Visa Requirement

In accordance with UK visa rules, the IIS exempts candidates from the English language requirements if they are nationals of, or have completed undergraduate studies taught in, the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (only if you are a national), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Please note if you are exempt from taking IELTS Academic due to the fact you have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree taught in an English majority* speaking country but are not a national of that that country, you also will need to meet the UCL requirement below.

UCL rules state in order to be exempt from the IELTS Academic test or other Academic English Skills test, you must have completed your undergraduate or postgraduate studies no later than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment (i.e. Summer 2022 for a 2024 enrolment) otherwise you will be required to take an Academic English Skills test. For further guidance please refer to the UCL website

* Online and long-distance courses do not qualify

Postgraduate Study Cap

The recent change from Tier IV visas to the Student Route means that there is no longer a cap on the amount of time a student spends studying at post graduate level in the UK.

It is the applicants’ responsibility to provide authentic and verifiable evidence of qualifications. If you are found to have submitted fraudulent documents, your application will be automatically rejected.

Please note that as of January 2024, overseas students will no longer be able to bring dependents to the UK unless on a postgraduate research course.


STEP is a fully funded scholarship programme. Successful applicants receive housing in London, as well as a living allowance. Programme-related fees and travel costs are also covered. Students who wish to contribute towards their fees may make an unconditional donation to the IIS via the Aga Khan Foundation offices in their country of residence.