Visas for Summer School and Executive Education Courses

This page has information for students taking the LSE Summer School in London, Executive Education Courses and Custom Programmes .

Student Advice and Engagement are the only team authorised to provide immigration and visa advice at LSE


What visa do I need to attend Executive Education Courses, the Summer School or an LSE Custom Programme in 2024?

It is  possible to use a Standard Visitor visa for the Summer School whether that is just for one session or all three.  However, you must not exceed six months of study on a Standard Visitor visa.

If you have another type of valid immigration permission e.g. a Student visa for another UK institution, please contact us for advice as you may be able to use this to study with us.

UKCISA have more information on studying as a visitor in the UK.


Electronic Travel Authorisation - ETA


The UK is rolling out Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), which will need to be applied for prior to travelling to the UK for nationals of countries who do not require a visa to travel to the UK as a visitor.

The rollout commenced with Qatari nationals, who will now need to apply for an ETA to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. An ETA will cost £10 and permits multiple journeys over two years. You can find out more on the official UK government factsheet.

You can apply for your ETA on the UK government website:

Apply for an ETA

From 1st February 2024, nationals of the following countries will need to apply for an ETA in advance of any planned travel on or after 22 February 2024:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Oman
  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • UAE
  • Jordan

It has not yet been announced when ETAs will be rolled out to other nationalities.

Do I need to apply for a visa?

Depending on your nationality, you will either need to obtain your visa before travelling or you can request entry as a Standard Visitor at the border. You can check if you need to apply for your visa before travelling on the website. 

  • If you need to apply for a visa before travelling, you are known as a Visa National.
  • If you do not need to apply for a visa before travelling you are known as a Non-Visa National.

Applying before travelling to the UK: Visa Nationals

A Visa National is a a person who needs to apply for a visa before they travel to the UK. It currently costs £115 to apply for a  six month Standard Visitor visa at the embassy. You will be issued a multi-entry sticker in your passport which will be valid for 6 months.  This means you can leave and re-enter the UK using the same Standard  Visitor visa, but you must still be able to show you have studies to complete.

Visitor Visa Document Guidance

You do not require a CAS number for this application.  Instead you will need to request a Summer School visa letter from the Summer School Team.  This will be sent to you as a PDF.

How do I find the Standard Visitor Visa application form?

Standard Visitor visa guidance

Applying at the UK border: Non-visa Nationals 

If you are from a country which does not need to apply for a Short-term Student visa before travelling, you can request to enter the UK as a Short-term Student at the border.

You can find more information on Standard Visitors on the following links:

Standard Visitor Visa

Visitor Visa document guidance

You do not require a CAS number for this application.  Instead you will need to request a Summer School visa letter from the Summer School Team.  This will be sent to you as a PDF.

e-Gate nationals

The following nationalities can use the  e-Gates:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapopre
  • South Korea
  • USA
  • EU/EEA nationals

If you enter the UK via the e-Gate you are entering the UK as a tourist. 

The stamp you receive at the border is only for a single-entry.  

If you are travelling through Ireland, this is known as the Common Travel Area.  You will not go through UK immigration controls so you will need to show that you have entered Ireland (e.g. a stamp in your passport) and provide your boarding pass as evidence of how you travelled to the UK.

Case Studies

Case One: A person attending the Summer School/Executive Education Course/Custom Programme only and has no current immigration permission for the UK.

If you are  intending to study at the Summer School/Executive Education Course/Custom Programme only, you will need to obtain a Standard visitor visa. 

  • If you are an Executive Education Course student and need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, contact the Executive Education Course team for a letter.

  • If you are a Summer School student and need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, you can request a letter from the Summer School.

  • Check the Home Office guidance on supporting documents and prepare your application.

  • If you are a visa national (you must apply for a visa before travelling), submit your application to UK Visas and Immigration.

  • If you are a non-visa national, you can request permission to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor at the border when you arrive in the UK.

Case Two: LSE Summer School before further studies in the UK

We are unable to provide a CAS number for Summer School students. If you already have a Student visa which will cover the period of study at the LSE, read the information on supplementary study.

Case Three: Supplementary study on a Student visa for another institution.

The UKVI permits supplementary study at any point of your valid Student visa so long as:

  • it does not affect your main degree programme;

  • it does not delay your departure from the UK (you cannot extend your Student visa for supplementary study).

If you have a Student visa for another institution,  you will be able to attend on the basis of it being supplementary study.  We may require evidence that you are still studying/have finished your programme to be able to register you on a Student visa for another institution.

If you have completed your previous programme and have already left the UK, you cannot benefit from the supplementary study rule.  This is because your main reason for returning is to study at LSE on a non-LSE visa, which means your supplementary study has delayed your departure from the UK.  You may be refused entry at the border.

If you have to attend Summer School to meet the conditions of your offer, wish to attend on the basis of supplementary study but have travel planned before Summer School, you must contact us to find out your options by completing our online query form.

Staying compliant with the conditions of your immigration permission

Even if you do not have to apply for your visa in advance of travelling for the Summer School, you are still entering as a Standard Visitor when you arrive. 

The conditions for the Standard Visitor visa are as follows:

What you can and cannot do (‘permitted activities’)

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor:

You cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • claim public funds (benefits)
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership - you’ll need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa

The conditions for many other types of visa can be found here.

I have a digital status.  How can I prove what immigration permission I have for the UK? 

If you were granted a digital status as part of your EU Settlement Scheme or points based visa application, you will need to generate a share code in advance of registering for Summer School.  This will help the Summer School staff at registration if they know what immigration permission you hold.

Who can I speak to for advice on visas for the Summer School?

The Student Advice and Engagement Team are the dedicated team to advise on the immigration options available to you. However, you will need to complete our online query form for advice as it captures the essential information we need to provide the most accurate information.


Contact the Student Advice and Engagement Team (Visa Advice) Team

a student at the Student Service Centre drop in counter