Skip to main content

Children: Overseas Visitors

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what procedures need to be followed by pupils of non-European Union schools and youth organisations to enable them to enter the United Kingdom. [HL580]

Information about the procedure for children and study is available on the UKBA website at In summary however, there is no specific provision under the Immigration Rules for pupils of non-European Union schools or youth organisations to come to the United Kingdom to attend a state-maintained school.

Where the child's primary reason for coming to the UK is for education, the Immigration Rules do not permit access to state education. Children under 18 who wish to come to the UK to undertake a period of study for more than six months must fully satisfy, and enter under, the main student rules. Children under 16 may only qualify on this basis if they have been accepted for studies at an independent fee-paying school which meets the requirements of the Education Act 1944.

There is, however, currently a concession outside the Immigration Rules which permits non-EEA students aged under 18 to attend a state-maintained school for up to a year as part of an organised exchange. Provided appropriate arrangements have been made, and all the criteria met, leave may be granted outside the Immigration Rules for the duration of the exchange, up to a maximum of 12 months.

It should be noted that the existing student provisions will be deleted at the end of March when we introduce the student tier, tier 4, of the points-based system for migrants. The policy for tier 4 is still under consideration and full details of the tier 4 arrangements will be published as soon as they have been finalised.