top of page

Relaxed Travel Rules for French School Groups

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

French Flags

Last week the Government published a Statement of Changes (SOC) updating its immigration rules concerning expanding activities permitted on Visitor Visas, relaxing travel document requirements for school groups from France, and expanding the Youth Mobility Scheme. 


Travel document requirements relaxed for school groups from France from 28 December 2023

  • Children aged 18 or under and studying at school in France can visit the United Kingdom on an organised educational trip without passports or visit visas, as is currently required for all other visits to the United Kingdom.

  • Further, EU/European Economic Area/Swiss national children aged 18 and under, who are residents and studying at school in France, can use national identity cards to visit the United Kingdom on an organised school trip instead of passports.

  • Visa national children aged 18 and under, who are residents and studying at a school in France, will be able to visit the United Kingdom on an organised school trip without obtaining a visit visa (but will still require passports).

  • If successfully trialled between the UK and France, the revised rules could be extended to other EU member states.

Youth Mobility Scheme expanded from 31 January 2024

  • Uruguay has been added to the list of countries and territories participating in Youth Mobility Schemes, with an allocation of 500 places. 

  • Additionally, the total number of allocated places for nationals of Japan and South Korea travelling to the United Kingdom (and vice versa) under the scheme will increase to 6,000, up from 1,500, for Japan and to 5,000, up from 1,000, for South Korea.

  • For nationals of South Korea, the age range of eligible applicants will also be expanded to 18-35, up from 18-30.

  • Further, nationals of Japan and South Korea will no longer be required to obtain an invitation to apply for the program

The changes are welcomed and we hope that this will demonstrate the need for further expansion of both of these schemes into the EU.


More information:

The UK will permit the use of national identity cards for French schoolchildren (aged 18 and under) travelling on organised trips and waive UK visa requirements for their classmates who are visa nationals.  Their responsible adults will need to be in possession of a fully completed and authenticated form listing the participants in the trip.  From December 28th, French schools will be able to access the form online from


If there are other non-visa national children in the class, they will be able to travel on:


1.      Their valid ID card if they are EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

2.      Their valid national passport if they are from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland


Only schools officially recognised as such in France will be able to use these provisions and their forms must be authenticated by the relevant authorities in France.


This agreement is for children travelling on an organised school trip from a school in France.  Children travelling as part of other groups will still need to hold a full, valid passport and a visa if required.


Having said this, the Home Offices points out that they always encourage the use of passports for travelling to the UK.  This helps to facilitate efficient border checks and allows arriving passengers aged 10 and over to use the electronic passport gates (where they are installed).


Further information and guidance (including a link to the relevant form) will be available on 28/12/2023.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page