Types of Student Visas
There are two categories of student visas: Tier-4 (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 lasts for 6 months or less 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 will be needed instead. It is important to note that a Student Visitor visa will cover you for the duration of the course plus 30 days, or until the end date of the visa, whichever is earlier. It is possible to study more than one short course on the same visa, but you should make it clear when you apply for the visa that you intend to study more than one course during your stay.
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 (General) Student visa from your country of residence. You cannot switch from a Student Visitor visa to a Tier 4 (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.