Standard Visitor Route
It is only possible to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa from outside the UK. We discuss how to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa (and who UKVI say can apply for Visitor Leave when entering the UK instead) here.
Examples of when a Standard Visitor Visa (or Visitor Leave) can be applied for include:
- studying at UoG on a course less than 6 months long (or to undertake a period of study that is less than 6 months, including exam resits)
- visiting researchers (who will be registered as a student at UoG)
- coming to the UK as an academic visitor
- coming to undertake medical electives
A Standard Visitor Visa (or Visitor Leave) may also be applied for by your friends and family to:
- attend your graduation ceremony in the UK
- visit you while you study in the UK
Check with the School College at UoG who are inviting you whether you are coming to UoG in the capacity of a student (e.g. undertaking study, research or medical electives), or as an academic visitor.
It is not possible to undertake paid or unpaid work when holding a Standard Visitor Visa.
You will be allowed to undertake a short course of study of up to 6 months in duration in the UK (excluding English language courses) if you apply for a visa or enter the UK as a Standard Visitor. You will not be limited to studying one course and are not required to have a place on a course before arriving in the UK.
The types of study below are in addition to the current permitted study activities for Visitors:
- taking part in educational exchanges or visits and attending recreational courses that do not lead to a qualification, and do not include English Language training, for a maximum of 30 days.
If you are at least 16 years old and studying a course equivalent to a UK degree in another country: you may also undertake the following under the Standard Visitor route:
- research or be taught about research at a UK institution
- electives at a UK higher education provider (but only if you are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as your principle course of study) and the electives are relevant to your course of study abroad, are unpaid and do not involve the treatment of patients.
Please note: If you apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to study a UoG Masters (e.g. the Erasmus Mundus 2 year Masters program), and will study in the UK for less than 6 months (as the remainder of studies will be undertaken at partner institutions outside the UK) you will not usually be able to make visa applications from inside the UK for the other countries.
Where you will need a visa to study at the countries the partner institutions are based in, if you wish to make the visa applications in the UK for the other countries, you would need to request a CAS from UoG to use to apply for a Student Visa from outside the UK. Your Student Visa would be valid until 4 months after the course end date on the CAS.
It is not possible to apply to "switch" into a Student Visa at a later (i.e. to apply in the UK for a Student Visa) where you come to the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa or on Visitor Leave.
The Statement of Changes HC813 clarifies: "Where the applicant is seeking to come to the UK to undertake research or be taught about research at a UK institution, their overseas course provider must confirm that:
(a) the research or research tuition is relevant to the course of study that they are enrolled on overseas; and
(b) the applicant will not be employed at the UK institution, either as a sponsored researcher under Appendix Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Government Authorised Exchange Scheme Worker, or otherwise".
This information would be included in your Visa Letter issued via your College at UoG.
How to apply
Eligiblity for the Standard Visitor route:
Eligibility requirements to apply for the Standard Visitor visa can be found on the UKVI webpages.
How you can apply:
The way you can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa / Standard Visitor leave is discussed below. This depends on whether you are a "Visa national", a "Non-visa national" or are eligible to use the eGates.
Visa nationals are nationals of countries listed in Appendix Visitor: Visa National List of the Immigration Rules.
You can see information on the visa application process, visa fees how to access the Standard Visitor Visa application form on the UKVI webpages. The visa application fees are £115 when applying using the "Standard" application service. See the UKVI information on visa processing times and "priority" application services (to get a faster visa decision). You would receive a visa sticker placed in your passport.
Please note: Visa nationals must apply for a Standard Visitor Visa and receive the visa sticker in their passport before travelling to the UK.
If you are a non-visa national, your nationality will not be listed in the Appendix Visitor: Visa National List. Non-visa nationals who wish to come to the UK to study as a Standard Visitor for up to 6 months can either:
- apply for a Standard Visitor visa before they travel to the UK (same as a Visa National), or
- apply to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor on arrival at the port of entry in the UK, or
- (if eligible) enter the UK via the eGates and automatically be granted Standard Visitor leave
See our information below about who is eligible to enter the UK via the eGates.
Documents: If you apply for Standard Visitor leave on entry to the UK, or will be granted this when entering the UK via the eGates, we recommend that you carry the visa application documents you have prepared and your Visa Letter (from your School / College at UoG) in your hand luggage. This will help you demonstrate that you meet the Standard Visitor Visa requirements to a UK Border Force Officer if asked to do so.
Electronic Travel Authorisation: Check the UKVI's information on who needs to apply for and receive Electronic Visa Authorisation before travelling to UK.
Apply for Standard Visitor leave at a UK port of entry:
You would receive a stamp in your passport as evidence of the date you entered the UK and the type of visa / leave you have been granted.
You will expect to be granted Standard Visitor leave for 6 months (from the date you enter the UK) under the conditions of the Standard Visitor Visa route.
Enter UK via the eGates:
Nationals from the countries below whose passport has a biometric symbol on the cover and who are above the age of 12 are permitted to use eGates to enter the UK. Visitors aged 12-17 must be accompanied by an adult.
- EU, EEA and Swiss nationals
- New Zealand
- South Korea and
When you enter through the eGates, you will be permitted to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor for a period of 6 months under the conditions of the Standard Visitor route (from the day you enter the UK). You will not see a Border Force Officer and you will not receive a stamp endorsed in your passport.
Please read the information on documents you will need to prepare for Academic Registration at UofG where you enter the UK via the eGates. Click here for further information on eGates.
When to apply
Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa (e.g. "visa nationals"):
You need to apply for your Standard Visitor Visa in enough time to receive this and:
- travel to the UK on your visa, and
- complete Visa Registration before the latest course start date stated on your Visa Letter
Applying for Standard Visitor leave on entry to the UK ("non-visa nationals"):
You need to travel to the UK on the passport of the nationality that qualifies you to be a "non-visa national" and:
- apply for Standard Visitor leave when you enter the UK at a UK port of entry, or
- receive Standard Visitor leave when using the eGates to enter the UK, and
- complete Visa Registration before the latest course start date stated on your Visa Letter
See the UKVI's online guidance and Appendix Visitor in our "Useful Links" section for the documents to prepare and document requirements.
Some of the documents commonly required are:
- Your valid passport or other valid travel document
- Evidence of your studies (Visa Letter issued via your School / College at University of Glasgow)
- Financial evidence that you have sufficient money to support yourself while you are in the UK and for your return or onward journey (for example bank statements, return flight booking)
- ATAS certificate (if applicable)
- Evidence of your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit period
- Translations of any documents not in English or Welsh
- Currency conversions of financial documents wher emoney not shown in British pounds (GBP)
While UKVI do not offer specific guidance for how much money you need to support yourself while studying in the UK, you may wish to refer to the UKVI's maintenance requirements for the Student Visa as a benchmark. For example, that you have enough money when converted to British pounds (GBP) to cover:
➢ any unpaid tuition fees for UoG, plus
➢ £1023 for each month of your course for living costs.
Electronic Visa Waiver & Electronic Travel Authorisation
Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW)
If you are a national of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, you may be able to obtain a visa for a short course of study (where the course lasts 6 months or less) by using the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW).
Please note: if you will apply October 2023 onwards check if you will be required to apply for the Electronic Visa Authorisation scheme instead.
When you get your Electronic Visa Waiver evidence check it to ensure that...
- Your personal details are correct, and,
- The type of leave to enter granted is correct and,
- It is valid for the date on which you want to travel and for the correct duration.
Find out more about applying for an Electronic Visa Waiver here.
Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)
The introduction of an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for visitors to the UK was announced in March 2023.
The Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme will be gradually rolled out from October 2023 and is expected to become a requirement for all non-visa nationals coming to the UK as visitors for a short stay.
The Home Office have confirmed the ETA scheme will be applied for using an app. Biometric details will also need to be given as part of the application process. They anticipate the ETA scheme will replace the Electronic Visa Waiver by the end of 2024.
"Visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council states, and Jordan, will be the first to benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, ahead of a worldwide expansion of the scheme throughout 2024. Qatari visitors will be the first to be able to apply for an ETA in October 2023." UKVI say the ETA scheme will entirely replace the current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) Scheme.
Find out more:
Entering the UK via Dublin / Ireland
You will need to apply for an receive a Standard Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK. When you hold a Standard Visitor Visa in your passport here is no problem entering the UK via Ireland / Dublin.
Your UK visa/entry clearance will not be date stamped on entry to the UK however so you should keep evidence of the dates you travelled to the UK (such as flight tickets etc) safe in case you need to confirm the date you entered the UK in the future. Please also see the Immigration Compliance Team's webpages for the documents you will need to complete Visa Registration.
When entering the UK via Ireland / Dublin you will not have the opportunity to apply for Standard Visitor leave at the UK Border or receive this by entering via the eGates, as there is no immigration control within the Common Travel Area (including between the Republic of Ireland / Dublin to the UK).
You may choose to therefore apply for and receive a Standard Visitor Visa in your home country before travelling.
However, most non-visa nationals who enter the UK via Ireland / Dublin would expect to automatically receive immigration leave that allows them to enter the UK as a visitor for 6 months. Please see the information on the UKCISA webpages about when someone may not be automatically granted 6 months leave to enter the UK.
You should keep evidence of the dates you travelled to the UK (such as flight tickets etc) safe in case you need to confirm the date you entered the UK in the future. Please also see the Immigration Compliance Team's webpages for the documents you will need to complete Visa Registration.
UKCISA: entering the UK via Dublin
Inviting friends and family to visit
Friends and relatives visiting you in the UK
If your relatives or friends are coming to visit you in the UK for less than 6 months (for example to attend your graduation ceremony) they may need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa.
To check whether they need to apply for the visa in advance of travelling and for further information on the application requirements, your visitor can refer to the UKVI webpages in the "Useful Links" section.
ISS are unable to issue you with a letter inviting your visitors to the UK. However please see the link to our Visitor Invitation Letter Example that you can refer to when you make them an invitation letter.
Documents you can give to your visitors
You can prepare some documents to give to your visitor to submit with their Standard Visitor Visa application, for example:
- A copy of your passport ID details page
- A copy of your current visa (your visa will either be a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), digital visa status (accessed with a share code), or visa sticker in your passport).
- Certifying Letter confirming your student status where you are still studying your course, or a Certifying Letter for Former Students where you are inviting them to come to your graduation ceremony (the letter will state the graduation date where this has been confirmed)
- Confirmation you have enrolled for graduation (as e-mailed to you from the Graduations Team)
- Invitation letter: We cannot issue you with an invitation letter to give to your friends and family to use with their visa application. However, you can create your own invitation letter with relevant details about their trip. For example, your details, your address in the UK, your graduation date, if they will stay with you at your address in the UK etc. You may wish to use the as a guide. Before you prepare your letter, please note:
- You must obtain permission from Accommodation Services if you wish to enter a University Accommodation address on the letter as the address where your visitor will stay.
- These letters are only to be used in Standard Visitor visa applications (they are not suitable for family members applying under the 'Dependant' visa category)