I am an Ethiopian working PhD student and have applied for a short-term student visa to attend a short course in London, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The name of the course is Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods. It takes place from February 13 to 17, 2017.

But I have been granted a C-visit visa. All my documents including my online application said that I would need a short-term study visa.

Can I attend my short course, which will take only a week, with the C-visit visa?

Would Immigration deny me entry?

1 Answer 1


You applied for a short-term study visa under Paragraph A57A of the Immigration Rules, but the consulate issued a class "C" visa under Appendix V of the rules. This may or may not be a mistake from their point of view. You are taking a three day course having to do with medicine at an institution that looks like it's accredited.

Based on what you wrote, I think the consulate made an error and it could lead to an awkward landing interview. I think this way because I'm looking at Appendix V and what you propose to do is NOT covered in the permitted activities for a visitor. Here's what it says about courses...

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You fail on point (a) and while you clear point (b), on the final condition "provided that the main purpose..." you fail.

This is a "technical problem" (as the Brits say, "it's fiddly bits") and does not necessary mean you will get bounced by the Immigration Officer. You have two options...

  • Revert to the consulate with an explanation that they issued the wrong visa because your proposed activities do not appear on Appendix V. They will either (a) put an endorsement on your visa or (b) cancel it and issue another visa or (c) tell you that your visa is appropriate (which I do not agree with by the way). You can print out this answer and show it to them to explain your rationale. Of course this takes a few days for turn-around.

  • Don't contact the consulate and proceed with your journey. Yes, carry all your stuff. The IO may spot that you are sailing very close to the wind and it could lead to trouble. However your situation is very well inside the discretionary zone and success will depend entirely on your personal impact and articulation skills. There's also a chance the IO may not pick up on a technical error at all.

I always like to play everything strictly by the book and so would prefer the first alternative. At least you will have some emails or a letter from the consulate to show the IO.

  • Presumably the failure is "the main purpose of the visit is not to study" -- OP appears to satisfy 25(b)(ii), but that short course is the principal purpose of the visit. Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 11:28
  • 2
    The course is starting this Monday; that's extremely tight to contact his consulate and get a reply. A possible alternative choice is for him to delay his return to Ethiopia, and making his main purpose tourism in London.
    – CSM
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 15:49
  • @CSM that's fine as long as he never wants another UK visa without awkward making explanations.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 23:43

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