Applying for a Short-Term Study Visa

Immigration rules change frequently so you should always check you have the most up to date information before you make any visa application. We recommend visiting and for further detailed information. For full details on the Short-Term Study Visa please see:

You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you:

  • are over 18 and
  • live outside the UK and
  • want to study up to 6 months on any short course or up to 11 months on an English language course or
  • plan to do a short period of research as part of a degree course or
  • you may need to come back to the UK to re-sit an exam or repeat a module or
  • you are a distance learning student who does not meet the requirements for Tier 4, but occasionally need to visit the UK

Your total course length might be more than 6 months. However the time required to re-sit an exam, repeat a module or undertake study which is part of a distance learning course in the UK must be less than 6 months. You should carefully consider whether the Short-term study visa or a Tier 4 General visa is best for you and seek advice if you are unsure.

Are you a "non-visa national"?

If yes, you do not need to apply for entry clearance. Instead you can choose whether to apply for entry clearance online or to request a Short-term stamp upon arrival in the UK. In both cases you must still prepare and show the documents listed below.

What you can't do with a Short-term study visa

  • Work or do a placement
  • Switch or extend this visa when in the UK
  • Bring dependents. Instead they may qualify for the Standard Visitor visa if they fulfil the conditions.

Immigration Health Surcharge

All applicants must pay a surcharge for any courses that will last longer than 6 months. Register and check whether you will need to pay.

Documents you must provide

All documents must be originals. You will also need to provide a certified translation of any documents which are not in English or Welsh.

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification, with a blank page for the visa.
  • 1 passport-sized colour photograph.
  • evidence that you can support yourself financially during your stay and for your return or onward journey e.g bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months. There are no set minimum or maximum amounts but we suggest £1015 per month for the duration of your stay.
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans - you shouldn't pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa.
  • proof of the course you are currently studying. If you are returning to the UK to do resits you should request a letter which confirms the course details and that Sheffield Hallam University has a Tier 4 sponsor license. You can email for this letter. If you are starting a new course you will need a letter of acceptance from the educational institution on official headed paper, stating the course name, duration and cost (including accommodation); this letter will be provided by Admissions when you are accepted on to your course.
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test. Find out more.
  • any other supporting documents as listed on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

How to apply

Most applicants must apply online at

If you can't apply online you will need to apply by downloading a VAF1A form.

You must have your fingerprints and photograph (known as 'biometric information') taken at a Visa Application Centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster depending on what country you are in - check with your Visa Application Centre.

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