Other Visa Types

If you are in the UK with a visa that is not Tier 4 then you may not be able to study. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are complying with the immigration rules at all times. If you are unsure if your current visa allows you to study you should contact the Student Immigration Team.

Regardless of which kind of visa you have, if your course requires ATAS clearance you must obtain your ATAS certificate before you start your course. You will also need to complete international check-in when you start your course by bringing your passport and visa to the Student Services Centre to be scanned so we can update the student system with your immigration information.

Standard Visitor Visa

You must be very careful if you are coming to the UK on a Visitor visa and have plans to study. You can only study for up to 30 days on a Visitor visa (C-Visit) if it is not the main reason for your visit to the UK. If your main reason for visiting the UK is to study (for instance you will be spending more time in the UK enrolled on a course than not), or you will be studying for longer than 30 days, then you cannot use this visa type and must either apply as a Short-Term Student or Tier 4 Visa.  

There is an exception to this rule if you hold a long-term, multiple-entry Visit visa (visit visa with a duration of 2, 5 or 10 years only). With this visa type you are permitted to study in the UK for up to 30 days even if it is the main reason for your visit. You must ensure that overall your visa is still used for visit purposes rather than study, so that the time spent studying in the UK does not exceed the time spent doing other activities throughout the duration of the visa.

The following types of visa do permit study:

If you are in the UK with leave as a dependant (for example, your partner has a Tier 4 visa or a Tier 2 visa) then you can usually work or study while you are in the UK. You will be allowed to study part time or full time as a dependant. Remember, though, if you study part-time you may not be granted leave in the Tier 4 Student category if your dependant leave runs out unless your academic School will permit you to switch to full-time student status; this is because most courses must be studied full-time on a Tier 4 visa.

If you need to switch from a Dependant visa to a Tier 4 Student visa then you must apply from your home country as you cannot apply in the UK. You must factor this in to any plans you make so that you do not miss any of your studies in the UK.

If you have obtained any form of work or family visa (e.g. Tier 5: Youth Mobility Scheme, Tier 1 (General), Tier 2, Ancestry, Spouse visa) then you are allowed to study either full or part time in the UK. However, the immigration rules state that in order to obtain immigration permission in a work category you “must intend to work” therefore when you applied you did so on the understanding that your main intention in the UK was work, not study.

If you do undertake study while holding a work visa, it is advisable to continue working in the UK, and if you are unsure of your situation, you should seek advice from the Student Immigration Team before starting your proposed course of study. It is acceptable to study part-time whilst holding a visa in one of these categories. Remember, however, if your visa runs out before the end of your course you cannot obtain an extension as a student in order to complete your studies unless your School agrees to switch your status to full-time, since most courses only allow full-time study with a Tier 4 student visa.

In most cases if you have an ongoing visa application with UKVI and have yet to receive a decision you will still be able to study a course at the University.

To complete International Check-In and start your course you would need to provide evidence of your ongoing visa application and provide evidence that the application was made whilst you still had immigration permission in the UK. You must provide evidence of when you applied for your visa and evidence that your application is still in progress. The evidence must be a letter from UKVI confirming the immigration category that you have applied in eg. biometric letter or evidence that you have paid for a visa application eg. final document checklist. We cannot accept a letter from your solicitor as evidence of an ongoing visa application.

If this evidence is not dated within the last month, or you are unable to provide this, you must provide the Student Immigration Team with your consent for them to contact UKVI directly to check your current immigration status in the UK.  Your email simply needs to contain your name, date of birth and nationality, and a sentence stating “I consent to the University of Manchester contacting UKVI to check my immigration status in the UK”.

As an asylum seeker you can study at the University.

To complete International Check-In and start your course you would need to provide evidence of your ongoing asylum application. You must provide evidence of having made your application and that this is still ongoing eg. recent correspondence from UKVI that confirms your Home Office reference number and the category you have applied in.

If this evidence is not dated within the last month, or you are unable to provide this, you must provide the Student Immigration Team with your consent for them to contact UKVI directly to check your current immigration status in the UK.  Your email simply needs to contain your name, date of birth and nationality, and a sentence stating “I consent to the University of Manchester contacting UKVI to check my immigration status in the UK”.