Since 9 a.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) on 1 December 2020 this route is only for students who apply for entry clearance to do an English language course between six and 11 months long. For study of up to six months, you may instead be able to undertake this under the visitor route.
If you are an EEA citizen and:
- are in or have been in the UK before 31 December 2020 see our Brexit information about applying instead under the EU settlement scheme; or
- apply under this route before 11pm on 31 December 2020, any entry clearance granted will be valid from 1 January 2021.
Am I eligible to apply for immigration permission as a short-term student?
You must have immigration permission in this category before you come to the UK (entry clearance). You can apply for entry clearance from any country outside the UK, but you must have permission to be in the country from which you apply.
- You must be 16 or older when you apply (which is when you pay the immigration application fee).
- You must be accepted onto an English language course which is no longer than 11 months in duration at an accredited provider. An accredited provider is one which:
Page 11 of the short-term students caseworker guidance also outlines the criteria for accredited institutions.
If the course is up to six months, you should instead check to see if you are eligible to study the course as a visitor.
- The course must be an English language only (which means it is a course that consists only of English language study and cannot be combined with other subjects). In addition:
- The English language course does not need to lead to a specific qualification.
- There are no minimum academic requirements for immigration purposes, the course can be at any level, but your course provider may have specific admissions criteria.
- You are not required to have a minimum English language ability, but your course provider may have specific admissions criteria.
- There are no minimum hours which you must be studying during your time in the UK.
This information is for you if you are currently outside the UK and you want to come to study in the UK as a 'short-term student' because either:
- you are not eligible to apply for Student permission; or
- you have chosen not to apply for a Student permission as you meet the requirements for a 'short-term student' visa
This information explains what you need to do to get immigration permission in order to come to study in the UK as a 'short-term student', what you must do if you have it and what to do if you are refused permission.
If you you are granted immigration permission
If you are successful, you will get immigration permission for 11 months.
You will get a vignette (stamp in your passport) for 30 days, and then when you arrive in the UK you will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) from a post office or from your institution (if they have arranged with the Home Office for the BRPs to be sent to them. You will be given entry clearance showing a 30-day window in which to enter the UK. You will need to follow the instructions on the accompanying letter about how to collect your Biometric Residence Permit. This usually needs to be collected within 10 days of arriving in the UK. However, there are some concessions in place due to the Coronavirus, which has increased the period of time a post office will hold a BRP to 90 days.
What to do if your application is refused
Since 6 April 2021 refusals of short-term student permission have not attracted the right to apply for an administrative review.
You can apply for immigration permission again, if you are sure you meet all the requirements. If you do apply again you must declare the refusal, if you are asked, in this and in future immigration applications.
From 6 October 2021, the right to a apply for an administrative review of a refused application under the short-term student route is being re-introduced. If you are refused from this date, you will need to decide between one of the following two options:
- You can apply for an administrative review. You will need to do this within 28 days of the date you are refused and it costs £80.
If this is successful, you will no longer have refusal on your immigration record, but should declare it on future immigration applications if asked about refusals, explaining it was overturned. The problem with this process is that it could take some time, which could mean you miss the start date of your course.
- You can apply for immigration permission again, but this will mean that you will have an unchallenged refusal that you must declare if you are asked in future immigration applications.
Requirements you must meet while you are in the UK
See 'Applying for entry clearance' for information about the requirements you need to meet when making your immigration application.
While in the UK, you must only study on the course for which you were granted permission.
You must intend to leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your study (if it is before the date your immigration permission ends). If you do not leave the UK within this time, it could affect any future immigration applications to the UK (such applications could be refused and a time-bar applied if the Home Office believes you exercised deception about your intention in your short-term student immigration application). If your study (as stated in the letter you presented to the Home Office as part of your short-term student immigration application) continues until the date that your immigration permission ends, you must leave the UK no later than the date your immigration permission ends.
You may be required to register with the police within 7 days of your arrival in the UK. If you are required to register with police this will be stated on your vignette (and biometric residence permit) or the letter which accompanies the vignette.
As a short-term student, you cannot do any kind of work, work placement or work experience during your studies in the UK. In addition, you cannot engage in any business or professional activities in the UK. If you want to be allowed to work in the UK during your studies, you will need to apply to enter the UK as a Student or in another appropriate immigration category instead.
Short-term students are not allowed to apply to switch into any other immigration category while still in the UK, or extend their permission as a short-term student. If you wish to continue studying in the UK after your entitlement to remain in the UK as a short-term student has ended, you will need to return home and apply for entry clearance as a Student, or in another appropriate immigration category. However, there is a requirement that you should not intend to make the UK your main home. Frequent and successive use of this route may suggest that you are.
You have no recourse to 'public funds'. 'Public funds' are defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules as a list of specific benefits available. When applying for immigration permission to enter the UK, you must provide evidence that there is sufficient money available for your maintenance and accommodation, without having to claim any of these benefits - see applying for entry clearance.