Updates to UK Study & Travel Visas from 2021
23rd September 2020
Below, is a summary of the proposed updates to study and travel visas to the UK from January 2021. If you have any questions about coming to London for a study trip in 2021, get in touch today and we will be happy to assist you.
The UK is still open
No more study restrictions for business visitors and tourists
The UK may be leaving the EU but it is still very much open to anyone wishing to study. The current 6-month student visitor visa route is stopping, and instead, from January 2021, short-term students, business visitors and tourists will be all able to come in as visitors, which means business people and tourists are free to study for the whole of their stay if they want to.
Study for up to 6 months is easy for all
If you are from the EEA, Switzerland, or one of the many non-visa national countries it’s easy - you will get a stamp on arrival – no need to do anything pre-arrival although we advise all students to carry enrolment documents from the school. We have been told that non-visa nationals including all EU/EEA can use e-gates for their visit visas.
Visa nationals – you will still need to apply for pre-entry clearance for a visit visa, but we have heard that it will be a much easier online process.
English language study for 6-11 months: the current short-term study route (11 months) is continuing but with a much simpler application
Students from the EEA & Switzerland will need to apply for pre-entry clearance (an 11-month study visa). We have been told this will be a simple online process, with a new UK Immigration ID check app and an electronic decision, but no more details are available yet.
More good news on visas if you’re going to university
From January 2021, students on Tier 4 visas (to be renamed the Student Route) will be able to apply for a visa extension whilst in the UK. This means that they can come to an English language school, such as WSE, and then go straight on to university – they no longer need to return home to get a new visa. NB, the English language school will need to be a registered sponsor. WSE withdrew from sponsorship a few years ago as there was no point in continuing, but we are re-applying.
Watch this space!
To see the Home Office and UK Government's guide to the new immigration system, click here