The student visitor route was introduced in 2007 and allows people to visit the UK to undertake a short course of study for up to six months.
Unlike students seeking entry under Tier 4 of the Points-Based System, student visitors do not have to be formally sponsored by an educational institution, but they must attend an institution that is accredited to provide education.
Student visitors may take any course of six months or less in duration but cannot undertake work or work experience placements, bring dependants or switch to another immigration category whilst in the UK.
Visa nationals require entry clearance while non-visa nationals can apply for entry at the port in the UK. Entry Clearance Officers and Border Force Officers have discretionary powers to refuse a visa and/or entry if they are not satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student visitor.
The most recent statistics on entry to the UK show that during 2011, 262,000 student visitors came to the UK.
Most of these student visitors were from non-visa countries (186,150), including 115,000 from the US.
More recent statistics on visas issued show 68,372 student visit visas were issued during 2012. This included Russians (10,246), Chinese (9,190) and Turkish nationals (7,621).
The number of student visitor arrivals has been increasing each year, and increased by 9 per cent from 2010 to 2011.
These figures include the extended student visitor route (permitting entry for up to 11 months for the study of English language courses) introduced in January 2011 and for which both visa and non-visa nationals are required to gain prior entry clearance.
For further information contact us and we will be able to help you with student visitor entry clearance application.