Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Short-term study visa

Most international students coming to study at the University of Southampton will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa, however, some students will not meet the requirements of Tier 4 and may be eligible for a short-term study visa.

Who is eligible for a short-term study visa?

You are only eligible for a short-term study visa if you are a non-EEA national and one of the following applies:

Even if you are eligible for a short-term study visa, you must consider the conditions of a short-term study visa before applying. If you are not sure if the short-term study visa is the correct visa type, please contact us using our online enquiry form.

Some students may be eligible for a short-term study visa
Some students may be eligible for a short-term study visa

Conditions of short-term study visa

The immigration conditions which apply to students with a short-term study visa are as follows:

The conditions of a short-term study visa are very different from the conditions of a standard visitor visa.

Make sure you receive the correct visa type when you apply by reading the instructions, below, carefully.

Applying for a short-term study visa

When to apply

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

If you are a visa national, you must apply for a short-term study visa before you travel to the UK. You can check if you need to apply before you travel using the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) webpage to check if you need a UK visa. You can also find a list of visa nationals in the UK Immigration Rules Appendix V.

If you are not a visa national, you must prepare the correct documents to show at the UK border to ensure that you are given the correct short-term study visa entry stamp. You can find out which documents you need to prepare by using the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) webpage to check if you need a UK visa.

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. You cannot use the EVW to study part of a programme longer than 6 months.

If you have a criminal record or a complicated immigration history, it is advisable to apply for a short-term study visa before you travel, even if you are not a visa national.

 

Documents required for application

You must 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 be studying while you are in the UK.  

You can find full information about all of the other documents you must provide to receive a visa for short-term study on the UKVI short-term study visa webpage.

The documents you must provide will include an ATAS certificate if you are applying for postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects listed in appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules. If you are not sure if your programme requires ATAS, check your offer letter or contact your Faculty Admissions Team.

 

Entering the UK border

If you are a visa national, you should show your passport and short-term study visa at the UK border.

If you are not a visa national, you should show the documents required for short-term study visa entry stamp and explain that you require a short-term study visa at the UK border. If you do not show the documents required for a short-term study entry stamp, you may receive a standard visitor visa.

A standard visitor visa does not permit more than 30 days incidental study and is not suitable if the main purpose of your visit is to study. If you receive a standard visitor visa you may not be able to enrol or continue to study on your current programme.

If you are a Registered Traveller, you must see a Border Officer rather than using the e-Gates to enter the UK border. If you use the e-Gates, you will not receive an entry stamp in your passport and your entry to the UK will permit you the conditions of a standard visitor visa. If you enter the UK using e-Gates, you will need to exit the UK and re-enter with suitable immigration permission before you can enrol for your programme or study activity.

Useful External Links

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

UKVI - check if you need a UK visaUKVI – short-term study visa informationUKCISA - short-term study information

Useful Internal Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are uncertain about anything or you have a query, then our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page may have the answer.

Visa drop-in and appointments

Visa drop-in and appointments

We offer a drop-in service for quick questions about your visa or you can book an appointment to speak in depth with one of our Visa Advisors.

Enquiry Form

Enquiry Form

You can contact us through our online enquiry form. We encourage you to contact us through the online enquiry form rather than email.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×