LSI/IH Portsmouth is a Tier 4 Sponsor, licensed by UK Visas and Immigration to enrol international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System. We cannot allow students to study with us unless they have the correct type of visa, valid for the whole duration of their course.

  • 1. Do I need a visa?

    To check if you need a visa, please visit:

    Different countries come under 3 immigration categories.

    ~ EEA – including students from the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For these students, you do not need a visa to live or study in the UK and you can work whilst you’re here.
    ~ Non-visa national – This includes countries such as South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Taiwan. For these students, you can either get a visa before you arrive, or on arrival in the UK (depending on the type of visa you apply for).
    ~ Visa national – This includes countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey. Students from these countries must apply for the visa before travelling to the UK

    For a full list of visa national countries (for students who must apply before they arrive), please see this page on the Home Office’s website (appendix 2).

  • 2. Types of visas

    • Short-Term Student Visa

      Short terms student visas are valid for either 6 or 11 months. You cannot work in the UK if you have this type of visa and it cannot be extended. You are not able to bring any dependents with you on this type of visa.

      If you are a non-visa national (see above), you are able to get a 6 month short term student visa on arrival at a UK airport. If you are a visa national, you must apply in your country and receive the visa before you travel. For the 11 month visa, all applications must be made and granted before leaving your country.

      The cost of a 6 month visa is currently £93.00. It is free for non-visa nationals if you apply at the airport. The cost of an 11 month visa is currently £179.00.

    • General Student Visa (GSV or Tier 4)

      This type of visa is suitable for students who are staying for more than one year and /or planning to go to University in the UK.
      This visa cannot be extended in the UK but Government-sponsored students studying for more than 6 months can bring dependents.

      There are no work rights with this type of visa.
      The cost of a GSV is currently £335.00, plus £150.00 healthcare surcharge.

      If you apply for a GSV, we will only issue you with a CAS number if we are satisfied that you both intend and are able to complete the course of study you have booked. We are obliged to inform the UKVI if you breach your visa conditions (e.g. do not enroll at the school on the course you booked, have poor attendance or leave the course early).

      UKVI will only issue you with a GSV if you are able to present the following documents:

      ~ A CAS statement from us

      ~ Proof of your English language level at or above CEFR B1 with a certified and accepted Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate

      ~ Proof that you have enough money to pay for your course fees and to support yourself (living costs etc). To check if you have acceptable and sufficient evidence to meet the UK Border Agency’s requirements, please click here.

      All visa and non-visa nationals must apply for their first GSV in their country before departure.

      For more information about Tier 4 visas, please see this page on the website.

  • 3. What if I have already had a visa for the UK before?

    If you have already had a UK visa in the past, please scan it to us when applying for a course. We need to see this to assess whether you will need to apply for a new visa in order to study with us and/or which type of visa will be most appropriate for your learning needs.

    • Health Surcharge

      If you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months, and are from outside the EEA, you may need to pay a health surcharge fee of £150.00 per year. This fee allows you to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident. Some treatment may still be an additional cost. For more information, please click here.