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Advice and Counselling Service

Which visa should I apply for?

This page explains what kind of permission you might need in order to study at Queen Mary (Immigration permission is the same as a visa).

Student or Visitor immigration permission?

There are two main types of immigration permission that allow you to study a course at Queen Mary. You should read the full description before making a decision on which category of immigration permission is appropriate for you. 




Can be granted to non-visa nationals on entry to the UK



Visa application fee


£100 or free if obtained on entry to the UK

How long you will be able to stay in the UK

The full length of your course plus additional time at the start and end of your course

Up to 6 months. You course must be no longer than 6 months

Employment (including paid or unpaid work experience)

Full time work is allowed during vacations and during a work placement that is part of your course at Queen Mary.

Part time work is allowed during term time for students studying full-time. 

Students who have Student (part-time) immigration permission are not permitted to work at all during their studies. 

No work allowed. Volunteering is allowed provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total and is for a charity that is registered with the Charity Commission.
Please note this is not the same as voluntary work which is not permitted.


Can be extended in the UK

Yes, if you meet the requirements


Can switch to other categories in the UK (E.g. Skilled Worker Route)

Yes, if you meet the requirements


Type of course that can be studied

Restricted to full-time courses above a specified academic level. The Admissions Office can tell you if your course is at the appropriate level.

Part-time courses leading to a qualification at RQF level 7 or above can be studied with Student immigration permission, although these students would not be permitted to work or bring their dependants.

Full-time or part-time courses at any level

This can also be to conduct research or to receive tuition on how to conduct research towards your studies at an academic institution outside of the UK.


Can bring family members as dependants In some circumstances -please check our guidance about the requirements for bringing dependant family members No

Part-time Student permission

International students are able to apply for Student immigration permission to study a part-time course which is postgraduate level or higher (RQF level 7 or above) at Queen Mary University of London. 

Students who want to apply for Student immigration permission for part-time studies should consider the following: 

  • You will not be permitted to work at all in the UK 
  • You cannot bring dependants with you to the UK 
  • You will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for the full length of your visa, even if you are not planning to be in the UK all the time. 

You should think carefully about whether applying for Student immigration permission for part-time studies is the right route for you. 

Medical and dental students undertaking electives

If you are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science or dentistry abroad equivalent to at least degree level, you will be able to undertake electives in the UK with Visitor permission provided these are relevant to your course of study, are unpaid, and do not involve any treatment of patients. 

MBBS Malta students undertaking SSCs in the UK

You can undertake your SSCs with Visitor permission provided they are unpaid and involve no treatment of patients. You can also choose to be sponsored for the full length of your programme with Student immigration permission  which would allow you to enter the UK any time during your course, provided that you are entering for the purpose of study. Periods of study in the UK should be arranged with your School Office and you should request a letter each time you come to the UK confirming your period of study to show to the Border Force Officer. 

Please see thetable above to compare the two different types of immigration permission.  

You can apply for your immigration permission in the country where you are living. 'Living' means that you are there lawfully for a reason other than a short-term visit, so if you are living in Malta for the purpose of studies, you can make your immigration application in Malta. 

The Queen Mary Summer School

If you are coming to join us for the Summer School, you would normally apply for Visitor permission.

If you are a national of a country listed on the UK government's visa national list, then you will need to apply for, and be granted, Visitor permission before travelling to the UK. For detailed guidance see: Application process before you travel

If your nationality is not listed on the UK government's visa national list, then you can request Visitor permission on entry to the UK. For detailed guidance see: Apply when you arrive in the UK 

For guidance about the supporting documents you may need to prepare, see: Supporting documents


Associate Research students

An Associate Research student is normally seen as a student for the purposes of UK immigration, not staff (although we understand that in your home country you may be considered staff). Therefore, you should use the table in the section 'Student or Visitor permission' to decide whether to enter the UK as a Visitor, or as a Student. The Visitor rules allow someone to undertake research or be taught about research at a UK institution for up to six months provided that the research or research tuition is relevant to the course of study that they are enrolled on overseas, and that they will not be employed at the UK institution. 

Postdoctoral researchers and other employees

If you will be coming to the UK to work for Queen Mary, for example as a postdoctoral researcher, you will need to contact the university’s Human Resources department for information about applying for immigration permission which would allow you to work in the UK. 

To find the appropriate person to contact, visit the Human Resources website. 

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