Studying in the UK for six months or less

The following visa information applies to all international students, including European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, studying on a Short Course.

You will need a Standard Visitor visa to come to the UK to study for 6 months or less. You will still have to meet ARU’s academic entry requirements.

Who needs to apply for a Standard Visitor visa before coming to the UK?

Some nationals will need to apply for a visa before arriving in the UK. This is called applying for entry clearance. Find out more about applying for entry clearance.

If you need to apply for entry clearance, you are known as a visa national. If you don’t need to apply for entry clearance, you are known as a non-visa national.

Visa nationals

  • You must apply online for entry clearance before you come to the UK.
  • You will also have to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove your identity and provide your documents.
  • The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel.
  • You should bring all your documents that you submitted with your entry clearance application when you travel to the UK. The Border Force Officer may ask to see these documents when you arrive in the UK.
  • You can apply for entry clearance as a visitor from within any country outside of the UK (it does not have to be the country where you normally live).

Non-visa nationals

It is not compulsory for non-visa nationals (including EU/EEA and Swiss citizens - see section below) to obtain entry clearance before arriving in the UK if your course lasts less than six months. If your course is longer, you must obtain a student visa before entering the UK. This means:

  • You can request to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor at the border.
  • If you did not apply for entry clearance, you will need to produce all supporting documents to the Border Force Officer when you arrive. This includes your acceptance letter from ARU confirming the study/course that you wish to do in the UK as a visitor, an ATAS certificate if applicable and evidence of your finances to the genuineness requirement.
  • You will need to ask the Border Force Office for a stamp in your passport to enter as a Standard Visitor. You must show them your ARU letter. Please carry this in your hand luggage. (see below for information for EU/EEA Swiss nationals).
  • The stamp you receive at the border is only for a single entry. If you plan to travel outside of the UK and have further sessions of teaching to attend, you will need to request to enter as a Standard Visitor each time you arrive at the UK border.
  • If you are a child visitor, you will need to apply for entry clearance before you travel as there will be additional requirements to meet.
  • Only nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United States of America, the EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals are permitted to use the eGates at UK airports to enter as a visitor. Please see below for more information about eGates.

Holders of an Electronic Visa Waiver Document

Only nationals of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, or the United Arab Emirates who hold an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) Document and who wish to study a course of six months or less do not need to apply for entry clearance as a visitor. Holders of an EVW document can apply for permission to enter at the UK border. You will be granted permission to enter for up to six months. Apply for the EVW.

If successful, an EVW document will be issued to you electronically. You can only use the EVW in the manner specified in Appendix Visitor of the Immigration Rules. If you don’t, your application for permission to enter the UK may be refused.

You are permitted to apply for this document between 3 months and 48 hours before you travel.

An EVW document is valid for single entry to the UK. This means you cannot enter, leave and then re-enter the UK using this document.

Entering the UK via eGates at UK airports

The following Nationals are non-visa nationals who can use eGates to enter the UK:

  • Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America;
  • EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals

Using the eGates

  • You can enter the UK as a visitor for a period of six months.
  • If you enter the UK as a visitor using the eGates you will not receive a stamp in your passport as you do not have to see a Border Force Officer.
  • Your passport must have a biometric symbol on the cover.
  • You must be above the age of 12. Visitors between the ages of 12 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • So that you can remember and prove when you entered the UK to calculate your six-month period, you must retain some evidence of your date of arrival in the UK such as an e-ticket or paper or electronic boarding pass. You will also have to produce this evidence on arrival at Anglia Ruskin University.

Please note: EU, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals who entered the UK before 31 December 2020 may be eligible to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme.