My name is Paula. I am Colombian. I have stayed in the United Kingdom with a tourist visa for 5 months of the permitted 6 months. Now I want to go back to Colombia and apply for a student visa, to follow a course of study in the UK.

Can I leave with my tourist visa and come back in a month with a student visa? If so, can it be the short term student or the tier 4?

  • Have stayed where? The destination country is very relevant here. – Dipen Shah Feb 10 '16 at 21:21
  • hello im sorry ...you are rigth... i have visitor uk visa.. and im planning to comeback as short term student – paula Feb 11 '16 at 8:22

If the visa is granted, you will be able to enter. If your 5-month stay in the UK makes you ineligible to enter, then your visa application will be denied.

This will be true regardless of whether you apply for a short-term student visa or a Tier 4 visa.

Since the eligibility requirements do not make reference to previous stays in the United Kingdom, I suspect that your earlier trip to the UK will not have a significant effect on the success of your application.


  • Yup. It's common/understood that sometimes people visit the UK before applying for a student visa, to see if they like the country, or to visit universities. I entered and exited the UK twice before applying for my student visa. – la femme cosmique Feb 12 '16 at 22:17
  • @lafemmecosmique but for five months? That's a long time. I can understand why someone would be concerned about it. – phoog Feb 13 '16 at 1:05
  • Well, you haven't done anything wrong LEGALLY because you stayed less than six months. At the same time, the UK has been nabbing people for not doing things that are necessarily illegal but secretly frowned upon. Still, at the same time, as long as you haven't been secretly working, and have been spending money in the UK, they should be happy that you left before the 6 mos. In any case, no way for you to know. Apply for your student visa. – la femme cosmique Feb 13 '16 at 10:36
  • With tier 4, they care that you a) Have a CAS and b) have money to support yourself presented in an obvious, unfakeable way. They care that your CAS is from a reputable institution and that you haven't committed any crime. Those seem to be the main things they look for. – la femme cosmique Feb 13 '16 at 10:37
  • You may have more difficulty if you are applying for a T4 from e.g. a sixth-form college or similar, and not a red-brick university. – la femme cosmique Feb 13 '16 at 10:38

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