Overseas students under the age of 18 coming to the UK on exchanges and educational visits will not in many cases need a visa. From the beginning of 2010 overseas students in this situation will able to visit the UK for up to six months to most types of schools in both the state and private sector. Unless you are from a visa national Country you will not need to apply for a entry clearance.
There was previously a concession valid until 31 December 2009 that allowed entry under similar circumstances. This concession has now been replaced by the new rules.
The requirements for entry at the UK border or, if relevant, entry clearance are as follows:
- You are under 18;
- You intend to leave the UK on completion of the exchange or educational visit, which must not last for more than six months;
- A school as described in paragraph 46A (viii) of the Immigration Rules has approved the exchange scheme or educational visit - you should produce, for example, a letter from the school or the organisation arranging the exchange;
- Suitable travel, reception and care arrangements are in place for your stay here, and there are sufficient funds for your support;
- The care arrangements that are in place for you comply with relevant UK care requirements;
- You have a parent or guardian in your home country who is responsible for your care and who confirms that they consent to the visit and to any foster care arrangement - you should provide, for example, a letter from them confirming this; and
- You are not intending to study at an educational institution that holds a Tier 4 sponsor licence or accreditation from an accreditation body approved by the UK Border Agency, or that is inspected by a public review body.