Visas for study abroad, exchange and summer school

It is important that you get the right visa for your study in the UK. The length of time you can stay in the UK depends on your visa.

Study Visas

There are two types of visa to choose from, they are the Student Visa and the Visitor Visa.

If you are studying for a period of more than six months, you must apply for a Student visa before travelling to the UK. Read our step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Student visa.  

If you are studying for a period of less than six months on any other programme, you can choose to apply for a Student visa or a Visitor Visa. A Visitor Visa is suitable for most students, but a Student Visa allows you to work part-time while you are studying. Read our comparison guide to help you decide which visa to apply for.

If you are studying with Leeds International Summer School (LISS), you need a Visitor Visa.

Visitor Visas

If you choose to apply for a Visitor Visa there are two ways to apply, depending on your nationality:

If your nationality is on the UK Government’s list of visa national countries you must apply online before you travel. Check if your country is on the list of visa national countries.

If your nationality is not on this list (an EU/EEA/Swiss national or non-visa national country) you can choose to apply online before you travel or you can get the correct immigration permission when you arrive at the UK airport (EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and non-visa nationals) but, if you do this, you must follow the rules listed below:

If you choose to get the immigration permission when you arrive, you must follow these rules:

  • If you enter via an e-gate or the Republic of Ireland you will not pass through UK immigration control so you must retain your boarding pass and/or flight details to prove the date you entered.  You will have permission to remain in the UK for 6 months. 
  • Always carry your University of Leeds offer letter, proof of accommodation booked in Leeds and your most recent bank statements with you in your hand luggage to present to an Immigration Officer, to confirm you can support yourself financially throughout your course and pay for a flight home, and to provide evidence for the purpose of your stay.
  • Confirm that you are coming to the UK to study if you are asked what the reason for your visit is.
  • Arrive in the UK near to the course start date as you are entering as a visitor for up to 6 months.

Work is not permitted on the Visitor Visa and you can’t stay longer than 6 months or switch into another immigration route on this visa in the UK. 

Please also read the UKCISA guidance before applying for your visitor visa.

European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss nationals

The deadline for applying for the EU settlement scheme has now passed. If you made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that has not yet been granted, you may have a Certificate of Application - please read the information here: UKCISA - international student advice and guidance

Here are EU/EEA/Swiss travel documents that can be used to enter the UK from 1 October 2021

All non-UK citizens will need a visa for study in the UK. The type of visa you apply for depends on the length of your course. Check if you need a visa.