Author- John Bassie
Dear Mr Bassie,
I plan to do a short-study course in the United Kingdom (UK), and I would like to know whether I need to apply for a specific visa. I am hoping that you can advise me on this.
Persons can apply for a short-term study visa if: they are doing a short course of study in the United Kingdom; they are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Persons will need a Standard Visitor Visa if they are an academic visitor. Persons cannot apply if they qualify for British citizenship – including if they can have dual nationality. Those persons must apply for British citizenship instead.
Persons who are granted a Short-term Study Visa can do a short course of study in the United Kingdom, such as an English language course or a training course or a short period of research as part of a degree course, if they are studying over there.
Those persons cannot study at a state-funded school or work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business. Those persons cannot extend this visa; bring family members (‘dependents’) with them – they must apply separately; or get public funds.
Persons can stay in the United Kingdom for the length of their course or research. Those persons may be allowed to stay an extra 30 days if the total stay in the United Kingdom would be no more than six months, or no more than 11 months if they are both 16 years old or over and studying an English language course. The visa will say how long the holder is permitted to stay in the United Kingdom.
If persons do not normally need a visa to visit the UK, they can study for up to six months without applying in advance. They must see a border officer on arrival in the United Kingdom and not use the ePassport gates. If persons want to study for longer than six months, they must apply for a Short-term Study Visa in advance.
It costs £97 for a six-month visa and £186 for an 11-month visa. Persons can apply for a visa up to three months before the date of travel to the United Kingdom. Persons should get a decision on their visa within three weeks.
To be eligible, persons must prove that they have been offered a place on a course in the United Kingdom at an accepted place of study. Those persons must have enough money to support themselves without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house them. They should be able to pay for their return or onward journey. Just for completeness, if persons are under 18 years of age, they must also have made arrangements for their travel and stay in the United Kingdom and have permission from their parent or guardian to study in the United Kingdom.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org