UK Visa Information

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You should make sure before coming to the UK that your legal situation is correct. Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa, residence permit and/or work permit. Here you will find legal requirements for coming to UK.

Who requires a visa?

UK immigration services also refer to visas as "entry clearance".
Citizens of countries not listed below may not be required to obtain entry clearance to study in the UK, prior to arrival.
Nationals not requiring prior clearance will still need to satisfy immigration services of their eligibility, upon arrival in the UK.

Note: If you have any doubts, it is recommended to apply for a visa before booking airline tickets.

Citizens of the following countries do require visas:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China (PR), CIS, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Congo (Rep. Of), Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Korea (DPR), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen, Serbia & Montenegro and Zambia. All other nationals do not require visas.

What documents will be required?

Even if a visa will not be required, students should still be able to provide UK immigration with documentation explaining their stay (a letter of acceptance, proof of funds, etc.). Please contact the appropriate embassy for further information.

The following documents may be required for visa applications:
  • Valid passport
  • Completed application form
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • Letter of acceptance
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Evidence of accommodation arrangements for duration of trip
  • Letter of intent for post-course period (presentable upon arrival)

Time required to issue visa:

It depends on nationality of applicant. Applications that are referred to the Home Office may take 6 weeks or more.

What is the cost of a visa?

Visa prices vary according to country in which Consulate is located but must be paid in local currency. Enquire at your nearest High Commission/Embassy.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete visa application forms IM2A and. IM2S. You can also get the forms from your nearest UK Overseas Mission where there is a visa section. You should check with your nearest British Mission whether they can deal with your application. If they cannot they will tell you where to apply.
Applications may be made to the Visa Section of a British mission in person or, in some instances, by post.

Can I work in the UK?

If you are admitted for a course lasting more than 6 months, you may, without a work permit or permission from the local Job Centre, take part-time or holiday-work, but you must not:

  • Work for more than 20 hours per week during term time unless your placement is part of your studies, has the agreement of the education institution and leads to a degree or qualification awarded by a nationally recognized examining body.
  • Do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.
  • Work full-time in a permanent job.
If you are admitted for a course lasting 6 months or less, permission to work is granted at the entry clearance or immigration officer's discretion.

Other information:

A passport is not required for travel between Great Britain and Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Passengers transiting the UK destined for the Republic of Ireland are advised to hold return tickets to avoid delay and interrogation.

Can I extend my stay as a student?
If you enter the UK with a student visa and wish to extend your stay for further studies you can apply to do so at the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND); if you are a visa national, you cannot stay on as a student unless you entered the UK with a student or prospective student visa.

Can I switch to Work Permit employment whilst in the UK?
You may be able to switch if you meet the following requirements:
  • You have completed a recognized degree course at either a UK publicly funded further or higher education institution or bona fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance.
  • You hold a valid work permit for employment.
  • If sponsored by your government or international scholarship agency you have their written consent.
  • You do not have an adverse immigration history.
Embassy contact information:
UK Embassies

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