Student Visas

Middlebury-CMRS is not allowed to tell you which visa option is appropriate for your individual situation, but we can point you in the right direction and give you guidance regarding what you need to know and do. All students must thoroughly familiarize themselves with the information available on the GOV.UK website in order to make immigration decisions.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1:

Run your details through the online tool Check if you need a UK visa on the GOV.UK website.

If the tool tells you ‘You do not need a visa to come to the UK’ one of the following will apply:

1.  You are allowed to enter the UK as a British citizen (travelling on a valid British passport) and therefore have no visa or immigration requirements at all.


2.   You are allowed to enter the UK on arrival via the ‘Standard Visitor’ route (with no need to apply for a visa in advance).

In this case the tool will also tell you (along with other information):

‘What you need at the UK border

You must provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK (and for 6 months after the end of your stay).

You may also be asked to prove that:

    • you’ve been accepted on to a course by an accredited institution, for example a letter of acceptance on official headed paper stating the course name, duration and cost
    • your research or training is relevant to the course you’re studying overseas, for example a letter from your home education institution describing how it’s relevant
    • you’re able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
    • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)
    • you’ve arranged accommodation for your stay
    • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit

You must always have these documents with you if you’re traveling in and out of the UK during your stay.’

If the tool tells you ‘You’ll need a visa to study in the UK’ you will be told to apply for either:

3.    a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’ if you are a visa national studying for 6 months or less (one semester).


4.    a full ’Student Visa’ if you are a visa national and/or studying for longer than 6 months (two semesters).*

Please note:

*The tool will highlight any other options/requirements which may apply,

Students studying at Middlebury-CMRS will not be allowed to work during the semester (M-CMRS Policy) but will be allowed to work during the vacation or at the end of the course for as long as the full Student Visa is valid.

Step 2:

Inform M-CMRS, Oxford.

Once you have researched your options and made your immigration/visa decision you must complete the ‘Visas & Immigration Form’ on the Middlebury application system.

The form will ask you to select one of the following statements to clarify your decision:

  1. I have no visa requirements at all and the reason why you don’t (e.g. I am a British citizen)
  2. I will enter the UK on arrival via the ‘Standard Visitor’ route (bringing the required documents with me)
  3. I will apply for a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’ in advance
  4. I will apply for a full ‘Student Visa’ in advance

You will need a supporting letter for options 2, 3 & 4 above which you must have before making any kind of visa application. This letter will be issued from M-CMRS in Oxford by email with further information about how to proceed.

Process & Timescales

If you are applying for either 3. or 4. above you must familiarize yourself with the complete application process and its timeframes.

Please Note:

  • Applications for a Standard Visitor Visa should be made no more than 3 months before the start date of your course.
  • Applications for a full Student Visa should be made no more than 6 months before the start date of your course.

You must have all of your supporting documentation, including your letter from M-CMRS Oxford, ready to submit with your application.  Visa processing offices get extremely busy at certain times of the year, which increases visa processing times considerably – you should allow at least 6-8 weeks.  If you are applying for a visa in advance, there will be a fee.  It may be possible to expedite your visa application for an additional fee.
Please note: If you are a NON-US citizen, you can apply for a Student Visa through a consulate in the U.S., but you must submit proof of how you are legally in the U.S. (I-20, etc.) with your mailed application materials. However, non-U.S. citizens (including green card holders) are treated as citizens of their home country (country of held passport) and additional processing time may be necessary.

Applying & Questions

Information about applying for a UK visa in the USA  includes online forms, details about visa application centres and contact details if you have further questions.

By Phone

Phone UK Visas and Imigration.

Telephone: +44 (0)300 790 6268

The UKVI English phone service is open Monday to Friday, 24 hours.

Calls cost 69 pence per minute on top of your standard network charges.

If you cannot contact UK 0300 numbers, use +44 (0)203 481 1736.

Other languages are available at times that reflect standard business hours where possible, see below.

Language                 Opening hours (British Standard Time)
Arabic                        Sunday-Thursday, 05.00-13.00
Cantonese                Monday-Friday, 01.00-09.00
French                       Monday-Friday, 09.00-17.00
Hindi                          Monday-Friday, 04.00-12.00
Mandarin                  Monday-Friday, 01.00-09.00
Russian                     Monday-Friday, 06.00-14.00
Spanish                    Monday-Friday, 13.00-01.00

By email

Email UK Visas and Immigration.

Include your name, what you’re applying for and a description of the problem.

Emails enquiries cost £2.74 (GBP) You won’t be charged for any follow-up emails about the same enquiry.

You’ll get a reply to your email within 2 days, except on Saturdays, Sundays and UK public holidays.

Please note that contacting UK Visas and Immigration will not play any part in, or influence, the outcome of visa applications.