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Student Visitor Visa Route to Study in the UK | Immigration Matters

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Student visitor visas offer an alternative route to study in the UK for shorter courses.

If you are an adult student, and you want to undertake a short course of study in the UK, such as a beginner’s English Language course or a work-related training course, you should apply for a student visitor visa.

Student visitors are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course). Upon entry to the UK, the immigration officer will stamp the duration of your permission to stay in your passport. You cannot extend your stay beyond this period or work while on a visitor visa.

Some claim it is too easy for students to obtain a visa to enter the UK. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper wants tougher checks on short-term student visitor visas instead targeting legitimate overseas Tier 4 students.

Cooper believes the student visitor visa scheme is ‘open to abuse’ as it involves no minimum level of course for the student and does not need to lead to a qualification after studying in the UK:

“There are no academic requirements for getting the visa. Applicants don’t have to provide evidence of funds to support themselves nor proof of study at a college No one checks if they study. No one checks if they overstay. And these visas have gone up by 30,000 a year since the election … Yet because ’student visitors’ aren’t included in the net migration target, the Home Office doesn’t appear to care.”

What Cooper does not say is that the student visitor visa is harder to obtain as it is issued at the discretion of an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), rather than on the basis of a points score, and that students are not allowed to work.

Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) institutions, such as Spinnaker College, offer courses for both Tier 4 international students and those who want to come to the UK for a short course on a student visitor visa, such as English language.

The number of Tier 4 student visas issue plummeted by 20% last year, a loss of well over 40,000 fee paying students billions in lost revenue for the recession hit UK economy. Visas issued for English Language schools fell by nearly 70%, while other higher education saw similar fall of 62%, but Spinnaker remains confident that students still want to come to the UK and benefit from quality education.

If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

Spinnaker College are holding OPEN DAYS at their London study centre on the 8th and 9th April. In country Tier 4 and EU students, such as Romanians and Bulgarians, as well as those with issue with their previous college are welcome.

Qualified legal advisers will be on hand for free immigration consultations to in-country students affected by the closure of their college.

To register for this FREE event, email: or call 0795 747 0180 to speak to a student adviser.

Unit 4 Lysander Mews
Lysander Grove
N19 3QP

Tel: 0207 561 0684

Nearest station: Archway Underground Station

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17 Responses to “Student Visitor Visa Route to Study in the UK”
Read them below or add one

  1. ayesha k says :

    I want to find out if I have my baby in this country will I get citizenship? I am married and me and my husband on student visa we got married in pakistan. Now we want to stay in UK our baby be british and can we appeal on right to family life in UK because of our baby?

  2. If you want advice, please call 02089051822 during office hours for a consultation with an immigration/student adviser in the London area.

  3. amandeep kaur sandhu says :

    Hi ..i m here on student visa from last year in level 5..and now my clge is in A rated..n my husband n baby is in india….and i want to take addmission in level 7..what should i do..plz suggest…

  4. Yes, there are courses from a few weeks to a year.

  5. Jennifer Rodolfo says :

    Hi! I currently work here in the Philippines, if I apply for a short term course, is there a course good for one month only? I want to upgrade but I cannot be away from my job for six months. Thank you

  6. Yes, see an adviser – 02089051822

  7. im tier 4 student in level 6. i want to bring my daughter in uk.i was uk from husband with college is highly trusted.can you give me any suggestion.

  8. Gary, yes you can change. Call Jo on 02089051822 for further help.

  9. ABDULWAHAB, thanks you for your comment on student visa refusals from Libya. The UKBA do target certain countries for tougher interviews and many are refused on English language (even if they want to go to the UK to study English)following a series quick-fire questions through a plate glass window. Perhaps an immigration lawyer/adviser can help you reduce your student’s refusal rate?


    Dear Sirs…
    I work as student consultant since 1998 and the target market is 90 % is UK.
    I have touched and significantly since October 2012 up to now visa refusal rate for students who wish to learn the language reached more than 80% for (Libyan) students in particular
    I hope that you gave me a satisfying answer.

    Thank You

  11. Gary Domondon says :

    i am in a tier4 student visa on a highly trusted college, would it be possible uf i change sponsor? my visa is till feb 2014 its just because stated on my resident permit “no work”

  12. I am a student visitor, i have a visiting visa to this county from Nigeria since 2007, i lost my passport in 2007 at the same time am working in the country illegally, my wife and my child in Nigeria, can not go back home bcos of insecurity going on in Nigeria. and i have contribute allot in this country i have work for so many companies which i can not count working and removing taxes out of my money which is not reflect in HRM office or tax office, and i am a very highly skilled worker,am into PC technician, i love to have a stay in Britain, work and pay my tax and contribute to the growth of Britain, please how can u help me, i have a very poor immigration history. I dont know what to do

  13. KHURRAM MAROOF says :

    sir i apply for student visa 2 time but rejected for not taking good performance at interview.and also refuse on appeal plz tell me what i can do ror what better for me.i apply for tier 4 student visa.i shall be thankful to you.

  14. Hi,
    I have read the new news update about the student visitor visa. It seems to me very interesting to upgrade my knowledge to the level above. Kindly I wish to apply from Pakistan for this visa what supporting documents should I have to attach to the visa application. Please is it possible to provide me a checklist of documents. I shall be very thankful to you for this act of kindness. Please update me via email.

  15. Tier 2 is an option

  16. Khyati says :

    I m now on tier 4 student visa and studying level 6 course at highly trusted sponsor college. My visa expires in November 2014. My husband and my daughter is on dependant visa. Can u tell me any other route which I can go from tier 4 any other work permit visa like etc.but not tier 4.

  17. […] Student Visitor Visa Route to Study in the UK […]

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