Students coming to Stirling for less than six months

Study Abroad, ERASMUS and exchange students

If you are a study abroad, ERASMUS or exchange student, download relevant immigration information.

Students coming to Stirling for a pre-sessional programme


If you are coming to Stirling for a Pre-Sessional  English Course or another short course in preparation for further study in the UK, you should apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa. You should follow the advice for students who will be studying for more than six months.

Students coming to Stirling for a short programme of study


If your study period is less than six months (for example if you are coming for one semester only) then you are advised to enter the UK as a ‘Student Visitor’.  Student Visitors are normally permitted to enter the UK for six months, and are not permitted to work or to extend their stay beyond six months.

You should follow the following procedure:

  1. Check if you need to apply for a visa before travelling  (
  2. If you need a visa, follow the advice on the UKBA web site about applying for a Student Visitor visa:
  3. If you don’t need a visa, then you can travel to the UK and seek permission to enter at the port of entry. You should carry with you:
    • Your offer letter from Stirling
    • Evidence of your funding . This could be bank statements from your accounts or your parents’ accounts, confirmation of government or private loan funding, or other financial documents to show that you can support yourself in the UK without working.

When you arrive in the UK it is very important that you explain to the Border Force Officer that you are coming to the UK for a short course of study so that they grant you leave to enter as a “Student Visitor” instead of as a “General Visitor”.

If your study period is less than six months and you have a specific reason for applying for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa instead of entering as a Student Visitor (for example if your course includes a work placement and you need to have permission to work), you must contact us as soon as you receive an offer of a place at Stirling. If we issue a CAS you should follow the advice for students who will be studying for more than six months.

I am planning to fly via Dublin. Will this be a problem?


There is no routine passport control between Dublin and the UK. This means that you may not pass through passport control in the UK if you arrive from Dublin.  If you do not normally need a visa as a Student Visitor (see step 1 above) and you arrive from Dublin without a visa, you will be deemed to have three months’ permission to stay in the UK, with a prohibition on employment. You should keep your flight confirmation papers and emails to show when you entered the UK. If you need to stay more than three months you will have to leave the UK and re-enter within three months of arrival so that you can ask for entry as a student visitor. This can be costly so you will have to budget for an additional trip outside of the UK. 

For more advice about arriving via Dublin please contact the Student Immigration Team at

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