Students of any nationality on the list below do not need a visa to study in the UK for up to six months. Students from any country not on the below list will need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK.
The following nationalities can study in the UK without a visa, for up to six months
Any EU or EEA country
Colombia (from 9/11/22)
Guyana (from 9/11/22)
Papua New Guinea
Peru (from 9/11/22)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
Notes for students arriving without a visa
Students who do not require a visa to visit the UK can enter the UK through electronic passport gates (eGates) if they have a valid electronic chip in their passport. Alternatively, they will speak to a border officer who will give them a Standard Visitor stamp in their passport. The officer may ask the student about their plans, so the student should explain their intention to study and have the course confirmation letter to show as evidence.
Note that all visitors from the European Union need a passport to enter the UK.
Students from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates should apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVV) before travel, which allows study for up to six months. This is quicker and cheaper than applying for a visa. Apply between 3 months and 48 hours before travel. Cost is £30. Find out more.
The application cost is GBP 100.
After submitting the application form and required documents, visitors need to book an appointment at their nearest UK visa application centre to provide biometric data: their photo and fingerprints.
Most visa application centres are now open. Find a visa application centre on GOV.UK to check. If local visa application centres are closed due to Covid-19, it is still possible to start the process online. See ukcisa.org.uk for details.
Students applying for a Standard Visitor visa may be required to attend an interview. They should check their emails regularly, including the ‘junk’ folder to ensure they do not miss the invitation. Students can contact their language centre for advice to help them prepare for an interview.
Students can usually expect a response within three weeks. Some visa application centres offer a priority service for an additional fee, though service times are not guaranteed. Students should apply for their visa at the earliest possible opportunity, up to three months before their planned travel date.