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.

* To check if you will need to apply for your visa before you come to the UK, click here.

There are two types of visa:

  •   Short Term Study Visa (STSV) - Valid for either 6 or 11 months. You cannot work in the UK if you have this type of visa and it cannot be extended. If you are a non-visa national (see above), you are able to get a 6 month short term student visa on arrival at a UK airport. If you are a visa national, you must apply in your country and receive the visa before you travel. For the 11 month visa, all applications must be made and granted before leaving your country. A 6 month visa is currently £85.00. It is free for non-visa nationals if you apply at the airport. The cost of an 11 month visa is £162.00. You will be expected to leave the UK after your course finishes, even if your visa expires after this date. For more information on this type of visa and how to apply, click here.
  • General Student Visa (GSV)  -  Suitable for students who wish to study for more than 11 months. You may be able to work as per the conditions granted with your visa. You cannot change or extend this type of visa in the country.
  • Both Visa Nationals and Non-Visa Nationals who want a General Student Visa must apply before coming to the UK (cost £322.00). You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

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, you must enrol through one of our trusted representatives. We will not sponsor direct students for a GSV. We must also 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.

The UK government has introduced an immigration health surcharge. The health surcharge will be paid by non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join a family for a period of more than 6 months. If you are coming to the UK to study for more than 6 months, you may have to pay this fee. For students the fee is £150.00 per year. Those who pay the surcharge will be able to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident. For more information about this charge, please click here.