Non-EEA or Swiss students must first apply for a Tier 4 visa if they wish to come to the UK to study.
A Student Visitor visa is required for those who are at least 18 years old and want to study a short course of up to 6 months or an English language course of up to 11 months.
A Tier 4 (General) Student visa is required under the points-based system if the course is for more than 6 months.
In both cases, applicants must show that they have been offered a place on a course and that they have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course (the amount will vary depending on their circumstances). For Tier 4 (General) Student visa applications, there are additional requirements, including that applicants must show that they can speak, read, write and understand English, that they have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, that they will study at the appropriate level, and that they have a Confirmation of acceptance for studies reference number (CAS) no more than 6 months before applying.
Non-EEA or Swiss dependant family members can also apply to join or remain with the student in the UK.