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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


It is important to ensure that you have the correct visa which permits study on the International Summer Programmes. The University of Cambridge must comply with regulations issued by UK Visas and Immigration, part of the government’s Home Office.

Please read this section even if you have attended the International Summer Programmes for a number of years.

The UK has recently expanded the use of eGates at all major airports to eligible nationals of seven additional countries:

Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

However, individuals wishing to enter the UK as a short-term student are not eligible to use the eGates. Please be aware that if you use the eGates, you are admitted into the UK as a visitor if you have not applied for a visa in advance of arrival. Permission as a visitor does not allow you to enter the UK for the purpose of study and, as such, you would not be able to attend the programme.

You will need to join the queue at immigration control in order to speak to a Border Force officer, present your Short-term study letter and request entry as a Short-term student. This should ensure you receive the Short-term study stamp in your passport which is the permission you require for study.

The University is required to check you have been granted the correct immigration permission prior to you commencing your programme.

EEA and Swiss nationals

If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will not require a visa to study on the International Summer Programmes. The countries in the EEA are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

We assume you will use your EEA passport to travel to the UK even if you have a second non-EEA citizenship.

If you have permanent residence in, but not citizenship of, any of these countries, you are not an EEA national.


All non-EEA will require an appropriate immigration status to attend the International Summer Programmes. Normally the University will support entry to the UK under the Short-term Study route. Whether you need to apply for a visa in advance or entry clearance as a short-term student upon arrival at the UK border depends on your nationality as outlined below.

a) Nationals of the following countries are required to apply for a Short-term study visa in advance of travelling to the UK:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar (f), Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arabs Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Further information on the requirements for this visa, how to apply and the application fee are outlined at Please note you will not be able to apply until you have received the Acceptance Letter for the International Summer Programmes to support your application.

Please note: a standard visitor / tourist visa does not permit the holder to come to the UK for study purposes.

b) If your country is not listed above, you do not need to apply for a visa in advance as you can request entry under the Short-term study route when you first arrive in the UK. You will need to ensure you inform officials at Immigration Control that you are visiting the UK for the purpose of study and show the Acceptance Letter issued to you for the International Summer Programmes. Your passport should then be stamped with a short-term study entry stamp. There is no fee attached to entry at the border under this route.

Please note: an immigration status as a standard visitor / tourist is not the appropriate status for entering the UK for the purpose of study and would not permit the holder to attend the International Summer Programme.

Alternative visas

Electronic Visa Waiver allows study – students from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or UAE might have this immigration status.

Registered Traveller Service does not cover short-term study – this is available for nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and USA, but would not allow you to attend the International Summer Programmes.

If you hold other valid immigration permission for the UK, for example a Tier 4 visa or indefinite leave to remain, you must inform us of the document you hold and we will confirm whether this allows you to study on our International Summer Programmes.

If you arrive with a visa which does not permit study, you would not be able to start your programme.

Further guidance

More information about the Short-term study immigration route is available here: Including the International Student Office’s guide to completing the short-term study visa application.

Prior to arriving in Cambridge

We strongly advise that all visa nationals supply us with a copy of their visa before arrival; ideally four weeks before travel, so the University can flag any potential issues and advise accordingly.

On registration days

Please bring your passport and any immigration permission (if not in your passport) to registration: our first stage in the registration process will be to check that you have a Short-term study visa, or some other permission (such as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) so that we can keep a record to say that we have seen this. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain a visa or entry stamp that permits study. If you do not have an appropriate immigration status we will explain your options and you should be aware that this may have implications on your registration – we recommend that you follow the guidance above and contact us with any queries.

Visits overseas during your Summer Programme

Non-visa nationals only: Please be aware that if you plan to travel overseas at the weekend, during your stay, that you will need to present your Summer Programmes Acceptance Letter when you come back into the country again, requesting entry as a Short-term student and ensuring you receive a second short-term study entry stamp.

Please note

Visa regulations are subject to change. We will advise accepted students via our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) of changes when we can, but are unable to provide individual advice in relation to visa applications. It is your responsibility to make sure you understand and meet the immigration requirements of the UK, and obtain the correct visa to study at the University of Cambridge.

You must apply in sufficiently good time for the appropriate visa to ensure that you are able to start and complete your course of study at the University of Cambridge International Summer Programmes. Entry to the UK is at the discretion of UK Visas and Immigration and Border Officials at the port of entry. The University cannot accept responsibility for decisions made by these external government agencies. Please be aware that we cannot refund fees in the case of a Visa application being refused.

The University's International Summer Programmes are an embodiment of our mission 'to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence'.

Professor Graham Virgo QC (Hon), Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Browse our 2020 prospectus

Details for 2021 programmes to follow in due course.