Travel and Tourism

Do I Need to Become a Full UK Resident Before Becoming a Student in the Country?

If you do not have plans on migrating to the UK yet, but you want to study in the country, you must be wondering if you need to be a full UK resident to do so. The thing, though, is there are a lot of factors to consider when we talk about being an official and registered citizen of the United Kingdom. It’s a lot of work, and it will take a lot of time and money, too.

This being said, it’s just right that you’re sure about being a UK resident before fully going through the process. This will help you save yourself from all the possible unnecessary hassle that you may experience.

To give you a guide over the topic, we have prepared and answered some questions in the following sections.

What Does It Mean to be a Full UK Resident?

Being a Full UK Resident means being a holder of a UK Resident Visa. With this, you are free to exist and enter the borders of the UK and settle in the country for as long as you like. You can consider this as the last stage of holding a visa in the UK since this comes after an Indefinite Leave to Remain.

A UK resident can also access the benefits that the country’s locals can get. For instance, you can avail yourself of the free healthcare system, access the public funds, be eligible for paid leaves, and a lot more.

What Do You Need to Become a Student in the UK?

Now, it’s a given that if you’re a full UK resident, you can already study in the country. However, the said status is not really necessary for the task. There are other ways, visa types to be specific, that you can apply for to be able to be a part of the UK’s educational system.

The most common way to study in the UK is through a student visa. This is also the most effective way, especially if your only purpose of going to the country is to study.

Some other valid visas include Dependent Visa and Visitor Visa (maximum of a 6-month course).

Do You Need to be a Resident to be a Student?

For a final answer, you don’t need to be a resident in the UK to study for a course. Depending on how long you want to take your courses, you can simply apply for one of the visas we said above.

You just need to submit the required documents, fees, and other things that the immigration agency may ask you. You can expect other visas to be less strict than a full UK resident visa.

Of course, your options aren’t limited to the previous list. You can consult a legal professional if you want to know more methods that will allow you to do the said task.

On another note, keep in mind that you can’t study in maintained schools or public schools with a student visa. If this is where you plan on going, then that’s the time that you should apply to become a full UK resident.

Is It Expensive to Study in the UK?

It can be expensive to study in the UK if you’re going to study in high-end universities like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Nevertheless, the total costs will depend on the school that you will study in.

You also have an option to apply for scholarships or school sponsors if you want to somehow ease the costs of studying the country.

How Long Before One Can Be a Full UK Resident?

If you choose to apply to be a full UK resident, you need to ensure that you have lived in the said country for at least 5 years. Any visa will do as long as you reach the given period. Some visas, though, like those for marriage and unmarried partners, can already permit you for permanent residence for as short as 2 years.

It’s best to talk to a reputable lawyer for more matters regarding permanent UK residence.


To wrap it up, you do not need to be a full UK resident just to study in the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to study for a high school or college level. The course also won’t affect the answer unless you will be staying in the UK even after completing your studies.

If you still have some more questions about the topic at hand, it’s best if you contact an immigration lawyer to help you. Doing so will not only let you in on necessary details, but it will also help you avoid a lot of legal issues over time.

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