Visas for the United Kingdom

We would like to give you some guidance on visas and other related information when you consider studying at one of our schools.

Please note that all information on this website is for guidance only and you should always refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website for the most up-to-date information. While we try to keep this information accurate, LAL Language Centres (UK) Ltd cannot be held responsible for any information on this website that is out of date, and we will not accept any responsibility for a student who travels without the correct visa.

LAL Language Centres (UK) Ltd, made up of LAL Torbay and LAL Summer Schools, are British Council accredited language schools, which can be confirmed on the British Council’s website.

Visa Types

The UK has left the EU. However, if you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland you are classified as a non-visa national.

All non-visa nationals are allowed to study English in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa.

1. Visitor visa for study between one and six months

Visa nationals, including those under 18 years of age, should apply for a Visitor visa for study periods of up to 6 months. The Short-term Study Visa (6 months) has been discontinued and all visitors to the UK can arrive as a visitor and study English for up to 6 months at an accredited school, such as LAL.

2. Short-term Study Visa (11 months) for study between six and eleven months

All students aged 16 and over, including those from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, need to apply for a Short-term Study Visa (11 months) in order to study English for between six and eleven months.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to study English at LAL for six months or less. What type of visa do I need?
If you are a non-visa national, which includes people from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, you do not need a visa to study at LAL for periods of six months or less. Visa nationals should apply for a Visitor visa for study periods of six months or less.

I want to send my son and daughter to LAL summer school. What type of visa do they need?
Non-visa nationals do not need a visa to study at LAL summer schools. Visa nationals should apply for a Visitor visa.

I want to study English at LAL for more than six months. Is this allowed?
Yes. You should apply for a Short-term Study Visa (11 months) even if you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland. After you book a course with LAL, we will provide you with a letter of acceptance confirming your booking to help you with your visa application.

I want to attend a UK university after my English language course but I am not sure what level I am. What can I do?
Universities in the UK will require a minimum level of English, which is usually higher than B1. They will require some kind of official exam, such as IELTS, to show your level of English. You should always check with the university first. If you want to study at LAL to help you reach that level, you can take a General English and/or IELTS preparation course for a maximum of 11 months.

If you are a non-visa national, you can study for up to six months without a visa. If you are a visa national, you can study for up to six months by applying for a Visitor visa. To study for between six and eleven months, you will need to apply for a Short-term Study Visa (11 months) even if you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

However, you will have to return home after your course in order to apply for a Student Visa. This is the visa type that is required for studying at a UK university. You cannot apply for this while you are in the UK so you will have to return home. There may be a delay in obtaining this so be careful with your time.

I have decided to come to the UK to study an English language course. What do I do now?
If you are still unsure about which visa type you should apply for, please email our reservations team at [email protected] and they will help you.
You can also check the UKVI website and take a look at the UKVI Visa Check
[ https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa ] information to give you further help. We will need to see a copy of your passport in order to process your booking with us. This can be a scanned copy or sent in the mail. This enables us to supply you with an accurate letter of acceptance to apply for your visa. We will be able to send you this letter to support your application. Remember, for study periods of between six and eleven months, you will still need a letter to show the UKVI on arrival at the UK border along with a Short-term Study Visa, even if you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

What’s the difference between a visa letter/letter of acceptance and a CAS/Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies?
Students who want to study English language for between six and eleven months will need a visa letter/letter of acceptance from their school to support their visa application. After booking your course with LAL, we will provide you with a letter of acceptance which you can use when applying for your visa. This letter states the licence number for the school, the course, the school’s name, confirmation that fees have been received and the accommodation option provided by the school. This letter can be sent to the student as a PDF document and printed locally to take to the embassy.

However, some embassies require the original document and this will be sent to the student by courier at a cost of GBP65. LAL will not send the letter by courier until full payment for this charge has been received.

A CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) is a number which the embassy needs in order to process a Student Visa. We are not able to issue a CAS.

What happens if my visa is refused?
According to LAL’s terms and conditions, where a visa application has been refused and the student provides LAL with the document from the embassy stating the refusal, all fees will be refunded except for any courier fee. All refusals are notified to the student in writing by the visa issuing office in your country so it is important that you obtain this and supply it to LAL. No refund can be made until we receive this official notification.

Does my visa require me to attend the whole course?
You should attend all lessons in order to improve your language skills. LAL has an attendance policy for all students, and failure to attend the course to a certain level will lead to the course being terminated without refund. Visa and non-visa nationals who have arrived to study on a course of English on a Visitor or Short-term Study visa are not allowed to undertake any work, paid or unpaid. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.

When should I apply for my visa?
Processing times vary from country to country. We therefore advise that you check the UKVI website and look at the visa processing times www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk 

How do I apply for a visa?
Some countries allow you to apply online while others will require you to complete an application form. Please check the Applying for a visa page on the UKVI website. www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk

Can I work in the UK?
You can only work in the UK if you have a visa that allows you to do so. If you are coming to the UK to study English on the Visitor route or Short-term Study visa route, you will not be allowed to work. If you are from certain countries and coming to the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5 visa) you will be allowed to study and work in the UK under certain conditions.

What happens if I am ill while I am in the UK?
Visitors to England from EU countries can continue to use a valid EHIC issued by their home country to access healthcare. Please bring your card with you. The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover private medical healthcare, being flown back home, or lost or stolen property. Visitors from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland whose visit began on or after 1 January 2021 may have to pay for medical treatment. Any treatment that needs to be paid for will be charged at 150% of the national NHS rate. It is important that all visitors to the UK have sufficient cover for their trip.
Please note that this information is about healthcare in England. For more information on accessing healthcare in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, visit the UK government website here.

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