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Visa information

To study at the University of Edinburgh Summer School non-European Union nationals will need to have a valid visa or permission to study in the UK. We welcome students from all around the world, however, as a student, obtaining the correct type of visa is your own responsibility.

We will provide international students with a visa letter when we email you with your final booking confirmation – this will help you to apply for an appropriate visa. Please see our Application Timeline for details of when we’ll contact you.

Summer School staff are not able to provide personalised visa advice, but below is some general guidance for students who wish to attend the Summer School. If you have specific queries, we recommend that you check the official immigration advice from the University of Edinburgh’s Student Immigration Service.

Tier 4 (General) student visa

If you plan to stay in the UK for more than six months (e.g. if you are planning to continue onto a semester at the University following your Summer School course) or if your Summer School course involves any type of work placement or internship, then you must apply for a Tier 4 visa.

You need to obtain your Tier 4 visa before coming to the UK - you cannot apply after you have arrived in the country. 

Details on how to arrange your Tier 4 visa - including how to contact us should you need further advice - can be found here

Short Term Student Visa

The Short Term Student Visa is appropriate if you are attending a Summer School course and you do not intend to remain in the UK to study at the University after this course.

Please note that with a Short Term Student Visa:

  • You may not work in the UK whether paid, unpaid or in a voluntary position and this included Summer School internships
  • Once in the UK you cannot extend your visa to continue your studies and you cannot apply to change your status for an alternative visa
  • You cannot bring dependents (spouse/children) with you

How to apply for a Short Term Student Visa

Visa requirements vary according to your nationality. To enter the UK your nationality is either a Visa National or a Non-Visa National.

To find out if you are a Visa National or a Non-Visa National, please refer to the country lists via the UK Immigration link (Appendix 1)

  • Visa Nationals: If your nationality is listed in the Appendix 1, you must obtain your Student Visitor Visa before leaving your home country.

  • Non-Visa Nationals (EEA or Swiss Nationals): If your nationality is not listed in the Appendix 1, you can enter the UK as a student visitor when you arrive through UK immigration without arranging a visa in advance. It is very important that you do so by travelling directly into the UK from outside the Common Travel Area - for example, if you connect to Edinburgh through the Republic of Ireland, you will not meet full UK immigration control on the way into the UK and will not be able to arrange the correct endorsement in your passport.

If you are a non-visa national and decide to arrive directly into the UK from outside of the Common Travel Area and seek a Student Visitor Visa stamp on entry to the country, you should bring evidence of how you will fund your studies in the UK such as bank statements as well as evidence of your return trip, such as your return air ticket or documentation from your home institution stating a date for your expected return.

Further details on Short Term Student Visas can be found here.