I may apply for immigration permission when I arrive in the UK

If you are a non-visa national, you may choose to apply for entry clearance as a Short-term Student when you arrive in the UK.


If you are a non-visa national, you may choose to apply for entry clearance (i.e. a Short-term Study visa) before you travel to the UK or when you arrive in and enter the UK.

If you choose to apply for a Short-term Study visa before you travel to the UK, please follow our instructions and advice for visa nationals.

If you choose to apply for entry clearance as a short-term student when you arrive in the UK, you will need to ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student. You will normally be given permission to stay the UK as a student for six months.  Your visa will be a single-entry visa, which means that if you leave the UK within those six months, you will have to ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student each time you re-enter the UK.

You should ensure that you have the following documents in your hand luggage when you travel to the UK, as you will need to show these when you ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK:

  • Your passport
  • Your letter of acceptance from Ulster University
  • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK (e.g. recent bank statements)
  • Evidence of where you will live (your accommodation)
  • Evidence of your return flight (if you have booked one)

What will my visa look like?

If you apply for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student when you arrive in the UK and pass through UK immigration control, an Immigration Officer will put a stamp in your passport confirming that you have permission to stay in the UK as a short-term student and an entry stamp confirming your date of entry to the UK.

Important Information: You must ensure you have the correct entry stamp (i.e as a Short-term Student) before you complete the immigration process. If your entry stamp does not state that it is a Short-term Student stamp, you must query this with the Immigration Officer. If you are given a Standard Visitor stamp in error, you will not have permission to study at Ulster University.

Entry to UK via the Republic of Ireland

If you do not apply for a Short-term Student visa before you travel to the UK, you should not attempt to enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland.

If, despite this advice, you do enter Northern Ireland (UK) from the Republic of Ireland without having applied for a Short-term Student visa, you will in most cases automatically have permission to be in the UK only for three months.

The three months' permission allows you to study, but it will not be enough time to complete your studies.  You are not entitled to extend your stay in the UK as a short-term student, so you will need to leave the UK within the three-month period, then re-enter the UK directly and request immigration permission to enter as a short-term student, for a maximum visit of six months.

Note also that any immigration permission you are given on arrival in the Republic of Ireland is for the Republic of Ireland only and not for the UK.