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Standard Visitor Visa

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Standard Visitor Visa

The Standard visitor visa can be used for those coming to the UK for short periods of study (up to 6 months) at a Higher Education institution.

You can apply for a Standard visitor visa to study at the University of Sunderland if the following circumstances apply to you:

  • Your course is 6 months or less in duration and you do not need a Student visa.
  • You need to re-sit an exam or retake a module and need to be in the UK for 6 months or less.
  • Complete a period of research/ research tuition (must meet the requirements of paragraphs V 9.4 – V 9.5 of Appendix V: Visitor.
  • Sit an entrance exam
  • Take an oral (viva) examination for part of a PhD qualification at a UK institution


For further concessions please see page 38 of the Visit Guidance

If you want to complete an English Language course that is longer than 6 months, you can apply for a Short-term study visa.

Should you apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?

You may use a Standard visitor visa to study a programme that will not be completed within your 6 month stay, (other than for an English language course) if you are undertaking distance learning.

If you wish to use the Standard visitor visa to undertake distance learning in the UK, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • Be studying for the majority of your programme outside the UK
  • Be on a programme that is longer than 6 months
  • You should not be using frequent or repeat visits to pursue a longer course that should be undertaken on the student route or routes.

Limitations of the Standard Visitor Visa

A Standard visitor visa is generally easier and cheaper to obtain than a Student Route visa, but does have some limitations.

  • You cannot switch into another visa category (including Graduate Route) once you are in the UK. This means you must leave the UK before your visa expiry date.
  • UK immigration rules change frequently and as such we are not able to guarantee that the current rules will be in place for the duration of your programme
  • You are not allowed to work in the UK (paid or unpaid).
  • You are not covered under the NHS (National Health Service). This means you will need to make sure you have adequate medical insurance to cover your stay in the UK

Apply for a Standard Visitor Visa

If you need a Standard Visitor visa, you must apply online before you travel to the UK and attend an appointment at a visa application centre.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

You must meet the eligibility requirements and only do permitted activities

Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to visit the UK. You can check if you need a visa before you apply.