Do I need a visa for the UK?

A visa is generally needed if you (or your family) are nationals of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is called "entry clearance" because it gives you permission to enter the UK.

If you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to enter the UK.

You can check your status and whether you need a visa on the Government UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website.

We advise that you check these websites for up to date information on visas:

UKVI Visa information

UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs

UKVI Studying in the UK

UKVI How to apply

UKVI Where to apply

UKVI Processing times

6 month short-term study visa (18 and over)

This is a restrictive type of visitor visa as a 6 month Short-term Study visa is only valid for a maximum of six months and is non-renewable. Employment is prohibited on this type of visa.

This visa is suitable for students who come to the UK to study on courses of six-months' duration or less but do not want to work or extend their stay.

Students who want to study on an English language course of six to eleven month duration but do not want to work or extend their stay should apply for an 11 month Short-term Study visa.

This visa allows the holder to come to the UK to study full time for a maximum of six months.

For more information on student visitors please also see the Home Office website.

11 month short-term study visa

The 11 month Short-term Study visa is only valid for a maximum of 11 months. This is for students who are studying on an English language course only and is non-renewable. Employment is prohibited on this type of visa.

Standard visitor visa (under 18)

For students that are under the age of 18, and who come to the United Kingdom to study for up to 30 days, as long as it is not the main reason for your visit.

This visa is called a standard visitor visa and allows the holder to come to the UK to study full time at INTO for a maximum of six months.

For more information on standard visitor visas also see the Home Office website.

(Tier 4) general students - points based system (PBS)

This is the main visa for studying in the UK and is for students studying a course of more than 6 months duration or who wish to have full 'student' visa entitlements in the UK.

This visa allows the holder to come to the UK to study full time on any INTO course.

Students applying for a Tier 4 visa will need to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to demonstrate their English language level and meet the entry requirements of the course. UKVI IELTS tests are Secure English Language Tests, approved by the UK Visas and Immigration department, and give an IELTS score. The minimum English language level entry requirements for a Tier 4 visa are:

IELTS 4 or equivalent for any INTO A-level, International Foundation and Diploma programme.

IELTS 5.5 or equivalent for any INTO Graduate Diploma, Degree or Postgraduate programme.

The course you would like to study determines which English language tests you need to take to apply for your visa.

Read more about SELT and UKVI IELTS tests.

A Tier 4 visa will normally be issued for the full length of your course plus some extra time. Employment is usually allowed but restricted on this type of visa.

For more information on general student visas also see the Home Office website.

European citizens

Students who hold a passport issued by a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to travel to the UK or study here.

For these students we will issue letters confirming the course and accommodation once the fees have been paid.

Students will need to bring these letters with them to the centre along with original copies of any documents they have used to prove they have met the INTO Centre's entry requirements.

Please note: EEC students will not be issued with a CAS.

For more information for EU citizens please see the Home Office website.

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