Child Student Visa – Study in the UK on a Child Student visa

Child Student Visa

Child Student Visa – You can apply for a Child Student visa if you’re between 4 and 17 years old and you want to study at an independent school in the UK.

Child Student Visa – Study in the UK on a Child Student Visa

You must:

If you’re 18 or over, apply for a Student visa instead.

This visa has replaced the Tier 4 (Child) student visa.

If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein

If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:

  • you have a later deadline – for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • you have ‘reasonable grounds for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 – for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse

Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Otherwise, you need a visa to study in the UK.

Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.

When to apply

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

Applying from outside the UK

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.

You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

How long you can stay

How long you can stay depends on your age the date you apply and the length of your course.

Age when you apply How long you can stay
Under 16 Course length (up to 6 years) plus 4 months afterward
16 or 17 Course length (up to 3 years) plus 4 months afterward

When you can travel to the UK

You can arrive up to 1 month before your course starts, but no earlier than the start date given on your visa.

Staying longer in the UK

You may be able to:

Check Out: UK Visa Sponsorship For Employers

Fees

It costs:

  • £363 to apply for a Child Student visa from outside the UK
  • £490 to extend or switch to a Child Student visa from inside the UK

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

How much you pay depends on how long your visa lasts. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

What you can and cannot do

You can study at an independent school.

If you’re 16 or over you can work:

  • part-time during the term for up to 10 hours per week
  • full-time during vacations
  • on a work placement as part of your course (but not for more than 50% of your course)

You cannot:

  • study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school) or further or higher education institution
  • get public funds (benefits)
  • take a full-time permanent job or be self-employed
  • work as a professional sportsperson (for example a sports coach) or entertainer
  • apply for settlement
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) – if a parent wants to accompany you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Child Student visa visa

If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Child Student visa

Your course

You must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Child Student sponsor.

To prove this, your education provider will send you a reference number (called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)) once they’ve offered you a place on the course. You need a CAS before you can apply for your visa.

Courses you can study

You can do a course at an independent school that’s taught in line with one of the following:

You can also do a course that’s accepted as being at the same academic level by:

You can do a short ‘pre-sessional’ course to prepare you for your main course.

You cannot do a foundation course that will prepare you for direct entry to a higher education institution.

Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Once your education provider has offered you a place on a course, they’ll send you a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

You’ll need to enter this reference number on your visa application.

Your CAS can cover both the pre-sessional course and your main course of study.

You must apply for your visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.

Money you need

You must have enough money available to you to pay for your course and support yourself in the UK.

How much money you need depends on where you will live and who will be looking after you.

If you’ll live with your parent or guardian

Your parent must have a Parent of a Child Student visa to accompany you to the UK. If you’re over 12 your parent will not be eligible, unless you have a younger sibling who’s under 12 and also has a Child Student visa.

You must have enough money to pay for your course fees for one academic year (up to 9 months).

You’ll also need £1,560 per month (for up to 9 months) – this amount is for both you and your parent.

Your parent will need an extra £625 a month (for up to 9 months) for each additional child they accompany to the UK. The child must be your sibling and must also have a Child Student visa.

If you’re boarding at an independent school

You must have enough money to pay for your course fees and your boarding fees for one academic year (up to 9 months).

If you’ll live with a foster carer or close relative

You must have enough money to pay for your course fees for one academic year (up to 9 months).

Your foster carer or close relative must confirm they have at least £570 per month (for up to 9 months).

Your foster carer or close relative must be a British citizen or be settled (have ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK. They cannot be your parent.

If you’re 16 or 17 and living independently

You must have enough money to pay for your course fees for one academic year (up to 9 months).

You’ll also need either:

  • £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) if you’re studying in London
  • £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) if you’re studying outside of London

London means the City of London and the 32 London boroughs.

You must prove you (or your parent) have the money for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28 days must be within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa.

For example, if you submit your application on 1 January 2021, you’d have to show that the funds were in your bank account for at least 28 days ending on 1 December.

If you have a student loan or financial sponsorship, you’ll need to provide evidence of this from your loan or sponsorship company.

When you do not need to prove you have money to support yourself

You do not need to prove you have money to support yourself if you’ve had a valid UK visa for at least 12 months immediately before the date of your Child Student visa application – you must currently be in the UK.

If you’re from a country listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’

You do not need to prove you have enough money to support yourself if you’re a British national overseas or from one of the following countries or territories:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America

However, you might be asked to provide this evidence before you get a decision on your application.

If you do need to provide it, you’ll be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) after you’ve submitted your application.

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Documents you’ll need to apply

When you apply for your Child’s Student visa you must provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider
  • written consent from your parent or legal guardian for your study in the UK

You may also need to provide:

  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances
  • proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian (for example a birth certificate or other government-issued document showing their names)
  • evidence of the qualifications you used to get a place on your course – if this was required by your course provider
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results
  • written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship for your course fees and living costs in the last 12 months

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. Read the guidance for the full list of documents you’ll need to provide.

You need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you need to give your biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application center. You’ll be told if you need to do this when you apply.

You must have written consent from both parents (or one parent if they have sole responsibility) or legal guardians. This must confirm they consent to:

  • your visa application
  • your living arrangements and care in the UK
  • your travel to the UK

If you’re living with a close relative or foster carer, you’ll need to provide additional evidence. Read the guidance for the full list of documents you’ll need to provide.

Apply

You must apply online for a Child Student visa.

Check which documents you’ll need to apply.

Apply outside the UK

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity. How you do this depends on where you’re from and what type of passport you have.

You’ll either:

  • have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application center
  • use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document (you’ll also create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration account)

You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.

Once you’ve started your application, you can save your form and complete it later.

Start now

How long it takes to get a decision

You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

If you need to give your biometric information at a visa application center, you may be able to pay to get a faster decision. Check if your visa application center offers faster decisions and other services.

Apply inside the UK

You may be able to apply to:

After you apply

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example, because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview (if you’re 16 or 17)
  • of your circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it, contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.

After you get a decision

If your application is successful, you’ll get either:

Extend your visa

You may be able to apply to extend your Child’s Student visa to stay longer in the UK. This includes if you currently have a Tier 4 (Child) student visa.

To extend your visa you must:

If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself.

When to apply

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.

You must also apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

You can stay in the UK until you get your decision.

If you applied for an administrative review because your application was refused, you can stay in the UK until you get your review decision.

Fees

You’ll need to pay:

You’ll also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken – there’s no fee for this.

Apply

You must apply online.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity.

How you do this depends on where you’re from and the type of passport you have.

You’ll either:

  • give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
  • use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document (you will also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration account)

You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.

Start now

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

How long it takes to get a decision

A decision will usually be made within 8 weeks.

You may be able to pay to get a faster decision – you’ll be told if you can when you apply.

After you apply

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example, because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview (if you’re 16 or 17)
  • of your circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it, contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, you’ll get either:

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