Adult Students Visa Categories

Studying in the UK

This section describes the immigration categories for people from outside Europe who want to study in the United Kingdom. It describes the requirements for each category, and explains how you can apply for a visa or permission to remain in the UK as a student.


Who can apply?

Tier 4 (General)

You can apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of our points-based system if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.

Student Visitor

Extended Student Visitor

You can apply as a student visitor if you are at least 18 years old, you want to come and study in the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months to take an English Language course), and you do not want to work while you are here.

While you are in the UK as a student visitor, you cannot 'switch' and apply to extend your stay as a Tier 4 (General) student. If you want to study here under Tier 4 (General) , you will need to leave the UK and apply from the country where you live.

Prospective student

You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the UK to help you finalise the arrangements for your Tier 4 course of study (for example, by attending an interview at a university which has made you a conditional offer).

You will be able to switch into the Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) category while you are in the UK.

The category you choose will depend on the level of the course and length of your planned study.