Standard Visitor visa

You will find further information below on the Standard Visitor visa category.

Study permitted

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.

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 visa 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.

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".

 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.

Please note: if you are studying a course at UoG where part of your studies will be undertaken at partner institutions outside the UK, you will not be able to apply for visas to study or visit other countries from within the UK when you hold a Standard Visitor Visa.  You would need to apply for a Student visa to be able to apply for visas to other countries from within the UK.


How to apply

Eligibility requirements to apply for the Standard Visitor visa can be found on the UKVI webpages.

You will need to prove that you have enough money to cover all reasonable costs of your visit without working or accessing public funds, including the cost of the return or onward journey. You will be able to use someone else's money to prove this if you have personal or professional relationship with them, and they will provide support to you for the duration of your visit.

See the UKVI's Standard Visitor visa webpages for details of the documents you will need to prepare and how to access the online application form.

Visa Nationals applying for a Standard Visitor visa

Visa nationals are nationals of countries listed in Appendix Visitor: Visa National List of the Immigration Rules.  Visa nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to the UK.

You will need to apply for entry clearance and have received the visa sticker in your passport before travelling to the UK.  

Non-visa Nationals applying for a Standard Visitor visa

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 or
  • apply to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor on arrival at the port of entry.

If you choose to apply to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor on arrival at the port of entry, you will need to prepare the supporting documents as evidence that you meet the Standard Visitor requirements and carry these with you in your hand luggage to produce to the Border Force Officer.


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.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea and
  • USA

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.  You will not see a Border Force Officer and you will not receive a stamp endorsed in your passport.  If you are eligible to enter the UK through the eGates, please read through this information on documents you will need to prepare for Academic Registration at UofG.

Click here for further information on eGates.

Please see the UKCISA information on entering the UK via Dublin if you will not apply for and receive a Standard Visitor visa before travelling to the UK.  You cannot apply for leave as a Standard Visitor at the eGates if you enter the UK via Dublin and will be granted a shorter type of leave with different conditions that may cause difficulties for you.


You will need to prepare supporting documents as evidence that you meet the requirements of the Standard Visitor visa category - whether you are applying on arrival in the UK or whether you are applying for a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK.

Some of the documents commonly required are:

  • Your valid passport or other valid travel document
  • Evidence of your studies (Standard Visitor Visa Letter issued by University of Glasgow, showing that you have been accepted onto a course of less than 6 months and providing details of your studies)
  • Evidence that you have sufficient money to support yourself and any dependants while you are in the UK and for your return or onward journey (for example bank statements, building society books)
  • 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

If you are applying for a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK, you will also have to complete a visa application form and pay the application fee (currently £95 for a 6-month Standard Visitor visa).

Full details on the application form and the supporting documents required for Standard Visitor applications to the UK are outlined on the Home Office website.

Entering the UK via Dublin / Ireland

Please see the important information regarding this on the UKCISA webpages.

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).

Find out more: Electronic Visa Waiver

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.


Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA):

The introduction of an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for visitors to the UK was announced in March 2023.  This 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."

Find out more: Electronic Travel Authorisation

Inviting friends and family to visit

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 below. 

You can prepare some documents to give to your visitor for them to provide in their Standard Visitor visa application:

  • A copy of your passport ID details page
  • A copy of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or visa sticker
  • Certifying Letter confirming your student status
  • Invitation letter.  If you wish, you can use Visitor Invitation Letter Example as a guide for your letter.  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)