Your Standard Visitor permission

Standard Visitor permission is suitable for you if you intend to study for a maximum of 6 months at Ulster University.


  • Who needs permission to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor?

    You will need permission to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor visa if:

    • You will study a course of up to 6 months in duration at Ulster University, including study as an exchange, study abroad or visiting student; or
    • You will come to Ulster to undertake a period of research that is relevant to your course overseas; or
    • You will return to Ulster to re-sit and exam, repeat or module or take a viva exam; or
    • You will undertake short-term study activity on campus as part of an Ulster University distance learning course.  Please note that:
      • Each period of study cannot last more than six months
      • Part-time degrees are not considered to be official distance learning programmes but may be considered as such if most of the study will be completed overseas
  • How do I apply for permission to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor? 

    How you apply to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor depends upon whether you are a you are a visa national (i.e. you are a national of a country that needs to apply for a visa in order to travel to and enter the UK) or you are a non-visa national (i.e. you are a national of a country that does not need to apply for a visa before you travel to the UK).

  • How does a visa national apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?

    If you are a visa national, you must apply online for a standard visitor visa before you travel to the UK.  Please following the guidance provided by the Home Office.

    Documents you will need to provide

    When you apply, you will need to provide the following documents:

    • Your passport or other valid travel identification
    • Your letter of acceptance at Ulster University
    • Details of your accommodation arrangements and travel plans
    • Evidence that you have enough money available to you to support yourself during your visit and that you are able to pay for your return or onward journey (if you have not yet booked a return ticket)
    • Evidence that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit

    You will be told what other documents to provide when you apply online. Find out more about the documents you must supply by visiting the Gov.uk guide to supporting documents

    You must provide a certified translation of any document that is not in English.

    Information you will need to provide

    You will also need to provide the following information:

    • the dates you are planning to travel to the UK
    • details of where you will be staying during your visit
    • how much you think your trip will cost
    • your current home address and how long you have lived there
    • your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
    • how much you earn in a year (if you have an income)
    • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed

    You might also need to provide:

    • details of your travel history for the past 10 years
    • your employer’s address and telephone number
    • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
    • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip
    • the name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK

    Evidence of your finances

    You must provide evidence that you have enough money available to you to support yourself while you are in the UK and to pay for your return or onward travel.   This includes your own money or money that a third party, such as a friend or family member, is using to support you during your visit.  Evidence could be in the form of original bank statements, building society book or proof of earnings.

    When can I apply for a Standard Visitor visa? 

    The earliest you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa is 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

    How long will it take for my visa to be processed?

    You should receive a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.

    You may be able to get your visa faster depending on what country you are in - check with your Visa Application Centre.

    How do I apply?

    Complete the standard visitor visa application form

    Electronic Visa Waiver 

    Nationals or citizens of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, or the United Arab Emirates, who wish to study a course of six months or less in the UK, may apply for the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) instead of applying for a Standard Visitor visa. EVW holders must show their EVW for permission to enter at the UK border. Permission will be granted for a maximum of 6 months.

    To obtain an EVW, you must provide the required biographic and travel information. Your EVW document will be issued to you electronically. An EVW document must be used in the manner specified in Appendix Visitor of the Immigration Rules otherwise your application for permission to enter the UK may be refused.

    You are permitted to apply for EVW between 3 months and 48 hours before you travel.

    An EVW is valid for single entry to the UK. You will not therefore be permitted to enter, leave and re-enter the UK using your EVW.

  • How does a non-visa national apply for permission to enter as a Standard Visitor?

    If you are a non-visa national, you may choose to apply for permission to enter as a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK or when you arrive in and enter the UK.

    If you wish to apply before you travel to the UK, please follow the instructions and advice above for visa nationals.

    If you wish to apply when you arrive in the UK, please follow the instructions and advice below.

    You will normally be given permission to stay in the UK as a Standard Visitor for six months.  Your entry permission will be for single-entry only, which means that if you leave the UK within those six months, you will have to re-apply for permission to enter as a Standard Visitor 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 pass through immigration control:

    • Your passport
    • Your letter of acceptance from Ulster University
    • Evidence that you have enough money available to you to support yourself during your visit (e.g. recent bank statements)
    • Evidence of where you will live (your accommodation) and details of your travel plans
    • Evidence of your return flight (if you have booked one) or evidence that you are able to pay for your return or onward journey

    Evidence of your finances

    You must provide evidence that you have enough money available to you to support yourself while you are in the UK and to pay for your return or onward travel.   This includes your own money or money that a third party, such as a friend or family member, is using to support you during your visit.  Evidence could be in the form of original bank statements, building society book or proof of earnings.

    Using ePassport gates

    If you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United States of America (B5JSSK),  EEA states or Switzerland, you may use ePassport gates to enter the UK. In doing so, you will automatically obtain 6 months' permission to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor.

    If you use the ePassport gates, it is important that you keep evidence of the date of your arrival in the UK (e.g a boarding pass) as this will be required when you register at Ulster University.

  • What will my visa or entry permission look like?

    Visa national

    If you apply for a Standard Visitor visa before travelling to the UK, your visa will be evidenced by a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport.  The visa vignette contains details about you and visa.  It will be valid for a maximum of 6 months.  An Immigration Officer will stamp your vignette with an entry stamp confirming your date of entry to the UK when you go through UK immigration control.

    Your visa vignette is a very important document. It is proof of your immigration permission to be in the UK and will allow you to travel in and out of the UK. Please take care not to lose your visa vignette as replacing it can be very costly and time consuming.

    Non-visa national

    If you apply for permission to enter at the border, a Border Force Officer will put a stamp in your passport confirming that you have permission to enter as a Standard Visitor.  Your entry stamp will confirm your date of entry to the UK.

    If you use the ePassport gates, you will not receive an entry stamp in your passport.  It is important that you keep evidence of the date of your arrival in the UK (e.g a boarding pass) as this will be required when you register at Ulster University.

  • Errors on your visa vignette

    Check your visa vignette carefully when you receive it.  If there are any errors on your vignette that would prevent you from entering the UK as planned, you must get the errors amended before you travel to the UK.  This includes errors with your name, nationality or ‘valid from’ date.

    How you report an error will depend upon whether you notice the error outside the UK or after you have arrived.

    Contact the compliance team for advice if you notice any mistakes on your visa vignette.

    UKCISA – Passport, visa and BRP problems

  • Lost, stolen or damaged passport and visa vignette

    Replacing your passport outside the UK

    If you have lost your passport outside the UK you must report this to the police as soon as possible.  Make sure that you are given proof that you have reported the loss/theft and try to get a crime reference number.

    You will need to apply for a replacement passport.  Contact your country’s Embassy, Consulate, High Commission or passport office in the country where you are. It may take some time to receive a new passport.

    Contact the Compliance team immediately to let us know that you have lost your passport and again as soon as you have received your new passport.

    Transferring your visa to your new passport outside the UK

    You will need to apply online for a “vignette transfer” as soon as you have received your new passport. This will cost £154.

    When you complete your online application, please select the following route:

    1. Reason for visit: Other
    2. Visa type: Others
    3. Visa sub type: Vignette transfer

    You do not need to provide evidence of funds or qualifications etc. (unless this is requested by UKVI). However, you must submit a letter from Ulster University confirming you have been accepted to study with us, in addition to a photocopy of evidence of your visa vignette and your police report.

    Information on transferring your visa from your passport


    If your passport and visa vignette are lost, stolen or damaged inside the UK

    If your passport and visa vignette are lost, stolen or damaged inside the UK, you will need to make a Transfer of Conditions (TOC) application once you have received your new passport.

    UKCISA – Passport, visa and BRP problems

  • What are the conditions of my Standard Visitor permission?

    As a Standard Visitor, you may:

    • Study at Ulster University for up to 6 months

    As a Standard Visitor you must:

    • Intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies
    • Leave the UK before your visa expires

    As a Standard Visitor you may not:

    • Work – either paid or unpaid
    • Undertake a paid or unpaid work placement, even if this is part of your studies
    • Extend your visa beyond 6 months, or apply for other visas from within the UK

    If you need to undertake a work placement as part of your course while you are in the UK, you will need a Student visa rather than a Standard Visitor visa. Contact the compliance team for advice on this.