On 6 September 2013, the Home Office released its Statement of Changes outlining upcoming changes to the visitor visa routes, including business and student visitor visas. One of the more significant changes is that individuals using the general and business visitor visa will be allowed to study in the UK for up to 30 days in total. However, the training provider will need to be accredited where this course of study is considered to be non-recreational.

BAC has been in touch with the Home Office and it has been confirmed that ‘recreational’ study will include a course or programme that is for the person’s own interest and does not necessarily lead to a recognised qualification.  Courses might include activities, such as sailing, horse riding, painting, pottery etc.

Non-recreational courses of study must be provided by institutions that are holders of valid accreditation or who are Tier 4 sponsors or overseas higher education institutions offering part of their programmes in the UK. BAC-accredited providers will continue to be recognised by the Home Office for student visitor visa purposes and no action is required where accreditation is already held. Potential students/delegates of accredited providers can now make use of the business visitor visa route assuming that the course of study is for less than 30 days. Individuals using the student visitor route can continue to study for up to 6 or 12 months depending on the course of study.

These changes will be in force from 1 October 2013.

If you have any queries re the impact of the changes on your organisation, please feel free to get in touch either by phone (0300 330 1400) or e-mail (info@the-bac.org).