I have come across the below extract from the immigration rules on the UK government's official page. The extract is from the article "VISITORS APPENDIX 3. PERMITTED ACTIVITIES FOR ALL VISITORS". Link is here.


25 Visitors may carry out the following study:
    (a) educational exchanges or visits with a state funded school or academy or independent school; or
    (b) a maximum of 30 days study on:
        (i) recreational courses (not English language training);
        (ii) a short-course (which includes English language training) at an accredited institution;

provided that the main purpose of the visit is not to study and the study is not at a state funded school or academy.

I can't help thinking it contains contradictory meanings - it first allows (a) "visits with a state funded school", but later it states "provided...and the study is not at a state funded school". Does the "provided...and the study is not at a state funded school" apply to both activities (a) and (b), or just (b)? If only (b), the last line should be within section (b), not existing independently after one spacing. So it should apply to both, considered the first line states visitors can carry out "the following study" which includes "visits" in (a).

If a visitor plans a meeting with a state school, it makes perfect sense to have the meeting at the school. If the educational visit with a school is a form of 'study' in a broad sense, under the rule it can only happen at a non-state school, not at a state one?!

I'm trying to think what it meant to say is, for real study like a course (which is different to a visit) it should only take place at a non-state school, but for visits - whether it happens at a state-funded school it does not matter. If this is correct, isn't the wording of the article confusing?

Since it is an article written by government, I cannot help to think I did not understand it right.

I appreciate if you guys can share your thoughts on this. Thank you!

  • 1
    Be careful with the term "public school". It has a rather specialized meaning in the UK. The term in the quoted material is "state funded", something entirely different. Commented May 8, 2019 at 4:06
  • @PatriciaShanahan Ah yes thanks for reminding! I meant the state schools, I've updated the thread Commented May 8, 2019 at 4:16

1 Answer 1


It says "visits with a [...] school", not "visits to a school". It's talking about students at foreign schools visiting the UK as part of their studies, not people who are visiting the UK to study at a UK school. Compare "I am visiting with my family", which means "I am visiting and so are, e.g., my partner and children"; "I am visiting with my school" means "I am visiting and so are other people from my school."

  • Thank you. Can you clarify if it means visitors can visit a state school or not for an educational visit not for a course? To me the rule does not specify that it means for students only. Even for foreign students, their visits with a school usually is to the school, eg. a UK state school has a sister school in Korea and the Korean school sends a group of Korean kids to the UK school for an exchange program. My question here is whether activity (a) can happen at a state school or not. Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:09
  • From the formatting of the text, it appears that the text "provided..." applies to both (a) and (b). However, I think you should consult an actual immigration expert, rather than people trying to be helpful on the internet. Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:27

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