How do you qualify to come to the United Kingdom to study?

You must be accepted for a course of study which is to be provided by an organisation which is included on the Department of Education and Skills' Register of Education and Training Providers, and be on a course of study at:
* a publicly-funded institution of further or higher education (for example, a university);
* a private-education institution; or
* an independent fee-paying school;
and that you are going to follow:
* a recognised full-time degree course;
* a course run during the week that involves at least 15 hours of organised daytime study a week; or
* a full-time course of study at an independent fee-paying school.
You must also:
* be able to pay for your course and support and accommodate yourself and any dependants without working or help from public funds; and
* plan to leave the United Kingdom when you complete your studies.

If you are a visa national, you will need a student visa to enter the United Kingdom for study. If you are not a visa national, you will need a student entry clearance if your course is longer than six months. For courses of less than six months you will find it helpful to carry documents with you which will show immigration officers that you meet the requirements for entering the United Kingdom as a student.

What are public funds?
If you come to live or stay in the United Kingdom, you must be able to support and accommodate yourself without claiming certain state benefits. These are:
* Income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA);
* Income support;
* Child tax credit

* Working tax credit;
* a social fund payment;
* Child benefit;
* Housing benefit;
* Council tax benefit;
* State pension credit;
* Housing and homelessness assistance;
* Attendance allowance;
* Severe disablement allowance;
* Carer's allowance;
* Disability living allowance;

If you want to find out more about the restrictions that apply to public funds, you can download a leaflet from the Public funds page.

Can I extend my stay as a student?
If you are already studying here, you can apply to extend your stay as a student subject to meeting the requirements of the Rules.

If you are a visa national, you will need to have originally entered the UK with a student or prospective student visa in order to qualify for an extension of stay as a student.

If you are a non-visa national you will need a student or prospective student entry clearance in order to stay on in the UK as a student to study a course below degree level.

If you are a non-visa national and wish to study a course at degree level or above then you do not need to have entered the UK with a student entry clearance.

How do I apply?
You will need to complete an application form. Applications (except those for asylum and work permits or under European Community law) will not be valid unless they are made on the appropriate application form. You can get copies of application forms from this website.