The UK English language course visa, also known as the short-term study visa, allows non-UK citizens to live in the UK and study the English language. This visa is for English language courses lasting 6 to 11 months.
Who needs to apply for a visa for an English language course in the UK?
Anyone who is not a UK citizen must apply for a visa to enroll on an English language course in the UK.
Only British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens with right of abode or leave to remain do not require a visa to study in the UK.
If you are one of those who have obtained settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme, your rights in the UK remain unchanged.
Who is eligible for a visa for an English language course in the UK?
To apply for a visa for an English language course in the UK, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are 16 years old or older.
- You are outside the UK.
- You have been accepted onto an English language course at an accredited educational institution in the UK.
- Your course fees have been paid or you have sufficient financial means to pay them.
- The course you will follow will not last more than 11 months.
- You will not study in an academy or state-funded school.
- The UK will not be your main home.
- You will not work in the UK or set up any business in the UK.
- You intend to leave the UK 30 days after the end of your course or 11 months, whichever comes first.
- You can support yourself financially without having access to public funds.
- You can cover your return trip to your country.
- You have your parents’ consent if you are 16 or 17 years old.
Where can I study on a visa for an English language course in the UK?
With a visa for an English language course in the UK, you can study at one of the following institutions:
- An accredited institution in the UK.
- Accreditation Service for International Colleges.
- UK accreditation.
- British Accreditation Council.
- Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland).
- Estyn (in Wales).
- Education Scotland.
- Independent school inspectorate.
- Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).
- Student Office.
- Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency.
A suitable overseas provider if you are studying in the UK as part of a course abroad. The institution must:
- Have national accreditation.
- It offers only half of its educational program in the UK.
- Offer programs equivalent to a UK degree.
What documents are required when applying for a visa for an English language course in the UK?
Along with the standard documents required for a UK visa application, other language course visa documents include:
- A confirmation letter from an accredited institution in the UK. The letter must contain the name of the course, duration, cost and accommodation. You do not need to pay the full fee before applying for the visa.
- Evidence of prior education.
- Certificates of achievement of the qualification.
- Academic transcripts of grades.
- Academic references.
- UK accommodation details. If accommodation is booked through the school, the confirmation letter must include details of the cost.
- Proof of sufficient financial support to pay course fees, accommodation and living expenses.
- Travel itinerary details. Must include dates of planned return travel.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must submit the following additional documents:
- A letter of consent from your parent or legal guardian. The letter must state that you are authorized to travel to the UK and provide information about your parent or legal guardian.
- Letter of consent from the assistant in charge. It must be issued by an authorized companion (parent-appointed guardian/legal guardian) and must demonstrate his/her willingness to take care of you during your stay here.
- Letter from the school confirming that the authority has been informed of your visit. (If you are disabled or in foster care.) This letter must confirm that the school where you will study here has informed the local authorities of your travel and who will look after you while you are here.
- Notification letter from the local authority in the UK to receive information from the school.
- Also, there are other documents for students under 18 years old whether traveling with someone or not.
When traveling alone, you must have a letter of consent from a parent or legal guardian giving consent to your visa application, your living arrangements and care in the UK and your travel to the UK. Additionally, they must provide proof of your accommodation, including:
The name and date of birth of the person you will be staying with.
- The address of the place.
- Information about your relationship with the person you will be staying with.
- A letter of consent stating that they will look after you during your stay in the UK.
On the other hand, when you travel with someone, you must identify them in your visa application. Their name must appear on your visa; otherwise, entry will be refused. Up to 2 people can join you as companions during your visit. They must submit a separate visa application to accompany you.
How to apply for a visa for an English language course in the UK?
The visa application process for the English language course in the UK is:
Find out when and where to apply
You must apply at least three months before your intended trip to the UK. Furthermore, once you complete the online application, you also need to submit your biometric data to a visa application center in your country.
Prepare the documents you need
Before applying, make sure you have all the required documents. The application requires numerous documents and it may be difficult to know everything that is required. However, in the section “What documents are required to apply for a visa for an English language course in the UK?”, you will find the list of documents you need.
Complete the application online on the UK Government website
You can start your application on the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration website. In order to access the application form, you will need to register your email. In the application form, confirm the visa type and choose the country where you will provide your biometric data. You will then fill it in with your personal data and attach the required documents.
Launch the application here.
Complete the payment requirements
Once you have completed the application form, you will be asked to make two payments:
- Health surcharge: £470.
- Visa application fee: £200.
Make a visa appointment
Once you have completed the above steps, you will be asked to book an appointment with the visa application center to collect your biometric data. You can find which visa center you can send your biometric data to on the UK government website.
Go to the appointment
At the appointment, you will need to provide your biometric data: photograph, fingerprints and the requested documents. Additionally, you may also be able to attend an interview and answer questions regarding your trip to the UK. The visa application center can store your passport and documents while it processes your application.
Wait for confirmation
You will have to wait for confirmation for approximately three weeks (15 working days). However, at the moment, it takes on average about seven weeks to decide on a visa. If your application is accepted, you will receive a sticker in your passport or access to view your immigration status information online.
After you arrive in the UK
After you arrive in the UK, you will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP). A biometric residence permit can be used to confirm your identity, right to study and right to any public services or benefits to which you are entitled.
How long can you stay on the English language course visa in the UK?
With the UK English language course visa, you can stay for the duration of the course. You will also have 30 extra days as long as they do not exceed 11 months.
How much does a visa cost for an English language course in the UK?
A visa for an English language course in the UK costs £200. You also have to pay £470 towards health surcharge. You need to pay the necessary fees on the UK government website while completing the online application form.
How long does it take to get a visa for an English language course in the UK?
The processing time for the UK English language course visa is approximately three weeks (15 working days). It currently takes around seven weeks to decide on a visa.
Can I extend or change my visa?
You cannot extend your English-speaking visa in the UK. If you wish to stay longer, you must return to your country and reapply for another type of visa (for example, a student visa to the United Kingdom).
You also cannot switch to another visa while in the UK on an English courses visa.
What are the conditions for staying on a visa for an English language course in the UK?
While you are in the UK on a UK English language course visa, you cannot:
- Study on other courses or change your course while in the UK.
- Study in a state-funded school.
- Carry out paid or unpaid work.
- Extend your visa.
- Bring your family members with you on this visa.
- Have access to public funds or a state pension.