People who have secured a place to study on a full-time basis at some form of educational institution may enter the UK as a student. In practice, at least 15 hours a week must be spent in study and the student must be able to meet the cost of the course, maintenance and accommodation without working. However, those on student visas may work 20 hours/week during term time and 40 hours/week during holidays. Normally there are no restrictions on a spouse and children working in the UK, if the student will be studying longer than one year.
Candidates wishing to enter the UK on a student visa should make it clear to any immigration and visa officers that they intend to return 'home' at the end of their studies.
Candidates from visa-national countries (those who need a visa even for entry to the UK as a visitor) must apply for a student visa at the British Embassy/Consulate/High commission in their home country. Other candidates have the option of presenting the relevant documents to the Immigration Officer on entry, or may apply from within the UK to switch from another category to that of Student.
Student visas are normally granted for an initial period of one year, usually determined by the length of the course to be studied.
Candidates who have not already chosen and been accepted in a course of study may apply for entry as a Prospective Student.
Medical and dental graduates seeking post-graduate training or further studies can normally gain entry to the UK on a student visa. Those training within the medical profession may also visit the UK to undertake exams as a visitor and having passed these exams can switch to a training visa in country.