Visa Guidance

Frances King School of English is authorised by the UK Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI) through our accreditation with Accreditation UK to support students to apply for study visas.

This information is for guidance only. Requirements change regularly. Please contact your local embassy or consult the UKVI website to verify this information.

Do you need a visa?

  • Students from the EU and EEA do not require any visa.
  • Visa nationals – you are required to get a visa before leaving your country (pre-entry clearance).
  • Non-visa nationals – you are required to get a visa, but you can get a Short-term Student Visa on arrival in the UK. If you require a Short-term Student Visa valid for up to 11 months then you must get it before leaving home (pre-entry clearance). See list below for Visa national and Non-visa national countries.

Types of visa

1. Short-term Student Visa (6 months) – STSV-6

  • Suitable for students aged 16 or above coming for a short course of up to 6 months.
  • Available for students at any level of English, including beginners.
  • Cannot be renewed while in the UK. It is not possible to apply for an extension, or for the Short-term Student Visa valid for up to 11 months which can only be obtained from outside the UK.
  • Students are not able to work, or bring dependants.
  • Available for both visa nationals (pre-entry clearance) and non-visa nationals (pre-entry clearance or on arrival in the UK).
  • Cost: Pre-entry clearance £97; on arrival in UK free.

All visa nationals, and non-visa nationals seeking pre-clearance, will have to apply to the British Embassy in their country. To apply for a Short-term Student Visa you will need:

  • An acceptance letter from a school.
  • Proof that you have paid for the course and accommodation, proof of accommodation address, and evidence of funds in your bank account.

The web site shows details of what students might be expected to show, including that you:

  • Only want to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months.
  • Plan to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit.
  • Have previously studied English and need improved English for your future career.
  • Have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or that you will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends.
  • Can meet the cost of the return or onward journey.

2. Child Visitor Visa (6 months) Accompanied by an adult or Unaccompanied

Issued to students aged 15 or under coming to the UK for up to 6 months.A standard Visitor Visa costs £95.

3. Short-term Student Visa (11 months) STSV-11

  • Suitable for students aged 16 or above coming for an English language course between 6 and 11 months.
  • Available for students at any level of English, including beginners.
  • Available for both visa nationals and non-visa nationals (pre-entry clearance only).
  • Students are not able to work or to bring dependants or to take a course which is not 100% teaching English as a foreign language (mixed courses with a portion of time spent learning English will not qualify).
  • Cost: Pre-entry clearance £186.
  • Applicants will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge at the reduced rate for students (£150 per each 12 months of leave) when they make their application for entry clearance.
  • Students can remain in the UK for 30 days after the end of their course.
  • Cannot be renewed.

4. Tier 4 Points Based System General Student Visa (GSV)

Frances King does not sponsor students for Tier 4 visas. If you hold a valid Tier 4 visa issued by a UK university, then you are allowed to book a course of English language study at our school for up to 4 weeks before your main university course starts, if your visa is valid for more than 6 months, and for 1 week if your visa is valid for 6 months or less. You can also study at our school during your main course as long as it doesn’t interfere with your main sponsored course.

5. Standard Visitor Visa (VV)

  • This visa is issued mainly for Tourism or Business purposes (or other reasons such as to receive private medical treatment) and work is not permitted.
  • You can study for up to 30 days as long as it is not the main purpose of your visit. Study must be at centres accredited by approved bodies such as Accreditation UK for the English language sector.
  • You can do voluntary (unpaid) work with a registered charity.

6. The following visas are also accepted for language study:

  • Diplomatic Visa
  • Tier 1 Work or Investor Visa
  • Tier 2 Visa
  • Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme
  • Residence Visa
  • Dependent Visa
  • Academic Visitor

Students under the age of 18

The applicant must show that suitable arrangements have been made for their travel to and arrival and care in the UK.

Additional Study

Students must not intend to add additional study after their arrival in the UK that will last in excess of the 30 day period at the end of the original period of entry requested. Students may not extend a current course, or enrol on a new course where the course would be longer than 30 days (4 weeks).Students wishing to extend/ take a longer course will have to obtain a new visa even if they have the time available on their current visa.

Visa National Countries

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Belarus Bolivia Bosnia Herzegovina Cambodia Cameroon China (except for Hong Kong and Macao) Colombia Democratic Republic of the Congo Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea Georgia Ghana Indonesia Iran Iraq Ivory Coast Jordan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Libya Macedonia Madagascar Mali Mauritania Moldova Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Nepal Oman Peru Russia Rwanda Saudi Arabia Senegal Sri Lanka Sudan Surinam Syria Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Venezuela has always been a visa national country but there was an exemption for holders of biometric passports. The government has now reviewed this exemption and holders of both types of Venezuelan passports now have to apply for a visa for stays of under 6 months.

Passport holders of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates can visit the UK for up to 6 months with an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) which must be applied for at least 48 hours prior to travel.

Non-Visa National Countries

Argentina Brazil Chile Guatemala Honduras Hong Kong Israel Japan Malaysia Mauritius Mexico Panama Paraguay South Korea Taiwan Tibet Uruguay

Non-Visa Nationals planning to travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland

This information is for nationals of Japan, South Korea and other non-visa nationals who are planning to travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland and enter the UK as a short-term student. As a non-visa national, you can normally travel to the UK and apply when you arrive for immigration permission to enter as a short-term student (or other type of visitor) for up to six months. Non-visa national students coming to the UK for a short course often choose to do this rather than applying for entry clearance before travelling.

However, if you arrive in the UK from elsewhere in the CTA (this includes the Republic of Ireland), you will not have the opportunity to do this because there is no immigration control at your UK arrival point. You should therefore apply for UK entry clearance (a visa) in your home country before travelling to the Republic of Ireland.

If, despite the above advice, you do enter the UK from the Republic of Ireland with no specific UK immigration permission, and you are a non-visa national, you will in most cases automatically have permission to be in the UK only for three months, not for six months. This is reduced to seven days if you entered the Republic of Ireland from the UK at a time when you still had permission to be in the UK and that permission has since expired.

The three months’ permission allows you to study, but it may not be enough time to complete your short course, but you cannot extend your stay in the UK as a short-term student or Tier 4 student. If you need to be in the UK for more than the three months, you will need to leave the UK within the three-month period, then re-enter asking for immigration permission to enter as a short-term student, for a maximum visit of six months.

Note also that any immigration permission you are given on arrival in the Republic of Ireland is for the Republic of Ireland, not for the UK.

Important information for students from Japan and South Korea – do NOT use e-gates

Japanese and Korean students who have enrolled on courses in the UK, but did not apply for a study visa before travelling, cannot use e-gates on arrival. You should make sure you see an immigration officer to get the correct stamp in your passport which will allow you to study. Students without a visa in their passport may not be able to take their course if they use the e-gates.