Short-term study visas (STS)

This is a visa to study in the UK for a short period of time up to six months. It is for students who are non-EEA nationals.

This visa can be used for the following types of study:

  • Complete a period of study, research or research tuition up to six months when you are registered on a degree level course taught overseas, as defined by the Home Office
  • Attend UK residential elements of a distance learning, blended learning or part-time course you are following (i.e. where frequent and successive visits to the UK are not required)
  • Attend a PhD viva (where the course is delivered exclusively overseas)
  • Re-sit an examination
  • Enrol on a full-time English language course of more than six months using an extended 11 month Short-Term Student visa

When you can apply

You can apply for a short-term study visa up to three months before your date of travel to the UK.

If you are a non-visa national (countries such as USA, Japan, Australia, Canada etc) you can also apply when you arrive at the port of entry to the UK although we always advise all of our students to obtain their visa prior to travelling.

The University’s Visa Support Team will assist you with your application and check your documents.

To request a letter for short-term study visa please complete the STS application form on the applicant portal (log in to myRAU, My Applications>Forms>Short-term Study Visa Letter Form). 

To find out further information on this visa process after you have received an academic offer from RAU please contact


  • You will need to pay either the minimum deposit of £2,000 or the full tuition fees for your course
  • You will need to prove that you hold a place on a course at the RAU (offer letter and invitation letter will be provided by the RAU after you submit your STS visa request form)
  • Show that you have enough money to support yourself without working, or that relatives/friends can support you. We would expect these to be in line with UKVI requirements for Tier 4 students i.e. approx. £1,015 for each month of study

Do not enter the UK via an e-Gate

The UK has expanded who can use e-Gates (automated self-service barriers) to enter the UK to include nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America.

You should not enter the UK via an e-Gate if you require a short-term study visa. Please follow the signs for “See a UK Border Patrol officer” to get your passport stamped with a short-term study visa. If you enter the UK via an e-Gate you will not be able to register for your course at RAU. You will be asked to leave the UK and re-enter in order to obtain your short-term study visa stamp on your passport.

On a Short-term Study Visa you are NOT permitted to:

  • Enrol on a full-time course of study longer than six months, other than an English Language course as stated above or a distance learning or part-time course akin to distance learning
  • Undertake placements or internships
  • Undertake employment, either paid or unpaid (see separate note below on volunteering)
    • Volunteering: holders of a Short-term Student visa may volunteer while in the UK provided that they:                     
      • Do not have a contract of employment
      • Do not take the place of an employee
      • Do not receive payment (travel reimbursement and/or subsistence allowance is permitted)
      • Do volunteer to help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation
  • Extend your Short-term Student visa