Entering the UK as a student

Students from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)

EEA students do not need to apply for a UK visa in order to study here.

If you are an EEA national, a valid passport or ID card will entitle you to enter the UK for up to three months. For an ongoing right to reside in the UK as a student beyond three months you must:

  * be enrolled at a recognised educational establishment for the principal purpose of following a course of study
  * have enough money to avoid dependence on the state's social assistance system

The countries that are in the EEA are listed on the Home Office website. To ensure you can access UK National Health Service (NHS) services, you should apply for the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) before your arrival. You must apply in your home country as you cannot apply in the UK.

Students from countries outside the EEA studying in the UK for six months or less

If you are coming to the UK to study a course for less than six months and are confident you will not need to extend your visa in the UK you can apply for a Student Visitor Visa.

Students from countries outside the EEA studying in the UK for 6 months or more

All students from outside the EEA studying for 6 months or more must obtain a Tier 4 Student Visa from their home country before travelling to the UK.

The application form you use to apply for a visa from outside the UK is different to the one you would use if applying from inside the UK.

Students from countries outside the EEA who hold a British passport

If you have dual nationality and hold a British passport, you may use this passport to enter the UK and study, without having to apply for a Tier 4 visa.