Types of Student Visas
There are two categories of student visas: Tier-4 Adult/General Student visa for programmes lasting more than 6 months and Student Visitor visa for programmes shorter than 6 months in duration.
All students coming to study at SOAS for longer than 6 months should apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. To apply you will be requiring a CAS number from SOAS.
If you are attending a course/programme that is no longer than 6 months you can enter the UK on a Student Visitor visa and do not require a CAS number. A letter from the School confirming your acceptance on the course can be issued instead. However a Student Visitor visa will only cover you for the duration of the course. If you decide to extend or change your programme of study you will be required to leave the UK in order to apply for a tier-4 Adult/General Student visa from your country of residence. You cannot switch from a Student Visitor visa to an Adult/General Student visa from within the UK. Students with the Student Visitor visa are also not able to work during their time in the UK.