Visas and immigration

If you are not a national of a European Union (EU) / European Economic Area (EEA) country and you wish to study in the UK, it is important that you apply for an appropriate UK visa or entry clearance in your home country. There are two types visas that allow you to study in the UK: the Short-term Study Visa and the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.

Note: Leicester College is NOT A TIER 4 SPONSOR and we cannot offer places to students requiring a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK – we are only able to accept applications for courses that require a Short-term Study Visa.

Short-term Study Visas

If you are 18 years or over and you are coming to the UK to study for a maximum of six months (or 11 months if you intend to study intensive English language), you may be able to enter as a short-term student.

The ordinary Short-term Study Visa category will allow you to come to the UK if you are 18 years or older, and want to enter:

  • for up to 6 months to study a short course in any subject area; or
  • for up to 11 months to study an English language course.

If you choose to come as a short-term student you will NOT be allowed to do any work (including unpaid work) or a work placement or work experience (even if it is part of a course). Short-term students are not allowed to apply to switch into any other immigration or visa category while still in the UK.

This type of visa cannot be extended – If you wish to continue your studies after the visa period, even at another institution, you will have to leave the UK and apply for another visa in your own country to return.

Can I get a Short-term Study Visa on arrival in the UK?

If you are a visa national (that is, you need a visa to travel to the UK) then you must apply in advance from outside of the UK.

If you are non-visa national (such as USA, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau), you can either:

  • apply for a Short-term Study Visa for six months from your home country before you arrive in the UK; or
  • apply to enter the UK as a short-term student when you arrive at the UK Border (generally a UK airport)

However, even as a non-visa national, if you are planning to study an English language course lasting more than six months (but up to the maximum 11 months), you must apply from outside of the UK (and if you are from certain countries you will have to pass a tuberculosis screening test before you apply). Additionally, if you have previously been refused a visa for any reason, you should apply in advance from outside of the UK.

Note: some restrictions apply to Taiwanese passport holders who are applying for a Short-term Study Visa on arrival. If the bio data page in your passport doesn’t include a personal ID number, you must apply for a Short-term Study Visa from outside the UK.

Visa information is provided for guidance only. Detailed up-to-date information on all student visas is available on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Applicants already in the UK

If you are already in the UK on a non-student visa and you wish to undertake some form of study at Leicester College, please contact the International Office and we can advise what your study rights are and what courses we may be able to offer you.

Schengen Visas

You should apply for a Schengen visa if you are planning to visit other European Economic Area (EEA) countries during your studies and you are a national of a non-EEA country that requires a visa.