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Student Visitors

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria students who are travelling to the UK to study for a period of less than 26 weeks must meet to be permitted to enter the UK under the student visitor route as an alternative to entering under Tier 4 of the points-based immigration system. (301661)

The criteria for those wishing to seek entry as a student visitor are set out in paragraph 56K of the Immigration Rules and paragraph 2.14 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions. This category allows those who wish to come to the United Kingdom as a visitor to undertake a short period of study which will be completed within the period of their leave. In order to qualify student visitors must be coming to an institution that is either the holder of a sponsor licence for Tier 4 of the points based system or accredited by a UKBA approved accreditation body. Those attending an overseas higher education institution that offer part of their programmes in the United Kingdom may also seek entry under this route providing the overseas institution hold their own national accreditation and offer programmes that are of an equivalent level to a United Kingdom degree.

Student visitors are not permitted to undertake paid or unpaid work placements as part of the course, nor are they permitted to take part-time employment. Six months is the maximum time a student visitor may stay in the United Kingdom and applications for either leave to enter or remain beyond that period would fall to be refused.