Standard Visitor visa

Who can come to the UK as a Standard Visitor? 

You may apply for the Standard Visitor visa if the following circumstances apply to you: 

  • Your programme of study is 6 months or less in duration and you do not need a Student Route visa.
  • You are required to take resits and you need to be in the UK for 6 months or less.
  • You are a PhD who needs to re-enter the UK only to attend your viva.
  • You are a DMU Summer School student.

The only situation in which a student may use a Standard Visitor visa to study a programme that will not be completed within their 6 month stay, (other than for an English language course) is where a student is undertaking distance learning.  

When you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa

 If you are undertaking distance learning and entering the UK to study on the Standard Visitor visa, you must meet all of the following criteria, you must: 

  • be studying for the majority of your programme outside the UK 
  • be on a programme that is longer than 6 months 
  • only enter the UK for limited period, totally no more than 56 days in the UK in any 6 month period - study completed during these visits can include induction weeks, short periods of intensive face-to-face learning and exams or assessments 
  • secure a Standard Visitor visa for every visit to DMU for the duration of your programme.  

Please note that Standard Visitor visa holders may remain in the UK for up to 30 days after your course end date or study period, provided the total time spent in the UK does not exceed 6 months.   

Standard Visitor visa conditions – important considerations

The Standard Visitor visa is generally easier to obtain than a Student Route visa but does have some limitations, these are as follows: 

  • You cannot switch into another visa category once you are in the UK. This means you must leave the UK on or before the visa expiry 
  • UK immigration rules change frequently and as such we are not able to guarantee that the current rules will be in place for the duration of your programme 
  • If at any point during your programme your Standard Visitor visa application is refused, this may affect any future applications submitted 
  • You are not allowed to work in the UK 
  • You are not covered under the NHS (National Health Service), this means you will need to make sure you have adequate medical insurance to cover your stay in the UK 
  • You cannot bring dependants with you 
  • Students must also not intend to use the Standard Visitor visa to undertake frequent and successive periods of study.  A student is likely to be considered as intending to study in the UK for extended periods through: 
      • Successive use of the route if, for example, the student is seeking a second period of leave under the Standard Visitor route where less than 2 months have passed since they last visited the UK for the purposes of short-term study
      • Frequent use of the route if, for example, the student is applying for in excess of 5 periods of leave under short-term study within a 5 year period 


Applying for a Standard Visitor visa

Depending on your nationality you may not have to apply for this visa in advance of entering the UK. The UK separates countries into two categories for visitor visas: non-visa nationals and visa nationals. 

If you are a visa national then you must apply for this visa before entering the UK. You can make your application from any overseas post.  

Non-visa nationals do not need to apply for this visa before entering the UK. All they need to do is ask for a Standard Visitor visa stamp at the immigration desk when entering the UK. You can obtain this visa upon entry to the UK from any country of departure. It is still advisable to have all the necessary documents required in case you need to show them.  

Please note the Standard Visitor visa stamp you obtain upon arrival is considered to be for a single entry.  More information on Standard Visitor entry.