Applying for a Short-term Study visa

If you are coming to study to Aberystwyth University for a maximum of 6 months (or 11 months for English Language course students) you may choose to come on a Short-term Study Visa, you will be much more restricted than if you come on a Tier 4 student visa. You will not be allowed to do any paid or voluntary work (even if it is part of a course) and you cannot extend your stay in the UK.  

You should only apply for a Short-term Study visa, if you are certain that you will not need to extend your stay in the UK, you do not wish to work, and meet one of the following criteria: 

  • You will be studying on an English language course that is a maximum of 11 months. 
  • You are an Exchange Study Abroad student studying for less than 6 months (one semester) who will be returning home after their course finishes.
  • You are coming to the UK to resit an examination.
  • You are registered on a distance learning course and need to come to Aberystwyth University for an examination or to attend a short course of less than 6 months.
  • You are a PhD student coming to Aberystwyth University for your viva voce and to complete corrections for a maximum of 6 months.
  • You are a 'Non-Qualification' visiting student who is registered at an overseas higher education institution who is coming to Aberystwyth University for a maximum of 6 months.

Before you apply for your Short-term you should read the information and guidance on the GOV.UK pages, https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa, and the UKCISA pages, http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Visas-and-Immigration/Short-term-student-visa.

How to apply for a Short-term Study visa

  1. Collect all your supporting documents, please see 'Supporting documents needed for Short-term Study visa'.
  2. Complete an on-line application form available from here https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/apply-visa-type.
  3. Select the following option: Short-term student visa
  4. Pay the Short-term Study visa fee, currently £97 for a six month visa, £186 for an 11 month visa, paid in the local currency of the country that you are applying from.
  5. Make an appointment at your nearest visa application centre https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre
  6. Attend your appointment and submit all your supporting documents, and provide biometric data.
  7. You should receive a decision on your Short-term Study visa within three weeks from the date you submitted your application.

Supporting documents needed for a Short-term Study visa

You will need to submit the following documents when you attend your visa appointment:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • ‘Short-term Study Visa’ acceptance letter from Aberystwyth University
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, eg bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months (you will need evidence that you have £1,015 for every month that you will be spending in the UK, for example, if your course lasts three months, then you should have a minimum of £3,045 available to you) 
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans - you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
  • it is recommended that you have evidence that you have taken travel insurance which includes cover for any medical expenses 
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • under 18s - students under the age of 18 will need to demonstrate that they have received consent from their parent/legal guardian to travel to the UK and study at Aberystwyth University.  To meet this requirement the following documents will need to be submitted with your visa application:

Depending on the course that you will be undertaking in Aberystwyth University, you may also need to provide the following:

  • previous study, eg academic certificates, references or transcripts
  • English language qualifications, eg certificates or awards
  • permission to be in the country you’re applying from (if you’re not a national)
  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies
  • ATAS Certificate (if applicable)

Do I need to apply for my visa before I travel to the UK?

Non-visa nationals 

If you are a non-visa national and you are coming on a course for a maximum of 6 months, you can choose whether to apply for your visa in advance of travelling, or to wait until you arrive at the port of entry, i.e. airport, to the UK, and make your request to enter as a ‘short-term student’ there.

If you do not obtain your visa before you travel, you will need to produce all the documents to support your application to enter the UK as a short-term student to the Border Force Officer when you arrive at the port of entry to the UK. This includes evidence of your unconditional offer to study in the UK and evidence of your finances.

It is important you ask to be admitted as a short-term student (rather than as a visitor) - you will need to make a special effort to talk to the Border Force Officer to explain that. Make sure that they look at your short-term student visa letter (which confirms your unconditional offer and acceptance on the course), and ask that the stamp you get in your passport indicates you are a short-term student.

Students from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the US should not use eGates when entering the UK, this is because your passport will not be stamped with the required Short-term Study visa and you will not be able to register on your course of study at Aberystwyth University.

A list of visa nationals can be found here (if your country of nationality is not on this list then it means that you are a ‘non-visa national’) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules.

If you are not sure whether you should apply for a Short-term Study visa before travelling to the UK, please contact the International Student Adviser on immigrationadvice@aber.ac.uk.

Travelling into Dublin, Republic of Ireland

If you are a non-visa national and travelling to Aberystwyth via Dublin, you must apply for a Short-term Study visa before you leave your home country.  This is because there is no border control in Dublin and you will therefore not be able to apply to enter the UK as a Short-term student at the port of entry, i.e. airport.  Please note that you will not be able to register at Aberystwyth University unless you have the correct study visa.