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Immigration and Visas

Short-term Study Visa

We are expecting new immigration rules to come in on 1st December 2020 and will update the information below accordingly after this date. 


Students coming to the UK for courses lasting less than six months without any placement or work requirements will usually need to obtain a Short-term Student visa (previously known as "Student Visitor visa"). If you have come to the UK as a Short-term Student, you are only able to study on a course which lasts for 6 months or less, and you will not be able to extend this visa in the UK.

You may enter the UK as a Short-term Student if you are coming for any of these reasons:

  • to attend the King’s College London Summer School
  • for one semester as a Study Abroad student (please read our additional guidance)
  • to take resit exams or undertake a short resit period and do not wish to apply for a Tier 4 visa (NB: you will not be able to then extend this visa in the UK) 
  • to study a distance-learning course which involves coming to the UK for short period of study, perhaps once or twice a year. In this instance, you may enter the UK each time as a Short-term Student. Your Short-term Student letter from King's should detail each instance of your study at King's throughout the course, and you should carry this letter with you each time you enter the UK
  • to undertake research as part of a PhD which you are studying abroad, and this period of research at King's will last for less than 6 months
  • a medical elective period in the UK of up to 6 months, that is linked to a medical, dental or scientific degree-level course at an overseas Higher Education Provider (HEP) 


Offer holder/applicants

If you are coming to King's for the first time, e.g. semester, Study Abroad or a Summer School, your Short-term Study visa support letter will be issued by Admissions through your King's Apply account once you met all the conditions attached to your offer. 

Current students

If you are already enrolled on a course at King's, you will need to request a visa support letter using the non-standard letter request link under the Registry Services Enquiry FormsAdd your content here

Coming to the UK as a visa national

If your country of nationality is listed in Appendix 2 of the UKVI Immigration Rules for Visitors, then you are a visa national. 

Coming to the UK as a non-visa national

If your country of nationality is not listed in Appendix 2 of the UKVI Immigration Rules for Visitors, you do not need to apply for your Short-term Study Visa prior to travelling to the UK but you still need to show all of your supporting documents (including the visa support letter from King's) on arrival into the UK.

The immigration officer will stamp your passport. This stamp is considered to be  your visa and should state something like "short term study".

Studying a science-based subject at Masters or PhD level

If you are studying a science-based subject at Masters or PdD level (even if you are only coming to King's for a short period, e.g. to undertake research as part of your course), you may need to obtain an ATAS certificate. You will need to obtain this before you travel/apply for your visa


Arriving at the UK border - important message about E-Gates

If you are from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United States, coming to study in the UK for 6 months or less, and have not applied for your short-term study visa in advance, you must see a UK Border Force officer using the standard (non-UK/EU) queue at the airport.  Do not use the E-Gates, follow the signs for ‘see an officer’!

You should show them your Short Term Study letter issued by King’s and ask them to stamp your passport using the “Short Term Study visa stamp”. The UKVI has also created a document you can print and show to a member of staff at the airport. 

If you did enter using the E-Gate, you would receive no stamp on your passport and therefore your entry will be recorded as a 'Standard Visitor' only.  Standard visitors are not able to enrol to study in the UK. 


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