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Applying for a visa for English Language Programme

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)Foundation programme 

If you are from the EEA (the European Economic Area), Norway or Switzerland you do not need to apply for immigration permission to enter the UK.

If you are coming to LSE to attend the whole EAP programme, you can come to the UK as a Student Visitor or as a Tier 4 (General) Student. The differences are outlined below:

Student Visitor

  • maximum stay in the UK - 11 months
  • cannot extend your stay in the UK
  • cannot work during your studies
  • cannot bring dependants

For more information go to:

How to make a Student Visitor application|

Tier 4 (General) Student visa

  • if you study the whole EAP programme you will be granted a visa until the end of the course plus two months
  • if you study for less than six months you will be granted a visa until the end of the course plus one week
  • permission to work max 20 hours a week during term time
  • can apply to extend your stay for further study inside the UK
  • cannot bring dependants
  • Please note that you will need to pass an approved English language test to apply in this category and show that you have an English language level of 'B2'.  (For example you will need to have an IELTS score of 5.5). Check with the LSE Language Centre for more information on this.

If you are going to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa you will need to request a CAS: Foundation English Course CAS Request form|

Read the ISIS Tier 4 guide for new students - see the link on the right hand side of the page.

Pre-sessional English course followed by full time LSE degree programme

Students with unconditional offer to study at LSE

Most students taking the pre-sessional English language course will have unconditional offers to study on a degree programme at LSE. Your offer letter and your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) will show the start date of the pre-sessional course. You will be able to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa which covers the Language School course and the full length of your degree programme at LSE.

To request a CAS to cover your English Language course please complete this web form|.

Read the ISIS Tier 4 guide for new students - see the link on the right hand side of the page.

Students with a conditional offer to study at LSE

LSE does not normally issue CASs to conditional offer holders to attend an EAP Pre-sessional Course. If you do request a CAS as a conditional offer holder, you will need to confirm the date by which you expect to fulfil the conditions of your offer. You may be advised to wait until your offer becomes unconditional before requesting a CAS .

If you are able to obtain a Tier 4 (General) Student visa for the pre-sessional English course with a conditional offer for your main degree programme,  this will only cover the English course. You should be granted a visa until the end of the pre-sessional English course plus one month.  Before your visa expires, you will be able to apply inside the UK to extend your stay to study on the full time programme.  Please note that you will have to pay an application fee (which is higher in the UK than overseas)

Advice. The International Student Immigration Service will run workshops in the summer to advise students applying inside the UK. To prepare your application, read:

 ISIS Tier 4 guide for new students - see the link on the right hand side of the page.

LSE Language Centre before study at non-LSE institution

If you are going to study in the UK after attending the LSE Language Centre course, you need to plan your visa very carefully because the rules about studying at different institutions are very complex. 

Study in the UK for less than 6 months

If you plan to study in the UK for less than six months in total, you can apply to come to the LSE Language Centre and remain in the UK for six months. The Student Visitor visa is not tied to one institution so you can study at LSE and then study at a different institution. For example, you may study at the LSE Language Centre and then study for one term on a Study Abroad programme at a different institution.

Study in the UK for more than 6 months

If you plan to study at the LSE Language Centre and then progress to a full time course which is not at LSE, you can come to LSE as a Student Visitor but you will then need to return to your own country to apply to return to the UK under Tier 4 to study on your full time course. 

The rules about switching between institutions if you hold a Tier 4 visa are extremely complex and problematic. If you are in this situation, please contact us using our webform and we will be able to advise.

ISIS webform|


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