progress requirement.

If resitting an exam as part of a repeat non-attending:

  • you should apply for a Visitor visa to re-sit an examination unless you are repeating with attendance. Please note that those with a Visitor visa will need to return overseas if you require more time to complete the course

What Happens to my Visa?

Visitor visas are not suitable for students repeating with attendance, but may be for those repeating non-attending. Please see the changing programme/repeating a year tab on our webpage for more information on the appropriate visa in both circumstances.

 

Viva

If you are unable to complete your viva within the time allocated by your initial visa, you can apply for a Visitor visa (see Visiting student - 6 months or less tab) which allows students to take an oral (viva) examination for part of a PhD qualification at a UK institution. Please note you must have left the UK in order to apply for this visa type.

Alternatively, you may be able to apply for an extension to your existing Student visa.

Useful External Links

Useful Internal Links

Contact Us

Contact Us

You can contact us by email and through online chat. We also offer online 1 to 1 appointments

The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Please note: The University of Southampton is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

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