A family-run school, offering intensive General English and examination preparation courses for students from all over the world.

Bristol is a lively university city and the cultural centre of the West of England.

We really hope you like this website - it was designed by our students! Hopefully, it will answer all your questions.

John Duncan (Principal)


Countries fall into 3 categories:

  • EEA - includes European Union countries + Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. For these students, there are no visa requirements and students have the right to work.

  • Non-Visa Nationals - includes countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Israel.  These students can either get a visa on arrival in the UK or before they come.  This depends on the type of visa they require (see below).

  • Visa Nationals - includes countries such as Turkey, Colombia, Ecuador, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, Thailand, and the Middle Eastern countries.*  These students must apply for a visa before they come.

* For a list of Visa Nationals, please click here

There are three types of visa:

  • Student Visitor Visa   (SVV) -  Limited to 6 months.  There are no work rights and this visa cannot be extended.    
    Non-Visa Nationals can choose whether to apply for a Student Visitor Visa on arrival in the UK (free of charge) or before they leave their country (cost £83.00).  If you plan to get your visa on arrival, please click here for some important information about the type of visa stamp that you should be given.
    Visa Nationals applying for a Student Visitor Visa must apply before coming to the UK.
  •   Extended Student Visitor Visa (ESVV) -  Cost £150.00.  Valid for 11 months and available to students who want to enrol on an English Language course for more than six months and less than 11 months.  With the ESVV, you have no work rights and the visa cannot be extended.  You must always apply for the ESVV before leaving your country.
    For more information about ESVVs and SVVs and how to apply on line click here.
    Please note that when your SVV or ESVV has expired, you must leave the country. 
    If you have an ESVV or a SVV and you leave the country before your visa has expired, you can return to the UK to continue with your studies provided that you come back to the UK and complete your studies within the original time limit of your visa (6 or 11 months).  
    Please click here for important information about applying for an SVV/ESVV, including information on the documents that you will need to provide for your application.
  • General Student Visa (GSV)  -  Suitable for students who wish to study for more than 6 months.  You have no work rights, however, you can extend the visa so this visa is suitable for students who wish to go on to further education in the UK.     
  • Both Visa Nationals and Non-Visa Nationals who want a General Student Visa must apply before coming to the UK (cost £310.00).

Students wishing to apply for a General Student Visa must be sponsored by a school on the UKVI register of sponsors.  ELC Bristol is on this list as a Tier 4 Sponsor and has been licensed by the UK Border Agency to enrol international students under the Tier 4 Points Based System.

To enable us to sponsor you, we must ask you to complete the ELC Bristol Tier 4 General Student Visa sponsorship application form. We will also need to verify your level of English. Students must be at least at B1 (intermediate level) ready to start a course at B2 level.

For more information about the General Student Visa, please see the GOV.UK website.

For some 'Top Tips' from the UK Border Force for first time students arriving into the UK, please click here.