Student Visa Information
It is VERY important that you read this section very carefully.
You must have all of your official acceptance paperwork with you when you travel to the UK. This paperwork will give details about your study abroad program which the customs officers will need to see in order to allow you entrance into the UK. Please keep this paperwork in your carry-on luggage or on your person when you travel. When you arrive at customs/immigration, show the officer your official acceptance letter and let them know you are seeking to enter the UK as a student visitor for a study abroad semester.
For students staying less than six months, entry is free and no visa is necessary. However, please be sure to fly directly from the United States to the UK in order to enter as a visiting student. If you have a layover in another European city, that is fine, but your flight to England must originate in the United States. In other words, don’t buy a ticket from LAX to Paris hoping to travel before heading to the UK, because then your ticket would be from Paris to England instead of from the U.S. to England - this could prevent you from gaining “student visitor” status upon entering the UK.
If you would like to stay in the UK for longer than six months, you must get a visa from the nearest British consulate before your departure. It costs about $250 and usually takes around two weeks to process. You may obtain the necessary visa forms online at http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ApplyNow.aspx.
After applying, you will need to mail your passport to the British consulate so they can insert the visa. If you live near a British consulate, it is much faster to make an appointment and go to the consulate in person to have your visa affixed to your passport.
Please follow all instructions on the UK Border Agency website very carefully if you are applying for a student visa (which is only necessary if you will be staying in the UK for longer than six months).
Please note that it is entirely your responsibility to gain entry to the UK. For a short
summary of obtaining entry into the UK as a student visitor for a period of less than six
months, please check out the following link: