Close

Visa requirements for short-term study

This guidance is intended for students coming to study a short course and/or individual modules at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineThe guidance may also apply to part-time Research Degree students based overseas and students who need to return to the UK to take a resit exam.

Please be aware that we cannot register you on your course if you do not have a visa which permits study and therefore it is essential that you read this important visa information.

You can check whether you need a visa to study on a short course at the School, by completing this short web form.

EEA / Swiss Nationals

If you are an EEA (European Economic Area) or Swiss national, you do not need a visa to study in the UK.  If you hold dual nationality, you must travel to and enter the UK on your EEA / Swiss passport. 

Non EEA / Swiss Nationals

First you should check if you are a Visa National, or a Non-Visa National.

If your country appears on the Visa National list (pdf), you are a Visa National. Otherwise, you are a Non-Visa National.

Visa Nationals need to obtain a visa (Entry Clearance) before leaving for the UK.
Non-Visa Nationals can apply for Entry Clearance before leaving for the UK, but this is not strictly necessary as you can have your passport stamped on arrival in the UK by a Border Force Officer.

Separate guidance has been written for Visa Nationals, and for Non-Visa Nationals below.

Visa Nationals

Visa Nationals need to make a visa application (also known as Entry Clearance) prior to leaving for the UK.  

You should apply for a Short Term Study Visa by visiting the Home Office website to find out how to make an application from your country. You will need to include a supporting letter from Registry with your visa application. Please see below for the contact details to request a letter.

You should make sure to read the relevant guidance before making an application to ensure you submit all the necessary supporting documents including your financial evidence. The fee for making an application is currently £85.

Online applications: If you apply online, please make sure that you select the correct type of visa application. You should make the following selections from the drop-down boxes on the "Apply for Myself' page of the Visa4UK website:

  • Reason for Visit: Study
  • Visa Type: Study (non Points-Based System)
  • Visa Sub Type: Study - Short-term student 6 months
  • You should also select 'No' for each of the Visa Confirmation Questions.

Supporting documents for Short Term Study visa application

You should include the following documents with your Short Term Study visa application:

  • A current valid passport
  • A passport sized photograph (pre-entry clearance applications only)
  • Financial documents showing that you will have sufficient funds available to you during your studies. You may also want to include a letter from your employer.
  • Evidence of your return flight out of the UK
  • Details of where you will be staying in the UK. This can be confirmation of a hotel booking or a letter from a friend or relative confirming you will be staying with them.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results (if you are from a country where you have to take the test and are coming to the UK for more than 6 months)
  • It would also be helpful to include some information that you intend to leave the UK after your course. This could be proof of your employment, proof of property or strong family links in your country.

IMPORTANT: Once you are granted your visa, you must check that it is a Short Term Study Visa.

If you arrive at the School with the wrong type of Visa, we cannot register you on your course and it will not be possible to change your visa from within the UK. The school is unable to refund your course fees if you attempt to register with the wrong type of visa and will not accept liability for any costs incurred.

Remember to check that your visa says ‘C - SHORT TERM STUDENT’ on the vignette under Remarks and NOT 'C - VISIT'.

Non Visa Nationals

You may wish to make a visa application (also known as Entry Clearance) prior to leaving for the UK, but you do not have to do this as you can apply for permission to enter the UK as a Short Term Student on arrival. If you are planning to make multiple trips in and out of the UK, we advise you apply for Entry Clearance before travelling to the UK.

If you decide to apply ahead for Entry Clearance, please refer to the guidance for Visa Nationals above.

Applying for Short Term Study immigration permission when you enter the UK: You should carry a supporting letter from Registry to show to the Immigration Officer when you arrive in the UK. Please see the contact details below to request a letter.

You should also carry evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your course, along with evidence of your return journey out of the UK and details of your accommodation in the UK. There is no fee when applying for entry at the border.

IMPORTANT: The Immigration Officer should stamp your passport with an entry stamp and a stamp that confirms you have been granted entry into the UK as a Short Term Student.  It is very important that you receive both stamps in your passport.  If you only receive an entry stamp, it means you have entered the UK as a Visitor and not a Short Term Student.  This means you cannot register on any course at the School. 

If you arrive at the School with the wrong type of immigration permission, we cannot register you on your course and it will not be possible to change your visa from within the UK. The school is unable to refund your course fees if you attempt to register with the wrong type of immigration permission and will not accept liability for any costs incurred.

I already have a UK visa. Do I need to do anything?

This depends on your current immigration status.  If you are planning to attend a short course or individual MSc module at the School, you must have immigration permission that allows you to study and is valid for the duration of the course.  

Tier 4 Student Visa Holders

If you hold a Tier 4 Student visa from another institution, we will need to see your Biometric Residency Permit / visa AND a student status letter from your sponsor confirming that you are a registered student.  We cannot accept student ID as evidence of your student status.

Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visa Holders

We will need to see your Biometric Residency Rermit / visa and a letter from your sponsor confirming you are employed by them.

Visitor Visa Holders

We cannot register students for a short course who entered the UK on a Visitor visa, or were permitted to enter as a Visitor at the border.  The reason is that Home Office regulations state that Visitors are only allowed to carry out incidental study of up to 30 days in the UK and it cannot be the main purpose of their visit.  The appropriate visa for short course participants is the Short Term Student category.

If you hold a long-term Visitor visa of 1 or more years, please contact the Short Courses Team at shortcourses@lshtm.ac.uk for further guidance on the study permitted on your visa.

Please note that term ‘Visitor visa’ includes General, Business and Family Visitor visas.

Other Visa Holders

Please confirm that your current immigration permission allows you to study in the UK.  If you are not sure or have any questions, please contact the Short Courses Team at shortcourses@lshtm.ac.uk

Please note that if you cannot provide the correct documents at registration for your course, we will be unable to register you and you cannot attend any sessions.

Requesting a Short Term Study visa letter

All students will need a supporting letter from the Registry, either to submit with their visa application or to carry with them when travelling to the UK.

Short Courses Students: Please write to the Short Courses Team at shortcourses@lshtm.ac.uk to request your letter.

Part-time MSc and Research Degree Students (New Students): Please write to the Admissions Team at admissions@lshtm.ac.uk to request your letter.

Current Students: You will need to complete a Visa Enquiry Form which can be downloaded from here.  Please return the completed form and supporting documents to visa-enquiries@lshtm.ac.uk

Short term student conditions

Period of Leave as a Short Term Student

You are allowed to spend up to 6 months in one year in the UK as a Short Term Student or a Visitor.  You can make multiple trips to the UK under these immigration categories, provided the length of your stay(s) does not exceed 6 months in total.  You may need to provide evidence of this with your visa application (Visa Nationals) or if you are requesting entry at the border (Non-Visa Nationals).

If you are coming to the UK as a Short Term Student and you have already visited the UK as a Short Term Student or Visitor during the preceding 12 months, please contact the Visa Enquiries Team at visa-enquiries@lshtm.ac.uk for further guidance.

Employment / Internships / Volunteering

Please note that Short Term Students are not allowed to carry out any of the following activities while in the UK:

  • Engage in paid or unpaid work.
  • Participate in an internship or work experience / placement.
  • Carry out voluntary work (if you are unsure what constitutes voluntary work, please contact the Visa Enquiries Team).

Please note that you are not allowed to engage in these activities anywhere in the UK, including at the School.

Travelling in and out of the UK

If you are a Visa National, you will be issued with a multi-entry Short Term Study visa.  You can travel in and out of the UK while your visa is valid, provided these are short trips.

If you are a Non-Visa National, you will receive a Short Term Student stamp when you arrive in the UK.  While you can travel in and out of the UK, you must bear in mind that each time you re-enter you are making a new immigration application.  The Immigration Officer has the discretion to refuse you entry, or admit you as a Visitor which means you would not have the right to study.  You should carry your Short Term Student letter and your supporting documents (for e.g. evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself) with you to show you are still studying in the UK.

If you are a Non-Visa National who will be making several trips outside the UK during your visit, we recommend that you apply for pre-entry clearance (a visa).  Please follow the guidance above for Visa Nationals to make an application.

Healthcare in the UK

The UK Government introduced new regulations in 2015 requiring people applying for a UK visa to pay an immigration health surcharge.  This surcharge allows migrants to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during their studies.

Please note that those making a Short Term Study visa application do not have to pay this charge.  However, you will not have free access to the NHS during your studies.  We recommend that all students purchase their own private medical insurance before travelling to the UK.

Travelling via the Republic of Ireland (Non-Visa Nationals) 

We strongly recommend that you do not travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland.  The Republic of Ireland has a ‘Common Travel Area’ with the UK.  This means there is no immigration presence when arriving in the UK from Ireland.  You will be unable to request entry as a Short Term Student and therefore you will not receive the correct immigration stamp in your passport.  Unless you have this stamp, we cannot register you on any short course at the School.

If you have to travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland for any reason, we recommend that you apply for pre-entry clearance (a visa).  Please see the guidance above for Visa Nationals.