Passports & Visas

We hope you find the following basic information about passports and visas useful, but please note that Excel English is not licensed to give visa advice.  For more assistance we strongly recommend that you seek professional advice in your own country.


Details & Highlights

Travelling to the UK

You must have a valid passport (or Identity Card if you are from the EU) to travel to the UK. You may also need to obtain a visa.  If you are not sure whether you need a visa, we advise you to contact your local British Embassy or Consulate or visit www.gov.uk

Do I need a visa?

If you are from an EU or EEA country or from Switzerland, you do not need a visa to enter the UK.

If you are from another country, there are two categories of nationalities for UK immigration purposes: Visa Nationals and Non-Visa Nationals. To find out whether you are a Visa National or Non-Visa National, check the UK Visa National list.

If your country is on the list then you are a Visa National and you must obtain a Short-Term Study Visa  before you leave your home country (pre entry clearance) regardless of the length of your course.

If your country is not on the list then you are a Non-Visa National  and the following rules apply –

  • Courses  lasting 24 weeks or less – apply on entry to the UK for a Short-Term Study Visa.  Show the border official your confirmation letter from the school, your accommodation details and any other supporting documents.  Make sure your visa stamp is for a Short-Term Study Visa, NOT a Standard Visitor Visa.
  • Courses of more than 24 weeks and up to 44 weeks – apply for and obtain a Short-Term Study Visa  before you leave your home country (pre entry clearance).  Students aged under 18 cannot apply for this extended visa.

Applying for a visa

Please visit www.gov.uk for complete details of the UK Immigration Rules and a full list of the evidence you must provide to support your application to come to the UK as a student. Useful information can also be found on the UKCISA website. If you apply through an Educational Travel Organiser (ETO), their counsellors will be able to give you advice on making a visa application.

Visitor or Business Visas

It is possible to study English if you come into the country with a Standard Visitor Visa or a Business Visa. Your main intention should be to visit the UK for tourism or business, but you can also take an English course for a  maximum of 30 working days (6 weeks).  If your main intention is to study English, you should always apply for a Short-Term Study Visa.

Immigration Control

When you arrive in the UK, you will have to go through Immigration Control.  Make sure you have your passport, your Excel English confirmation letter, your accommodation details and any other supporting documents, ready to show the border official.

Registering with the Police

If you are from an EU country, you do not have to register with the police when you arrive in London.

If you are not from the EU and you are staying in the UK more than 6 months, you may have to register with the police.  If you need to register with the police this will be indicated on the vignette (sticker) in your passport.  We can give you full details of how and where to register when you arrive at the school.

Biometrics Card

If you are not from the EU and you are staying in the UK more than 6 months, you may require a Biometrics Card.  We can give you advice on where to apply for this card.

At school

Please bring your Identity Card (EU students) or Passport (non-EU students) to school on your first day.  We must take copies of all passports and visas.