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International Student Visa Advice Team

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London School of Economics and Political Science




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Visas for the Language Centre

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Students on English for Academic Purposes (EAP)Foundation programmes 

If you are coming to LSE to attend the whole EAP programme, you can come to the UK as a Short-term Student or as a Tier 4 Student. The differences are outlined below:

Short-term Student

  • maximum stay in the UK - 6 months for Short-term Student or 11 months for Extended Short-term Student
  • cannot extend your stay in the UK
  • cannot work during your studies
  • cannot bring dependants
  • cannot switch into other visa categories
  • Extended Short-term Students may be required to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge 

For more information go to:

How to make a Short-Term Student application

Tier 4 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 10 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 a Secure 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). 

If you are going to apply for a Tier visa you will need to request a CAS: Foundation English Course CAS Request form

LSE may not be able to sponsor you under Tier 4 if you have already studied an EAP programme at a higher level or if you do not intend to study your main degree at the LSE.

Read our 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

If you plan to attend a pre-sessional English programme and have an unconditional offer, please inform your admissions team of your plans before they issue you wiith a CAS.

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  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.

Students with a conditional offer to study at LSE

LSE does not normally issue CASs to conditional offer holders to attend a pre-sessional English language course.  You may be advised to wait until your offer becomes unconditional before requesting a CAS .  If the outstanding condition is for English language, it may be possible to issue a CAS. 

If you are able to obtain a Tier 4  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. 

LSE EAP programme before study at another institution

If you are going to study in the UK after attending an 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 Short-term Student 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 Short-term Student 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.  

Modern Foreign Language Programmes

If you are attending one of the Language Centre's Modern Foreign Language (MFL)programmes and require a visa to be in the UK, you will need immigration permission which permits you to study.

We are unable to sponsor students under Tier 4 for a MFL programme at the LSE.  If you do not already hold immigration permission which permits you to study in the UK, you can apply for a Short-term study visa to attend your programme.

If you hold a Tier 4 visa for another institution, you may be able to attend a MFL programme on the basis of supplementary study.  You will be required to provide a letter at registration which confirms you are still registered for your main degree programme.

Courtauld Institute of Art students

The LSE Language Centre provides bespoke MFL courses to first-year undergraduate students from the Courtauld Institute of Art as part of their BA History of Art degree. You will continue to be sponsored by the Courtauld Institute at this time.

If you are a studying another programme at the Courtauld Institue, you will be able to attend an MFL programme on the basis of supplementary study. 

Immigration documents to register at the Language Centre

Tier 4 Visa for LSE

  • You will need to show us your passport and valid visa. 
  • You will be unable to register solely on the basis of your passport and decision letter from UKVI.  If you are required to collect a Biometric Residence Permit from the Post Office, you must do this before registering for your programme. 

Tier 4 visa for another institution (supplementary study)

  • You will need to show us your passport and valid Tier 4 visa.
  • You will need to provide a letter from the institution you are registered at to confirm you are still registered or have completed your programme.

 Non-student visas

You can register to study at LSE if you have a valid visa in the following immigration categories:

  • Tier 1 visa routes
  • Tier 2 (General) - you must provide evidence that you have permission from your employer to study full time during working hours
  • Dependant (of any category) - you must provide evidence that the main visa holder is in the UK and you live with them
  • Tier 5 categories
  • EEA Family Permit/ Residence Permit - you must provide evidence that that the EEA national is accessing their right to free movement and will be living in the UK
  • Short-term student

You will need to show us the sticker in your passport or the BRP card showing your immigration permission.


 If you have any queries, please contact us using the online query form.