I'm an Australian student who has been accepted into the international exchange program at the University of Birmingham in the UK. I'll be there for one semester (less than six months), and as a non-visa national the information that has been communicated to me from the institution is that I can apply for the short-term study visa upon my arrival in the UK.

However, I'll be arriving in the UK around a month before the actual start date of my course and be there for four days (tourist purposes) before leaving to travel Europe. I won't return to the UK until 4 days before the commencement of semester.

Is it possible for me to get the standard visitor stamp upon my initial arrival, and then apply for the short-term student visa when I re-enter the UK just before my course begins?

  • Thanks for your response @GayotFow, have contacted the uni now. Would I have to disclose upon my initial arrival that I intend to return in a month and apply for a study visa?
    – dzed
    Aug 13, 2016 at 14:49
  • Would information such as flight and accomodation details for my European trip, evidence of a return flight back to Australia and evidence of enrolment at an Australian uni for 2017 help with IOs? @GayotFow
    – dzed
    Aug 13, 2016 at 14:59
  • This Q is well about travel, only travel in connection with a longer stay abroad, but still crucially about travel. I have voted to leave open.
    – mts
    Aug 29, 2016 at 16:18
  • @GayotFow Don't know what the rules were in 2013, but at least nowadays OP would not need to apply for any visa or permit after Arrival; rather his 6-month leave would grant him the right to undertake a study programme the duration of which does not exceed the period of the leave
    – Crazydre
    Oct 18, 2016 at 12:08
  • @Crazydre yes, on paper, the plan is fine
    – Gayot Fow
    Oct 18, 2016 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


Actually, studying for 6 months or less is permitted if entering under the 6-month visa exemption. Meaning: you will not need to apply for anything at all on arrival.

However, you should bring as much proof of your enrollment and the course duration as you can to show at the border if requested to do so

The controlling reference point for short-term students is Paragraph A57D of the Immigration Rules, Requirements for entry clearance or leave to enter – Short-Term Student.

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