Information and guidance around the Short Term Student Visa route
How to apply for a Short Term Student Visa
What is the Short-Term Study visa (STSV)?
The Short-term Study visa route is now solely intended for students wanting to attend English Language courses of between 6 and 11 months. These may be a single course or multiple defined courses, but all must be for English Language (often called pre-sessional English) courses.
Students who wish to study short courses (including English language) or undertake various other study activities that are less than 6 months, should now apply under the Standard Visit visa route.
It is important to know what you cannot do on an STSV.
- study on any other course or change your course while in the UK
- study at a state-funded school
- work or carry out any business (this includes paid or unpaid work, work experience or work placements)
- extend this visa
- bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on this visa
- apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension
Most STSV visas will be issued for 11 months as standard. However, as part of the application process you must confirm that you intend to leave the UK within a maximum of 30 days of the stated end of your course. You should be aware that once the visa has been issued, you cannot then choose to change or extend your course. Failure to leave the UK within 30 days of your course end could be considered as deception by the UKVI and could affect any future visa applications.
Further comprehensive information about the Short Term Student visa route can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website and on the GOV.uk website.
Healthcare in the UK for Short-Term Student Visa Holders
The STSV route now includes compulsory payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of the application process. Paying the IHS will give you access to the UK's National Health Service.
Please note: On 15th September 23 the UK Government announced that it would be increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge fees for students and their dependants to £776 per year. This will come into force either 16th January 2024 or the 21st day after the law is changed. We shall update when we have confirmation of the exact date.
The STSV application is made application online and you start the process here. (If you are a student from North Korea you will not be able to access the form via the link s please email the International@CampusLife team for help and guidance).
Make sure you are selecting the Short term student option.
You will then have to complete an online application form. It is useful to have your passport, University Short Term visa letter and other documents with you, ready to help you complete the form.
As part of the online application process you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (£470) and the visa application fee (£200). These will need to be paid by Credit or Debit card, so make sure that you have one available which has the funds needed. Once you have paid the visa fee, your application will be considered as submitted and you will not be able to change any of your answers, so make sure that you are happy before you make the payments. It is possible to save and revisit your form before final submission.
Once you have made the IHS and visa fee payments, you will be automatically routed to a page to book an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre. This appointment is to enrol your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) and may include a short credibility interview. There may also be a charge for the appointment and it will be payable at point of booking.
You will need to scan and upload your documents to your online application if asked but you should also take these with you to the biometric appointment.
The following list are suggested documents to assist you in your preparations:
Application form – Available to complete online
Passport(s): – Your passport should be valid for the length of your proposed study visit.
You should also submit any passport(s) that you have ever used to enter the UK. If any of these passports has been lost or stolen, you will need to provide a police report and details of your previous visit(s) to the UK.
Visa application fee: currently £200. All current visa fees can be found on the Gov.UK website and this is paid online by debit or credit card.
IHS fee: currently £470 and this is paid online by debit or credit card. Please note: On 15th September 23 the UK Government announced that it would be increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge fees for students and their dependants to £776 per year. This will come into force on 6th February 2024.
Short-term Study Visa Letter from Swansea University. For new taught students this letter will be available to you from the Admissions Department. For continuing students, this letter can be requested via MyUniHub. For exchange students please email the Go Global Team. If you do not fall into any of these categories and do not know how you get this letter please email the International @Campuslife team with as much information about your situation as possible and they will try to help you.
Proof of finances: This can be in the form of bank statements or pay slips and should ideally cover 6 months transactions. You may also choose to include property ownership papers or documentation from parents or other family members who provide you with financial support (include a letter from the family member confirming that this money can be used to support you). There are no set amounts, but the caseworker must be certain that you can afford your fees, UK living costs and travel expenses. As a guide, for the Student route visa, the UKVI considers you need £1023 per month to live in the UK.
Details of accommodation and travel plans: you should be prepared to provide information regarding any University or private accommodation agreements you have made or planned hotel or flight bookings. You should not pay for any of these before you receive your visa, but you should have made outline plans and understand the cost, so you can prove that you can afford them.
You might also need:
Tuberculosis (TB) test results, if you’re from a country where you have to take the TB test
if you’re under 18 years old you will need to provide additional information detailed on the Gov.UK website
For a full breakdown of the application process and required documents please see the GOV.UK website.
How long will the application take?
After you have submitted your online application and attended your biometric appointment, it will take approximately 4 to 8 weeks for your visa application to be processed. Current visa processing times for can be found on the Gov.UK website.
You should always carry the documents that you submitted with your visa application in your hand luggage when you travel to the UK.