Double degree programmes at LSE vary, this information is for all cohorts.
If you are coming to study in London for the first year of your programme (Double Degree programme in Global Media), you will only be sponsored for a Tier 4 Student visa in the first year of your programme.
If you are an undergraduate student who completes their final year of study at Columbia, you will not be sponsored on Tier 4 during your time there. If you are returning to the UK during this time, you will need to return as a Standard Visitor.
If you are a non-EEA national* and you are coming to study in London for the second year of your double degree course with Columbia, Sciences Po or Peking University and LSE you will need to apply for a visa (this is called Tier 4 Student visa) to come to the UK as a student.
When can I apply to come to London?
You can apply for a Tier 4 Student visa up to three months before your programme in the UK starts.
If you are coming to London for the first year of your programme, you will obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) when your offer is made unconditional.
If you are coming to London for the second year of your programme, you will be able to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) to study in the UK when you have passed the first year of your course. Results are usually given to the Registry at LSE at the end of June each year. Registry will issue you your CAS if you are joining the LSE in your second year.
You will need to have your Tier 4 visa in place to be able to register at LSE, so please ensure your plans do not affect your ability to apply for the visa.
For full details and advice about applying for Tier 4 go to:
Visa information for prospective students
Where can I apply?
You can apply for Tier 4 from your own or the country you are studying in - as long as your student visa is still valid to study there. This is because the UK immigration rules state that you can apply at the British Embassy in the country where you are 'living'.
If you are coming to London for the second year and you have dissertation work and are travelling during the Summer, you will need to plan where you are going to apply for your Tier 4 Student visa. If you travel for your dissertation to another country and have a short visa or a visit visa, you may not be able to apply from there. You will need to check with the embassy or visa application centre where you travel to.
If you can't apply from there, you will have to either return to where you were studying (if this is possible and your visa has not yet expired) or travel to your own country to apply to come to London. You cannot come to the UK as a visitor and apply for a Tier 4 visa from the UK - it is not possible to switch out of the visitor category from inside the UK. (See information below about coming to the UK as a visitor).
Can I come to London during my year studying outside the UK?
While you are studying for your double degree outside the UK, you can access the library online and you can contact staff at LSE by e-mail. However, if you would like to come to London during this time, you can.
If you studied in London during your first year, your student visa will probably be valid until the January after the September when you completed the first part of your programme. If you plan to return to the UK before your student visa expires, you may not be able to enter the UK as you will no longer be registered to study in London. You are advised to apply to enter the UK during this time as a 'Standard Visitor' - please read below.
Standard Visitor. When you enter the UK as a visitor, you are only permitted to undertake a maximum of 30 days incidental study during your visit. However if you travel to the UK while you are studying overseas, as you will not be registered as a student in London, you can explain to the immigration officers when entering the UK that you are studying overseas and visiting LSE for a short period. Your department can issue you a letter to confirm any arrangements with LSE.
Where do I apply for a Standard Visitor visa?
This depends on your nationality. If you are a 'visa national', you must apply at the embassy or Visa Application Centre where you are living. Visa nationals always need a visa to enter the UK. You can check if you are a visa national on the
Home Office website
If your country is not on the list, you are a 'non-visa national'. This means that you can choose to apply at the embassy where you are living for permission before you leave. Or you can bring all your documents and apply at the airport when you arrive in the UK. If you apply at the airport, there is no charge.
IMPORTANT: If you come to the UK as a Standard Visitor, you cannot switch to Tier 4 (General) Student inside the UK. You must always apply for this from outside the UK. This means that the visitor option is good for travelling to UK, for example, during the Christmas or Easter break but it is not advisable to enter the UK close to the time that actually want to start your studies in London.
Can I apply inside the UK for a student visa for China or USA?
When you are in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will be able to apply at the embassies in London for a student visa to study overseas on the second year of your programme.
For information about applying for a student visa to study in USA:
USA embassy in London
Chinese embassy in London