Short-term study visa applications for Visa nationals

As a visa national you will need to apply and be granted a Short-Term Study visa before you travel to the UK. For full details see the Home Office website.

Application form

Unless you are from North Korea, you start by submitting your application form online and paying the application fee of £97.

We have put together a step-by-step guide to help you answer the questions on the form.


If you are having trouble viewing our guide, download it here: STS EC form guide 2018

Once your application form has been submitted, you will usually need to attend an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre to submit your original documents and enrol your biometric information. It will then take about 2-8 weeks for your visa application to be processed, depending on where you are applying. For current processing times please see the Home Office website.

Document list

Current passport

You need a page in your passport that is blank on both sides. 

University of Exeter official letter

e.g. offer letter, student status letter or College office letter

ATAS certificate

An Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate is only required for certain subject areas, including Computer Science, Physics, Medicine, Biosciences and Engineering, but all Masters and PhD students should check whether or not the requirement applies to them. It will be stated on your offer letter.

Further information about the scheme is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

You must apply for your ATAS certificate at least 4-6 weeks before you plan to apply for your visa. The certificate will be emailed to you and must be printed and included with your visa application. 

Accommodation details

Details of where you intend to stay, e.g. University accommodation details or tenancy agreement. You do not need to have paid for this before you apply for your visa.

If you are staying with a friend or family member then you should include a letter from them which confirms this. 

Enrolment letter

From your home university which confirms your course details.

If you are a PhD student studying overseas then your research in the UK should be directly relevant or related to your course of study. 

Details of onward or return flights

These flights do not need to be booked or paid for, it is just to show that you are aware that you should return at the end of your studies.

Evidence of ties to your home country

This could be details of family, property or other assets that would mean that you are more likely to return home. 

Evidence of sufficient funds

There are no specific requirements which state the amount of money you must show when you apply for a short-term student visa. You must demonstrate you are able to support yourself during your stay in the UK. Funds should cover course fees (if any), accommodation, flights and daily living expenses (food, drink, clothing). You might like to use the Tier 4 maintenance figure as a guide: £1,015 per month of your studies.

Suitable examples are 2 – 6 months of bank statements or student loan letters.

If you are being supported by a third party (for example parents) then you will also need a letter of from them giving details of the financial support available to you. 

Under 18 years old?

If you are under 18 years old and travelling on your own or with someone who is not your parent/guardian, then you will need a letter from your parent/guardian which includes their contact details and gives consent for you to travel to the UK. You will also need evidence that you have somewhere suitable to live in the UK. 

Currently in employment?

If you are in full-time permanent employment overseas then we would recommend that you include a letter from your employer which includes your employer’s consent and confirmation that you intend to return to work after your visit. You will also need to include 3-6 months of payslips. 

More information 

For more detailed personalised advice please do contact us.  You can also read through the UKCISA website which provides detail, including information about the 6 month limit and other conditions related to this visa.

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