Visas and Immigration

To help ensure that your Study Abroad experience runs smoothly, check to make sure you meet any visa and immigration requirements for entering the UK.

UAL welcomes students from all over the world. Immigration requirements for international students travelling to the UK can be different depending on the country your passport has been issued by.

Please famliarise yourself with these requirements and make sure you have any necessary visa before travelling.

Do I need a visa?

If you will be travelling to the UK on a passport issued by a country within the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you do NOT require a visa and there are no immigration restrictions while you are in the UK.

If you will be travelling to the UK on a passport issued from a country outside the EU/EEA, you will need a visa to enter the country, and you may be subject to additional restrictions while you are in the UK.

What type of visa should I apply for?

There are 2 types of visa that students coming to study at UAL can apply for:

  • Short-term study visa
  • Tier 4 (General) student visa

The majority of students joining the Study Abroad programme at UAL do so on a Short-term study visa. This category of visa is for students who are joining a university course for less than 6 months and do not intend to work while they are in the UK.

The Tier 4 visa is only intended for students who are studying a course that is longer than 6 months and/or need to work (either paid or unpaid) while in the UK.

How do I apply for a visa?

Short-term Study Visa

First, you will need to establish whether you are a 'visa national' or a 'non-visa national'. To check your status, please visit  www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.

Visa nationals

You will need to apply online for a Short-term Study Visa before travelling to the UK.

We strongly recommend that you read the following guidance before making an application. The documents you submit with your application must be originals, otherwise your application will be rejected.

Supporting documents guidance - visitors and direct airside transit

Non-visa nationals

This includes nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

You can apply for a visa upon entry to the UK by presenting your passport and Short-term Study Visa letter (issued by the UAL Study Abroad Office) to immigration officials at your port of entry.

Tier 4 (General) Student Visa:

You will need to apply online for a Tier 4 (General) student visa before you travel. You cannot apply more than 90 days before the start date of your UAL course. The documents you submit must be originals, otherwise your application will be rejected.

Before you apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa, we strongly encourage you to read this guidance from the International Office.

What if I enter the UK via Ireland?

If you need a visa to study in the UK and intend to enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland, please read this important advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs