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6 months or less

If you wish to stay in the UK for up to 6 months for study purposes you do not need a visa. 

Without a visa you can visit the UK to study at an accredited institution for up to 6 months, including English language courses.

You will also be able to do a short piece of academic research that is relevant to your course abroad, an ‘elective’ course or an additional optional internship if you are studying medicine, veterinary science, dentistry or a recreational course lasting up to 30 days, for example a dance course.

Without a visa you cannot:

  • study at a state-funded school or academy
  • take a course that lasts longer than 6 months (except if you are doing a distance learning course)
  • do paid or unpaid work (this includes work experience or internships, unless you are doing an eligible medical, veterinary or dental internship)
  • living in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • receiving public funds 

At the UK border you will need to provide a passport which must be valid for the duration of your stay in the UK.

You may also be asked to prove that

  • you have been accepted on a course by an accredited institution, for example through a letter of acceptance on official letterhead stating the name of the course, its duration and cost
  • your research or training is relevant to the course you are attending abroad; you can prove this, for example, by showing a letter from your home educational institution describing its relevance
  • you are able to support yourself and your dependants during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
  • you are able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)
  • you have arranged accommodation for your stay
  • you leave the UK at the end of your visit.

If you are studying or researching certain subjects, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. You will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before you start your course.

If you are under 18 and travelling alone, you will need to show a letter from a parent or guardian giving

  • your contact details and consent to your travel to the UK
  • your name, date of birth, address and relationship to the person you are staying with during your trip to the UK
  • your consent to stay with the person named in the letter

If you will not be staying with a close relative your parent, guardian or school must inform the relevant local authority of your visit if:

  • you are under 16 years old (or under 18 if disabled)
  • you will be hosted for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called “private fostering”)

You must bring a reply from the local authority if you have one.


More than 6 months

To study in the UK for more than 6 months you will need a visa. The type of visa you apply for will depend on your circumstances.

If you are coming to the UK to attend a short-term English course, you will need to apply for the Short-term study visa. With this visa, you can study for up to 11 months.

If you are going to the UK to attend a higher education course, you will need to apply for a Student Visa.

If you are between 4 and 17 years old and wish to go to the UK to study in a public school, you will need to apply for a Child Student visa.

The Honorary Consulate of San Marino endeavours to keep the information above updated but strongly recommends checking the UK government website for any eventual changes.