Visiting Students

Please note that from December 2020, the Standard Visitor visa has replaced the Short-Term Study visa for most short-term study purposes.

Visa options for Visiting Students

Visiting students are ordinarily students registered on a degree-level programme at another institution who are coming to the University of Bristol for a short period of time to complete a period of research that or learn about research. The research or must form part of, or be relevant to, the course at their main institution and the applicant should provide confirmation of this from their overseas education provider with the visa application.

Visiting students must apply to come to the University via their Faculty Office Admissions team. Visa options for visiting students will depend on the length of their period of study at the University of Bristol.

Student visa

  • For full list of requirements please see our Student visa webpages.
  • Suitable for courses of any length. Students will however need leave the UK to apply for a new Student visa should their study be extended.
  • Application will need to be made in advance of travel for all nationalities attracts a visa fee - please refer to the government website for a list of current costs and requirements
  • There may also be an Immigration Health Surcharge fee to pay in addition. This applies if the visa will be longer than 6 months in duration. Current rates are at detailed on this website. If the health surcharge is applicable and paid, students can use the National Health Service in the UK
  • Students are allowed to do some work (with restrictions) in the UK. Please visit our website for further information.
  • Students on longer courses are allowed to bring dependants with them to the UK. Please contact one of our Visa Advisers for advice on this matter.

Visitor visa

  • Please visit this webpage for the overview of requirements
  • Limited to stays for up to 6 months and cannot be extended. Students can however leave the UK to apply for a Student visa should their study be extended.
  • Some nationalities can get it for free at the UK border without needing to apply in advance. These nationalities will be told "you do not need a visa" if they use this tool. This wording means that they apply for and obtain a visa at the border rather than in advance of travel. In many cases leave is granted verbally with no stamp, so students must retain proof of travel.
  • Those students who need to apply in advance will need to allow time for their application and pay a visa fee. Please visit this website for more information about current fees.
  • Students cannot use the National Health Service, except for to receive treatment that is free for everyone. For more information, please visit the UKCISA website.
  • Students cannot do paid or voluntary work
  • Students cannot bring dependants unless dependants apply as Visitors in their own right. Please contact a Student Visa Adviser for further guidance if you have dependants.
Some subject areas in the Faculties of Science and Engineering will require ATAS clearance as part of the Student visa application and registration at the University of Bristol. Your Visit Visa Support letter or Student visa CAS issued by the Faculty Office should state if ATAS is required for your course, but please note that not all nationalities will need to obtain ATAS. Please visit our website for more information and make sure you allow enough time to apply for ATAS (if applicable) before submitting your Student visa application and coming to the UK. Although Visit visa applicants may not require ATAS for their visa application, it will be a requirement of registration at the University so we strongly advise you obtain ATAS before you apply for the Visit visa and come to the UK. 

Visits for research or 'learning about research' internships

If you come to the University for a period of research or an internship, you will need to be clear about the nature of your activities at the University and if you will be registered as a student or as a member of staff so that you can determine the correct visa for your activitiy.  If you will be registered as a student and will be 'completing a period of research' or 'learning about research' you will be permitted to study on a Visitor visa provided that the period of research is part of/is relevant to your studies at your home institution. Full permitted activities that can be undertaken on a Visitor visa are listed in full in the Visit visa guidance. You are now allowed to receive payments for activities you are carrying out in the UK on Visit visa unless it is one of the permitted types of payments listed in V4.6 of Appendix Visitor.
Work (paid or unpaid) is not permitted on a Visitor visa. If you will be getting paid for your activities in the UK or/and will be employed, you should be registered as a member of staff. This implies a work activitiy rather than study and is not permitted on a Visitor visa.  If your internship will be work in its more traditional sense, it could be that a temporary work visa like Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) would be appropriate and you should speak to our Human Resources about this as you would require sponsorship under this scheme. 
If you will be coming under Erasmus+ you may be able to apply for the GAE visa sponsored by them:


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