UK Visas: Do you need one?
Some students studying at the London Center need a visa to study in the UK and some don’t. You must apply for a visa if:
- you are considered a Visa National in the UK. Please find the list of visa national countries on the right of the page; or
- you are not a Visa Nationals BUT you do intend to do any of the following:
- do a work placement (internship) in the UK
- do work study in the UK
- do community service or volunteer in the UK
- find a part-time job while in the UK (no more than 20 hours of work per week)
- study in the UK for more than 6 months
If none of the bullet points listed above apply to you, you do not need to apply for a visa before coming to the UK. You may ask to enter as a Student Visitor when you arrive in the UK at the beginning of your course.
Prior Entry Clearance as a Student Visitor (for Visa Nationals)
If you are a visa national but DO NOT wish to work (whether paid or unpaid) during your study abroad semester in the UK, you may apply for prior entry clearance as a Student Visitor. This is a multi-stage process that the London Center will guide you through. It involves an online application and an appointment to have your biometrics taken. You will have to supply information about your finances, expenditures, travel plans and academic program. For further information please contact the London Center at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tier 4 Student Visa
All students who are not citizens of the European Union or European Economic Area must hold a Tier 4 Student visa if they would like to work (whether paid or unpaid) while studying in the UK. More information about this can be found here.
Tier 4 Student Visa English Language Requirement
One of the requirements for Tier 4 visa students holding passports from non-majority English speaking countries is meeting an English language requirement. A list of the countries the UK Border Agency (UKBA) considers majority English speaking can be found on the right side of this page. Proof of proficiency in English can be shown if you have:
- an academic qualification equivalent to a UK degree, taught in a majority English speaking country; or
- passed an English language test at Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2; or
- done a previous course of study as a child student in the UK (or under the student rules that were in force before 31 March 2009)
A pdf produced by the UKBA of approved English language tests can be downloaded from the right of this page. Note that the results of some of the tests that they recognize expire after 2 years, so in some cases students may need to retake the test that originally took to come to Ithaca College.
Travel Outside the UK (does not apply to United States passport holders)
Another consideration for international students is travel outside of the UK and into the rest of Europe. Nationals of certain countries require a Shengen Visa for travel in Europe. To find out more about Shengen Visas and further information regarding traveling abroad, please contact the consulate of your home country.