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Essential coronavirus info
We are continuing to welcome our new and returning students. Your safety is our first priority.

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.

Do I need a visa?

If you will be travelling to the UK on a passport issued by a country outside the UK or Ireland, you will need a visa to enter the UK. You may be subject to additional restrictions while you are in the UK.

If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Areas (EEA) or Switzerland please find the latest guidance on Brexit for EU students on the UK government’s website and UAL Brexit information for students.

What type of visa should I apply for?

There are two types of visas that Study Abroad students can apply for:

  • Short-term study visa for students on courses of 6 months or less (if you apply for the visa before 9am on 1 December 2020)
  • Standard visitor visa for students on courses of 6 months or less (if you apply for the visa after 9am on 1 December 2020). If you have questions about the standard visitor visa, please email studyabroadoffice@arts.ac.uk.
  • Student visa for students on courses that are longer than 6 months and/or students who wish to work while in the UK. This is the new name for a visa route previously known as a Tier 4 visa.

Please ensure that you obtain the correct type of visa. It will not be possible to change your immigration status after you arrive in the UK.

Short-term study visas

For students studying for 1 semester and on the Summer Study Abroad programme usually enter the UK on a Short-term study visa. Note that visa rules are changing. You can apply for the Short-term study visa if you apply for the visa before 9am on 1 December 2020. If you apply for your visa after 9am on 1 December 2020 you would apply for the standard visitor visa for students on courses of 6 months or less. If you have questions about visas, please email studyabroadoffice@arts.ac.uk.

Some students may not need to apply for a Short-term study visa before travelling to the UK. Whether you need to apply before you travel depends on your nationality. You can use the Government Visa checker to find out whether or not you need to apply before you leave.

Non-visa nationals

These include nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

You can obtain a Short-term study visa stamp upon entry to the UK. To receive the Short-term study visa upon entry at the UK border, you will need to carry a Short-term study visa letter in your hand luggage alongside your passport. The Short-term study visa letter will only be issued to you by the Study Abroad Office after you have confirmed your place on the academic programme to which you have applied. Please see the terms of your offer for further details.

It is important to tell the Border Force Officer that you have arrived for a study abroad with the University of the Arts London and want to enter the UK as a Short-term student visitor and that you require the Short-Term student stamp in your passport. This stamp indicates that you are here as a Short-term student.

The Short-Term student stamp is for single entry and becomes invalid when you leave the UK.  You will need to obtain a new Short-Term student stamp from Border Force each time you re-enter the UK during your course.

You can apply for your Short-term study visa before travelling to the UK if you wish. This would usually be issued as a multiple entry visa which is beneficial if you plan on taking trips outside the UK during your course.

Please email the Study Abroad Office if you have any international travel planned prior to the start of your Study Abroad programme.


Students will not be able to complete enrolment until they can demonstrate that they have obtained the correct visa.

Visa nationals

These include nationals of Russia, Vietnam, China and India.

You will need to apply for a Short-term study visa prior to travelling to the UK.

When you apply online, select 'Short-term student visa' to start this application. When selecting the length of planned stay in the UK, please ensure that you select 6 months.

The Short-term study visa (11 months) will only allow you to study an English language course. You will be unable to study on a Study Abroad course with this type of visa.

Please submit your completed visa application and supporting documents including you Short-term study visa letter you received from us to your nearest visa application centre. Your visa will be in the form of a sticker placed in your passport. It will specify the category it has been issued for, eg C-Visit-Student or Short-term student. Please check you have been given the correct type of visa and that it has been issued for the correct length of time.

Student Visa

Any international students making a visa application from 9am on Monday 5 October 2020 will apply for the Student route. This is the new name for a visa route previously known as a Tier 4 visa.

For instructions on how to apply for a Student visa and everything you need to know before and after receiving your visa, please visit our Immigration and visa pages with the latest guidance from the UK government’s Home Office. You can also contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

In the meantime visit gov.uk for information about the new points-based immigration system.

Schengen Visas

If your Study Abroad programme includes a study-trip to Berlin or Paris, you may be required to apply for a Schengen visa before you arrive to the UK. Please check if you require a Schengen visa before you travel to the UK by visiting the German Embassy website (for Berlin study-trips) or the French Embassy website (for Paris study-trips).

Please note that students of some nationalities (such as US, Canada, Australia) do not require Schengen visas.

Schengen visa allows travel to, and between, all countries in the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

If you find that you do require a visa you must obtain this prior to your arrival in the UK. If you arrive to the UK without a Schengen visa, it will be impossible to obtain one in the UK if you are studying her for less than 6 months.

You may require trip details such as, dates, flight numbers, hotel addresses to apply for your visa. To receive this information, please contact studyabroadoffice@arts.ac.uk if you need a letter confirming trip details.

Travelling back to the UK – you will need to carry your passport and Short-term study visa letter when re-entering the UK.