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Do I need a visa to study in the UK?

If you are a foreign national and wish to come to study in the UK then you will require a visa. There are three different types:

Student Visitor Visa

If you want to come to the UK for a short course of study, no more than 6 months then a student visit visa is probably the best type for you. You cannot extend the visa or switch into another category unless you are studying English when you can extend your stay up to 11 months. You must return to your home country at the end of the visa. 

You can also apply for a visa to visit the UK if you wish to travel to investigate studying here or to attend interviews. This is known as a Prospective Student Visa and allows an extension in the Tier 4 (General) student visa. 

Tier 4 (General) Visa

If you are over the age of 16 and wish to study in the UK for more than 6 months you will need to apply for a Tier 4 ( General) visa. You must have an immigration sponsor, i.e the education provider in the UK, and meet the requirements of the rules. The Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied that any applicant is a genuine student. 

In some countries applicants will be required to attend an interview about their application.

Visas are granted for the full duration of the course. You can however apply to extend your visa from within the UK if you still wish to study here and can demonstrate that you continue to meet the requirements. 

Tier 4 (child) Visa 

Children under the age of 18 who want to study in the UK at an independent school, need to apply for a Tier 4 (child) visa.

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