Student visas

Short-Term Study Visa

The short-term student visa is for those who want to come to the UK to study for a short period of time on a course that does not include a work placement or work experience.

There are 3 short-term student routes:

  • short-term student (6 months) – for applicants aged 16 and over for a maximum of 6 months’ study
  • short-term student (11 months) – for applicants aged 16 and over for a maximum of 11 months’ English language study only
  • short-term student (child) – for applicants aged under 16 for a maximum of 6 months’ study

NOTE: Tier 4 student (Points Based System) visa route should be used to come to the UK to study:

    • an English language course that lasts longer than 11 months
    • any other course that lasts longer than 6 months (other than distance learning, which is addressed under “Studying at a UK Institution by distance learning”)
    • a course that includes a work placement or work experience, with the exception of electives, as in paragraph A57D(a)(iii) of the Immigration Rules

To be eligible to apply under short-term visa route applicants must:

  • be genuinely seeking entry to study as a short-term student
  • be aged 16 or over
  • have been accepted:
    • on a course of study by an accredited institution
    • by a UK higher education institution (HEI) to undertake research or learn about research (short-term student (6 months only)
    • to undertake an elective course linked to their graduate level study, where they are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as their principal course of study at an overseas HEI

NOTE: Applicants must not intend to study at an academy or state-funded school (e.g. one which provides free education and is funded mainly from public funds).

  • intend to leave the UK within 30 days of the end of their course or at the end of the 6 month or 11 month period of leave granted, whichever is the earliest
  • maintain and accommodate themselves out of funds available to them
  • meet the cost of their onward or return journey
  • hold a valid entry clearance as a short-term student (when they arrive in the UK) if they are a visa national seeking to come to the UK for any length of time, or if they are a non-visa national seeking to come to the UK for more than 6 months
  • hold a valid tuberculosis (TB) certificate (required depending on country of residence (list of countries is here
  • If the student is aged 16 or 17, they must also:
    • show that suitable arrangements have been made for their travel to, reception and care in the UK
    • have a parent or guardian in their home country or country of habitual residence who is responsible for their care and who confirms that they consent to the arrangements for the applicant’s travel, reception and care in the UK

General Student Visa (Tier 4)

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you meet the following requirements:

  • You must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licenced Tier 4 sponsor (register of Tier 4 sponsors can be found here )
  • You must have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances (e.g. your location of studies) and is specified by Home Office guidance
  • You can speak, read, write and understand English (details of the level of English required can be found here
  • You can do a course that’s one of the following:
  • a full-time course of study that leads to a qualification at Level 6 or above of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) or its equivalents; or
  • a part-time course of study that leads to a qualification at RQF level 7 or above or its equivalents at a UK HEI; or
  • an overseas course of degree level study that is recognised as being equivalent to a UK Higher education course and is being provided by an overseas HEI; or
  • a full-time course involving a minimum of 15 hours per week organised daytime study (daytime study is 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) and (except in the case of a pre-sessional course) that leads to a
  • qualification below degree level, but which must be at a minimum of RQF Level 3 or its equivalents; or
  • undertaking a recognised Foundation Programme as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in the UK; or
  • undertaking work as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer at your Tier 4 sponsoring institution or at the National Union of Students

If you are studying with a Tier 4 sponsor that has Tier 4 Sponsor status, you can obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a course that leads to an approved qualification for Home Office purposes and is:

  • Approved at level 3 or above on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or
  • Accredited at level 6 or above in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA); or
  • A short-term study abroad programme in the UK as part of your qualification at an overseas Higher Education Institution, as long as the qualification is confirmed as being at the same level as a UK degree by UK NARIC. Contact details for UK NARIC can be found on their website at:; or
  • An English language course at level B2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Sponsors with Tier 4 Sponsor status can offer work placements with the courses they offer, including where the course is below degree level.

If you are studying with a Probationary Sponsor, you can obtain a CAS for a course that leads to an approved qualification for Home Office purposes which is:

  • Approved at level 4 or above on the RQF in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or
  • Approved at level 3 or above on the RQF in England, Wales and Northern Ireland if you are under the age of 18; or
  • Accredited at level 7 or above in the SCQF by the SQA; or
  • Accredited at level 6 or above in the in the SCQF by the SQA if you are under the age of 18; or
  • A short-term study abroad programme in the UK as part of your qualification at an overseas Higher Education Institution, as long as the qualification is confirmed as being at the same level as a UK degree by UK NARIC. Contact details for UK NARIC can be found on their website at: or
  • An English language course at level B2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

If you have studied in the UK before you can get a  CAS if you are:

  • resitting exams or repeating modules
  • applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that lost its Tier 4 sponsorship
  • applying to extend your stay to complete your studies because you have done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme
  • completing a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • continuing your medical, dentistry or medical science degree after completing an intercalated course

If you’re starting a new course you can get a CAS if your course is one of the following:

  • at a higher academic level than your previous course
  • at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations - it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI)
  • intercalated to a medicine, dentistry or medical science course you started studying under a Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • If you’re applying to work in the UK you can get a CAS if you are applying to either:
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer
  • stay in the UK to look for work after you’ve finished your PhD or doctorate - the ‘Doctorate Extension Scheme’ (DES)

Child Student Visa (Tier 4)

You can apply for the Tier 4 (Child) student visa if:

  • You are between 4 and 17 years old
  • You coming to the UK to be educated at independent schools
  • You must apply as a Tier 4 (Child) Student if you want to study at or below level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework
  • If you are under 16 years of age you may not be offered an English language course (except insofar as this forms part of a broader programme of study being taught in accordance with the National Curriculum, the RQF, or accepted as being of equivalent academic status or fulfilling the requirements of prevailing independent school inspection standards). You can apply to come to the UK as a short-term student child in order to study English language for a maximum of 6 months.
  • You can do a short course to prepare you for your main course, such as pre-sessional study.
  • You cannot do a foundation course that will prepare you for direct entry to a higher education institution.

How long you can stay. Your age and the length of your course of study will affect how long you can stay.

Age when you apply How long you can stay
Under 16 Course length (up to 6 years) plus 4 months afterwards
16 or 17 Course length (up to 3 years) plus 4 months afterwards


Meet the team

Partner - Employment

Andrew Firman is a partner in our corporate & commercial team. His corporate practice concentrates on buying and selling mainly owner-managed SMEs and associated advice on contractual and banking documentation work.  His employment practice covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious work for both employers and employees. His charity practice majors on compliance and amalgamation matters.


In his work, Andrew looks for proactive and pragmatic solutions derived from a proper understanding of the client’s perspective and against the background of the commercial constraints.

Career highlights include

  • running a David v Goliath style battle for a former employee of a US based bank related to the late vesting of share options following that employee’s termination at a time when the US markets were in freefall
  • negotiating, finalising and drawing down for an off-shore SPV borrower at £310M facility to buy a group of companies which owned, as an investment, the London HQ of a multinational corporation
  • reaching settlement terms on a long running shareholders’ dispute concerning a company running a niche members’ gym in a close knit area of London

More recently, Andrew has advised upon

  • the purchase of owner-managed companies across a number of different sectors by a leading SME investor, incentivising existing management via equity and loan note positions in the purchasing entity
  • sale by owner managers of a London based estate agency business with multiple sites, whilst preserving the sellers’ ability to continue business activity in the sector
  • sale of SPV off shore companies holding UK property assets
  • multi facility refinancing of a major UK specialist facilities maintenance company with asset based receivables, property, cashflow and recovery loan scheme elements
  • the negotiation and documentation of departure terms for the CEO pioneer of a cutting edge national charity
  • the position of a charity trustee in connection with disqualification proceedings and interim manager appointment by the Charity Commission in respect of two charitable trusts

Andrew has over the years enjoyed advising many owner-managed SMEs on the range of their needs for commercial, employment and dispute related legal advice, something for which the firm has received increasing recognition through awards, repeat and new business which in turn goes to the depth of the relationships the firm has with its clients and its target market in terms of size of business clients.

Andrew was educated at Nailsea School and holds degrees in law from Manchester and Leicester Universities.  He qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He is a co-author of a Practical Guide to Drone Law.

Away from the office Andrew, married to a local GP and of occasional use to his three children, enjoys running and cycling and being involved in various ways in his local church and the fantastic community that is SE24.

020 7406 1000 -
Paralegal - Immigration, Company Commercial

Carmen is a paralegal with over 10 years experience in law. Her calm and efficient manner ensures matters are dealt with as quickly and cost effectively for clients as possible.

Carmen provides general support to fee earners and Partners within Company Commercial and Immigration teams. She assists in the day-to-day functions of the Immigration team including all aspects of casework and assisting in the preparation of applications. Under direct supervision, Carmen acts as a caseworker on straightforward cases, and supports solicitors in more complex matters. She reviews client queries and drafts responses for review by solicitors and prepares documentation for application under a wide range of visa routes with great skill. As part of the Company Commercial team, she has reviewed share purchase agreements, drafted escrow agreements, prepared bundles for mediation and recently attended a successful mediation meeting over a contract dispute.

She holds degrees in Airline and Airport Management (First-Class Honours), and International Politics and Economics (2:1).

Outside of work, Carmen plays the piano, enjoys trying new activities (the latest being paddle boarding) and is an active church member.

020 7406 1000 -
Senior Associate - Immigration

Jarmila’s extensive and well-rounded experience in both corporate and private immigration enables her to advise and assist clients efficiently. Her detailed knowledge of the Home Office policies and her professional manner is a great benefit to clients with tight deadlines.

Her experience also includes applications for the review of public authority decisions by the court, that enable such decisions to be challenged on the grounds of illegality, irrationality and unfairness. Jarmila understands the particulars of bringing or defending a claim. She works with clients from the start to identify the core issues and gain an understanding of the key concerns, which allow her to deliver focused and clear advice. Jarmila works with her clients from the beginning and throughout the preparation to ensure the clients’ actions are lawful, or where a potential dispute arises she assists with a principled, measured and robust defence.

Jarmila receives instructions to prepare appeals to First tier and Upper Tribunals of the Immigration and Asylum Chambers and has been involved in judicial review applications at the High Court.

Jarmila assists clients on HR issues and all aspects of employment law including: employment rights; discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing; termination of employment and settlement agreements; redundancies and restructures; TUPE; employment policies and employment contracts; HR process, including disciplinaries and grievances.

She has strong links in the Slovak community and cooperates with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in advising corporate and private clients about sponsoring workers as well as family visas and status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Jarmila has had articles published in the Employment Law Journal and Law Gazette for Westminster and Holborn.

She is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

020 7406 1000 -
Partner - Corporate

The Legal 500: Recommended lawyer 2020Katarzyna (Kate) Boguslawska qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and is a Partner in our corporate and commercial department.

Kate’s clients range from start-up owners through to SMEs and some global main-players who need advice on business-related matters. These range from advice on employment and company matters to contract drafting and disputes. Kate understands her clients, their needs and goals. Her clients often praise her pragmatic approach and tailored practical advice.


In her employment practice Kate:

  • drafts contracts, handbooks and company policies
  • provides regular Employment/HR Advice
  • negotiates contracts
  • drafts and negotiate settlement agreements
  • helps to navigate through TUPE, restructure and redundancies
  • advises and represents in claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, unlawful deduction from wages, etc
  • advises on injunctive relief and restrictive covenants

Notable employment work included:

  • advising a well-known English designer in company restructure and redundancies;
  • advising employers and high net worth individuals on settlement agreements and severance packages;
  • regular HR advice to a number of company clients;
  • advising media company on contracts and issues relating to confidentiality, IP and restrictive covenants;
  • representing high earning claimants in ‘Stress at Work’ personal injury matters.


In her commercial and company practice Kate:

  • advises on suitable business entities and company formation;
  • advises on company and directors’ duties;
  • drafts necessary company documents including amended articles and resolutions;
  • drafts and negotiates contracts and shareholders’ agreements;
  • advises on shareholders disputes.

Notable commercial work included:

  • advising and representing foreign companies establishing business in the UK;
  • advising companies on matters involving directors’ duties and shareholders’ disputes;
  • advising a Polish PLC on contract matters and negotiating on its behalf with an English PLC;
  • representing an international cosmetics company in injunctive relief and restraint of trade matters;
  • representing hauliers in representations against Border Force and HMRC in excise duty matters;
  • advising EU nationals on immigration issues, residency and citizenship applications in the UK.


Kate has strong links in the Polish community and is recommended by the Polish Embassy in London, having co-written a Guide for Polish Investors in the UK that was published by the Embassy. She has a broad network of international connections and has been instructed by law firms in Poland to assist their clients in matters involving English jurisdiction.

Listen to Kate’s podcast


020 7406 1000 -
Partner - Immigration/Nationality/Commercial Property


  • Commercial property transactions
  • Purchase and sales of commercial properties
  • Grants of commercial leases
  • Property aspects of M&A transactions


  • Over 40 years working in all areas of immigration and nationality


Robert studied Business Management before converting to Law and attending the College of Law in London. Robert qualified as a Solicitor in 1983.

Before qualifying as a Solicitor in March 1983, Robert worked as a property agent and played football at a semi-professional level.

Robert has earned himself the reputation of being both commercial and caring in his approach to clients.

He is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and The Lawyers Christian Fellowship.

Robert speaks Armenian and Farsi.

020 7406 1000 / 07973 418 174 -

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