All about short-term study visa

You can apply for a Short-term study visa if:

  • You are doing a short course of study in the UK, eg an English language course or a training course 
  • You are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland  
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

How long it takes to process my application

  • You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. 

Visa Application Fees

UKVI Application Charges:

  • £89 for a 6 months visa 
  • £170 for an 11 month visa

How long can I stay

You can stay in the UK for:

  • 6 months – for any short course (including English language course), or short period of research if you are 18 or over 
  • 11 months – if you are 18 or over and taking an English language course

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course

You can' t:

  • study at a state school  
  • work (including a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business 
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or a civil partnership 
  • extend this visa 
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you - they must apply separately 
  • get public funds  


You must prove that you:

  • have been offered a place on a course in the UK at an accepted place of study  
  • 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

If you are under 18 you must also:

  • have made arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK 
  • have permission from your parent or guardian to study in the UK

Where can I study

You must be accepted on a course with an education provider that holds a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

Otherwise your course will need to be held at an educational institution listed by one of the following: 

  • Bridge Schools Inspectorate 
  • Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland) 
  • Estyn (in Wales) 
  • HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland) 
  • Independent Schools Inspectorate 
  • Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) 
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) 
  • Schools Inspection Service

Who can apply for EFL?

You must be at least 18 years old and accepted on a course to learn English as a foreign language if you are applying for an 11 month Short-term Study visa. A mixed course, some of which is spent studying English, doesn’t count.

Documents you must provide 

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification 
  • 2 passport size colour photographs  
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, eg bank statements or payslips for the last 6 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  
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take a test 
  • contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (if you are under 18 years old).

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh. 

Documents about your course

You must provide proof of the course you are studying, eg a letter of acceptance from the educational institution – on an official letter headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation).

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances, eg evidence of your:

  • your previous study, eg academic certificates, academic references or transcripts 
  • English language qualifications, eg certificates or awards 
  • accommodation and travel plans 
  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies

What If I am under 18

If you are under 18 you will need to provide additional documents if:

  • You are travelling on your own 
  • You are travelling with someone who isn’t your parent or guardian

Travelling on your own

You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone 18 or over)

Your parent or guardian will need to provide their:

  • Written consent for you to travel to the UK 
  • Full contact details

They will also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with 
  • an address where you will be living 
  • details of your relationship to the person who will be looking after you 
  • consent in writing so they can look after you during your stay in the UK

You must provide a letter from the school confirming it has notified the local authority of your visit and your care arrangements if:

  • You will be studying in the UK during your stay 
  • You are under 16

You must include the reply from the local authority if the school has received one.

How to apply

You must apply online for a Short-term Study visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.