When deciding whether or not your will need a visa to study, and if so what type, you must firstly check which category your country falls into:
- EEA - includes European Union countries and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. For these students, there are no visa requirements and students have the right to work. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market - this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
- Non-Visa Nationals - includes countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Israel. These students can either get a visa on arrival in the UK (in the form of a stamp in their passport) or before they come. This depends on the type of visa they require (see below).
- Visa Nationals - includes countries such as Turkey, Colombia, Ecuador, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, Thailand, and most Middle Eastern countries. These students must apply for a visa before they come.
The main visa type our students join us with and require to study with us is the:
Short Term Study Visa (STSV) - Valid for either 6 or 11 months. You cannot work in the UK if you have this type of visa and it cannot be extended. If you are a non-visa national, you are able to get a 6 month Short Term Student-Visa in the form of a stamp in your passport on arrival at a UK airport. If you are a visa national, you must apply in your country and receive the visa before you travel. For the 11 month visa, all applications must be made and granted before leaving your country. You will then need to collect this visa, in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit, within 30 days of your arrival in the UK at your designated post office. UK Visas and Immigration will issue you with a letter providing you with information about where to collect this. A 6 month visa is currently £97.00. It is free for non-visa nationals if you apply at the airport. The cost of an 11 month visa is £186.00. You will be expected to leave the UK no later than 30 days after your course finishes, even if your visa expires after this date. For more information on this type of visa and how to apply, click here.
If you are under 18 and applying for the Short-Term Study Visa on arrival you will have to be able to show you have your parents consent to your travel and all arrangements.
If you are coming for a course of study on a Short-Term Study Visa for a period of up to 11 months and you are a national from a country listed in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules you will have to register with the police. You will need to do this within 7 days of arriving in the UK.
To do this, you will need to log on to The Avon and Somerset Police website, here https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/services/foreign-national-registration/
You must then create an online account and fill in the online registration form. To do this, you will need:
- your personal details, UK address (and postcode) and your contact details
- a family member’s details (if applicable)
- your passport and your Visa/travel details
- your study details
- the ability to upload a passport style photograph
When you have completed the registration you will be required to make an appointment to register with the police in person.
Our nearest police registration office is a short walk from Abon House:
Clifton Foreign National Registration Unit
2-10 Kings Parade Mews
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 08:30 - 12:45 and 14:00 - 15:15; Friday, 08:30 -12:00
When you go to meet the police, you must bring your:
- biometric residence permit (if you have one)
- UK Visas and Immigration decision letter
- £34 registration fee in cash
The police will then issue you with a Registration Certificate. We will need a copy of this, so please remember to bring it to the school office when you have it. You must also remember to report to the police and tell them if you change your address at any time. You will then need to take your certificate with you to do this.
Please note that if you change your accommodation during your stay, you must notify the police within 7 days of the move.
If you have any questions about this or need any help, please come to the school office.
UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) is a registered organisation that gives international students free advice on immigration, working in the UK, Higher Education and other topics that you may find helpful.
You can call the UKCISA advice line on:
- Outside the UK: +44 20 7788 9214
- Inside the UK: 020 7788 9214
Between 1-4pm, Monday- Friday.
The UKCISA website is: www.ukcisa.org.uk
The school cannot help you with your visa application. If you would like someone to help you personally with visa application queries, we would advise that you contact one of the registered immigration advisory companies in Bristol.
If you are thinking of visiting other countries in Europe during your stay here, you may need a Schengen Visa to do so. Nationals of the member countries of the European Union do not have to obtain a Schengen Visa but all other nationals should check with the Embassy of the country to which they want to travel whether a Schengen Visa is required.
A list of contact details for all foreign embassies in the UK can be found here.
You should be able to find all the information required to make an application on the embassy websites. You will normally need to make an appointment at the relevant embassy in London to which you will need to take your application form and all the relevant documents. It is important for you to think ahead about any possible trips, as the appointments are aften booked up for many weeks.
Please click here for some information about Schengen visas from UKCISA.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The UK government has introduced an immigration health surcharge. The health surcharge will be paid by non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join a family for a period of more than 6 months. If you are coming to the UK to study for more than 6 months, you may have to pay this fee. Those who pay the surcharge will be able to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident. For more information about this charge, please click here.