Which Student Visa?
Am I a visa or non-visa national?
If you have decided to come to the UK on a Student Visitor Visa (for a maximum of 6 months), you need to know if you are a visa or a non-visa national. Visa nationals need to apply for the 6 month Student Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK, but non-visa nationals can get their passport stamped as a Student Visitor on arrival.
If you are from one of the countries listed below, you ALWAYS need to apply for a visa before leaving your country. The UK Border Agency’s ‘Do I need a visa?’ information may help you decide if you are a visa or a non-visa national.
Central African Republic
China (except for Hong Kong and Macao)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome e Principe
South Africa (except those who have already visited the UK using this passport)
United Arab Emirates
The territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
* Venezuelan visitors who have new secure fingerprint passports issued since 2007 will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom without applying for a visa
If you are a non-visa national, you can get your passport stamped as a student visitor (allowing you to study for a maximum of six months) free on arrival in the UK. However, remember that it might be safer for you to apply for a visa from your country regardless.
Please note: If you are a non-visa national and only have an Entry Clearance Student Visitor Visa stamp in your passport, you should carry the following documentation if you decide to travel out of the UK during your course: your course confirmation letter, your visa letter and any other TRW documentation which you may have. Please see somebody at reception if you are unsure of what you should carry with you.