A comment on this question, points to a document, which specifies that:

You cannot study in the UK with General Visitor or Business Visitor permission and you cannot register at LSE if you have permission as a general visitor for any kind of programme of study.

What constitutes study?

During my 2-month stay in London, I took several walk-in dance classes. Would this technically be a violation?

What about something more regular, but not accredited? A 6-week Karate course, for instance?

Do I ever need to worry about accidentally taking an illegal course or class? Or will any eligible institution know to ask for my residency/visa status before admitting me?

  • How many days per week for the Karate class? Would it be the main purpose of your visit? Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


The document you quote is aimed at those pursuing academic qualifications.

You can pursue up to 30 days of study on a General Visitor Visa, with some restrictions.

From the linked document:

You can:

  • take your 30 days study in one go or over a number of shorter periods
  • use the time for recreational courses such as activity courses or arts and crafts courses, eg horse-riding, painting or sailing
  • study toward a qualification if the course is at an accredited institution

You can’t:

  • use any of your 30 days to study English at an institution without accreditation
  • That's useful, but not a complete answer. Can I take a 6-week Karate class? Does that constitute greater than 30 days? Does it constitute "study"?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 6:19
  • 1
    @Flimzy - Point no 1 in the link answers your question. I am not sure what more information do you want. Any more clarifications contact the British embassy.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 10:34
  • Actually point 2 answers it more directly...
    – Flimzy
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 17:59
  • When the page says "Courses that are recreational and don’t count towards a qualification don’t have to follow this rule.", that's the rule about studying only at an accredited institution. Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 13:26

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