Skip to main content

Short-term students

Search Royal Holloway

Short-term students

Some students or programmes may not meet the requirements for Tier 4, so you may need to enter the UK as a short-term student.

This route is appropriate if you:

  • need to come back to the UK to re-sit an exam or repeat a module
  • are a distance learning student and need to visit the UK occasionally but do not meet the requirements of a Tier 4 student visa
  • Have been accepted on a course of less than six months (Study Abroad students)

Choosing the right immigration route

If you enter the UK as a short-term student, you will face the following conditions:

  • You will not be able to work
  • You will not be able to extend your visa or change immigration status from within the UK
  • Your family will not be able to come to the UK as your dependents
  • You must leave the UK by the date stated on your visa/passport stamp

It’s therefore important that you make sure this is the right choice for you before you come to the UK. If you're unsure, please email us.

How to apply

You may need to apply for a visa as a short-term student before you travel to the UK. To do this, you will need a letter from Royal Holloway confirming that we have offered you a place and giving details of your course.

To request a supporting letter for your short-term study visa please fill in in this form.

For further information on what documentation is required for the visa application and information about cost, please visit the Home Office website.

Documents required

To apply for a short-term study visa, you will need the following:

  • Completed online application form
  • Passport
  • One passport photograph
  • Supporting letter from Royal Holloway
  • Financial evidence showing how you will fund your studies in the UK (there’s no set amount that is expected here, but use the Tier 4 (General) amounts as a guide)
  • £97 for the visa application fee


Arriving in the UK as a non-visa national 

If you don’t need to have a visa before travelling to the UK as a short-term student, you may still need to show the following documents to the Border Force Officer when you arrive:

  • Your passport and completed landing card
  • Your letter from Royal Holloway confirming your studies with us and giving details including dates and fees
  • Financial evidence showing how you will fund your studies and stay in the UK

As a non-visa national (e.g. a national of a country that does not require a visa to enter the UK) you do not have to apply for entry clearance as a short-term student. You should still carry all of the documentation proving your intention to study in the UK when travelling, and you must request entry as a student at the UK border. It is important to not be stamped in as a visitor to the UK, as you are not permitted to study on a visitor stamp. You should receive an entry stamp like the one below including a date stamp. Make sure you check that the stamp clearly states “student” on it before you finish speaking with the Border Force officer.


short term stamp




Explore Royal Holloway