Visa Information

Visa Information

If you are travelling to the UK from outside the ‘EU’ (European Union) to study as a student you will need a visa before travelling.


Do I need a visa?
To find out whether you need a visa to study in the UK, check here on the UK Government website.

What types of student visa are there?
Student visas include:

  • Short-Term Study Visa – this visa is for English language courses lasting longer than 6 months and up to 11 months.
  • Standard Visitor Visa – this visa is for visitors staying for less then 6 months and it allows you to attend an English language course that lasts less than 6 months.

Where can I apply for a visa?

To find a visa application centre in your country, click here.

‘ELC’ will provide a Short-term study visa letter in support of your visa application. Full payment in advance for the period reserved  will be required before the visa letter is issued.

In the event that a student is refused a visa a full refund will be given less a handling charge of £275.00 pounds sterling, bank and courier charges if used.

(If you wish to withdraw from a course once you have received your visa or during a course there will be no refund. In exceptional cases we will hold your place open for a year from the date of your commencement.)

‘No refunds for visa students who miss classes – ‘time credit’ given for illness proven by doctor’s notice and / or holidays notified by email 2 weeks in advance.’

Most application for visas are made online. Please go to:

‘ELC’ Short-term study visa  sponsored students must follow at least 15 hours per week.

‘Many students come to ‘ELC’ on a Short Term Study Visa for 6 or 11 months to prepare for the IELTS test to enable them to enter Higher Education or University in the UK.
‘ELC’ Does not provide CAS visas nor CAS numbers.
Students who need a UKVI CAS visa for Higher Education or University in the UK will need an IELTS score of 4.0 in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. The IELTS test must now be taken at an approved UKVI Secure English Language Test (SELT) centre in the UK or in your country – check: See PDF ..
The ‘ELC’ range of English language courses may lead to the following examinations e.g. IELTS / TOEFL, Cambridge (KET, PET,FCE,CAE)
Those students wishing to follow an IELTS and / or other examination course e.g. Cambridge First should have an Intermediate level of English equivalent to a minimum IELTS score of 4.5.
This is particularly if they wish to join a University International Foundation Programme in the future which will normally require and entry score of 5.5 or higher.
A University Masters (MSc) course will normally require an IELTS entry level score of 6.5.
A doctorate (PhD) will require an IELTS entry score of minimum of 7.0 or higher.’

Student guide to travelling to Reading UK
There are 5 main airports around London: Heathrow, London City, Gatwick, Luton and Stanstead.
‘ELC’ is located in central Southern England 25 minutes by train from London.

Reading Location Map
  1. The nearest airport is Heathrow – 45 minutes by Rail/ Air Link coach. This service is good and direct to Reading non- stop every 30 minutes from 4 am until 12 midnight – see: Take the coach from ‘Central Bus Station’ in the airport.
  2. The next is Gatwick – 1.5 hours by train, from under the airport, to Reading, it’s easy – see and
  3. London City Airport is located to the east of London and is not often used by ‘ELC’ students.
  4. Luton & Stansted are served by bus and train to London and then on to Reading. The journey from London Paddington Station to Reading takes just 25 minutes! – see: or

‘ELC’ is 7 minutes walk from Reading Station near the centre of the town.

Reading is well served by local bus services and all buses come into the town centre and can be found in: Station Road, Oxford Road, Jacksons corner, Friar Street and Minster Street. There are discounts for students –

Registering with the police, local doctor and opening a bank account
‘ELC’ will provide you with a letter confirming your student status and address if you need any o the above services. Non – EU students staying in the UK over 6 months may need to register with the Police. If so UKVI / Immigration will have stamped your passport – ‘bearer is required to register with the Police’.

Insurance & Health:
We recommend that you take out medical and personal property Insurance before coming to the UK. This is normal practice for anyone travelling abroad.

National Health Service (NHS):
If you are studying for longer than 6 months as a student you are entitled to free treatment at the hospital and the doctor. This is for medical conditions that occur in the UK. If you are prescribed medication this will cost about 8.05 per prescription. Pre – existing medical conditions contacted before coming to the UK are not covered freely by the ‘NHS’ and should be covered by private medical Insurance.

Registering with a Doctor:
You should register with the Doctor in your local area.If staying with a host family ask them to help you register.

Working in the UK & National Insurance Number ( N.I.):
Non EEA/EU students will not be able to work in the UK. EU students will need an exclusive N.I. number to legally work in the UK under UKVI regulations. You will have to pay Tax and National Insurance. See useful link: .


I improved my English day after day. Thanks to ‘ELC’. Reading is a very nice town, great, lively and quiet. I chose ‘ELC’ as my best friend advised me. I would recommend ‘ELC’ as it is interesting to meet people from different countries and there read more...

Adrien, France 5th March 2015

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