Studying in the UK is not as hard as it seems especially because it has one of the most diverse subject offerings available anywhere in the world, a conducive learning environment, an unforgettable student experience as well as excellent educational standards. So as an international student, you can actualize your dreams by following the simple steps on how Kenyans can apply for a UK Short Term Study Visa.

International students can apply for a UK short term study visa if they are doing a short course of study in the UK, from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. They must show they have the capacity to meet the other eligibility requirements.

As a Kenyan student, you can do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course. You can also do a short period of research as part of a degree course if studying abroad. On the other hand, Kenyan Students cannot study at a state-funded school or work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business. However, you cannot extend this visa or bring family members (‘dependants’) with you – they must apply separately or get public funds.

You can apply for a UK short term study visa 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can stay in the UK for 6 months – for any short course (including English language courses), or short periods of research if you’re 16 years or over, and 11 months – if you’re 16 or over and taking an English language course. It is pertinent to note that you cannot apply if you qualify for British citizenship – including if you can have dual nationality. You must apply for British citizenship instead.

Required Documents

  • You must prove that you have been accepted on a course with an education provider that holds aTier 4 sponsor licence.
  • You must have been offered a place on a course in the UK at an accepted place of study.
  • Provide evidence of sufficient money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you.
  • Also, prove that you can pay for your return or onward journey.

If you are under 18:

  • You must have made arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK.
  • Additionally, you must have permission from your parent or guardian to study in the UK.

Learning English as a foreign language

You must be at least 16 years old and accepted on a course to learn English as a foreign language if you’re applying for an 11-month short-term study visa. A mixed course, some of which is spent studying English, does not count.

Visiting the UK as part of An Overseas Course

You can apply for a UK short term study visa if you are at least 16 years old and studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of your course is in the UK. However, your institution must hold its own national accreditation, offer only part of its educational programme in the UK and offer programmes that are equivalent to a UK degree.

Researching in the UK for a Short Time

You can travel to the UK for a short period of research if already enrolled on an overseas degree course. To be eligible your course must be equivalent to a UK degree, must be carrying out the research at the UK recognised body, or a body that receives public funding as a higher education institution. You must also be at least 16 years old.

Visa Requirements

  • You need a current passport or other valid travel identification.
  • You’ll need to provide evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example, bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months.
  • Offer details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa.
  • Submit your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test and you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months.
  • Contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (for minors).
  • You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
  • You need a blank page in your passport for your visa.
  • You must also provide proof of the course you are studying, for example,    a letter of acceptance from the educational institution – on official headed paper, stating the course’s name, duration and cost (including accommodation).

Additional documents

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

such as evidence of your:

  • You may need to provide previous study, for example, academic certificates, references or transcripts.
  • You also need your English language qualifications, for example, certificates or awards.
  • Provide evidence of accommodation and travel plans.
  • Show proof of permission to be in the country you are applying from (if you are not national).
  • Also give information about your financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies.

If you are under 18

You will need to provide additional documents if you are travelling on your own or if you are travelling with someone who is not your parent or guardian.

If you are travelling on your own, your parent or guardian needs to provide their written consent for you to travel to the UK and full contact details. You have to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with, an address where you will be living, details of your relationship with the person who’ll be looking after you and consent in writing so they can look after you during your stay in the UK.

You must provide a letter from the school confirming it has notified the local authority of your visit and the details of who will be caring for you if you are under 16 (or under 18 if you have a disability) and if you will be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’). A reply from the local authority if the school has received one must also be included.

In the event that you are travelling with an adult (someone 18 or over), you need to identify him/her in your visa application. The name will appear on your visa and you will be refused entry to the UK if you arrive in the UK without them. You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application, and your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least one of them. The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.

Visa Fee

It costs £97 for a 6-month visa and £186 for an 11-month visa.

Application Procedures

  • You must apply online for a short-term study visa.
  • You need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
  • You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you are in – check with your visa application centre.

Contact Address

The High Commission of the United Kingdom in Nairobi, Kenya is situated at Upper Hill Road P.O. Box 30465 00100 Nairobi Kenya. You can contact the agency via Telephone: (+254) (20) 284 4000 and/or Fax:  (+254) (20) 284 4088 and/or E-mail: [email protected]

There are many benefits of studying in the UK as an international student including the fact that you can do a short course of study in the UK as well as a short period of research as part of a degree course if studying abroad.

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