Student Immigration

All you need to know about VISAs and studying

Short-term study visa

A short-term study visa allows you to study short courses in the UK and is suitable if you are over 18. To qualify for a short-term study visa your course must be less than 6 months in duration unless you are studying an English language course of up to 11 months duration. If you will be studying a pre-sessional English course and intend to continue your studies you should apply for entry clearance under Tier 4 (General) and not as a short-term student.

A short-term study visa for the University of Kent is appropriate if you are:

  • A Study Abroad student coming to the University of Kent for less than 6 months;
  • Resitting exams or repeating modules for less than 6 months;
  • An external research student and need to visit campus occasionally for less than 6 months;
  • Returning to re-sit an exam or attend your viva;
  • Returning to attend your graduation ceremony.


Visa National:

This means that you are a national of a country which requires permission to come to the UK to be obtained before you can travel.

If you are a visa national you must:

  • Apply outside the UK
  • You can apply up to three months before your course start date which will be shown on your letter from the University.

You must apply for and receive a short-term study visa before you travel to the UK. You can find the application form on the Visa4UK website. You will also need to provide the visa fee payment, your original offer letter, information about your accommodation arrangements and original financial documentation which shows how you intend to fund your studies.



Non-visa national:

This means you are a citizen of a country that does not need to apply for a short-term study visa (up to six months) before travelling to the UK. At the border you will need to show your original offer letter, financial evidence to show you can support yourself and pay for your studies and evidence that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies. To ensure the border force officer (BFO) is able to issue you with the correct leave to enter on a short-term study visa, if you are a non-visa national:

  • Present all the relevant information about your course of study at the University of Kent to the BFO with your passport and completed landing card
  • If asked, give clear details of the reason for travel (i.e. short-term study including how long the course will be)
  • Check the stamp in your passport before leaving the officer's desk and seek clarification if required. The stamp should state that you have been granted entry to the UK as a short-term student

More information:

*You must enter the UK via a UK port of entry; for example, London Heathrow airport, Port of Calais etc. Please note that this means you cannot travel via the Republic of Ireland, as you will not pass through UK immigration control and you will not get valid permission to study in the UK.

*Calculate your time in the UK so you can make sure you don't come to the UK too early and can stay until your course has finished.


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Last Updated: 16/05/2019