The Child Student route allows eligible overseas children to come to the UK on the purpose of studying at an eligible UK educational institution.
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The Child Student Visa is for children who are nationals of a country other than the UK or Ireland.
To be successful, applicants must:
The Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa is no longer in existence, having been replaced by the Child Student Visa.
You can apply outside the UK for the visa six months in advance of your course start date and you will likely receive a decision in three weeks.
If you are applying from inside the UK, you can apply three months in advance of the course start date and you are likely to receive a decision within eight weeks.
Child Student Visa holders aged under 16 years can stay in the UK for the length of the course (up to six years) plus four months.
Visa holders aged 16 or 17 years old are permitted to stay for the length of the course (up to three years) plus four months following the end of the course.
You may be able to extend the visa if you are eligible in order to continue studying in the UK.
Children aged between 4 and 17 years old can apply for the Child Student Visa. There are strict eligibility requirements involved in this immigration category to obtain entry clearance.
Applicants must ensure that the following applies to their situation:
There are several requirements related to the types of eligible courses, and only specified educational institutes may be issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to the visa applicant.
Child students must be able to demonstrate on their application that they have enough funds to be supported throughout their course.
The child student is not allowed to work until the age of 16, and then they may only work under certain conditions.
According to the Home Office (UK government department in charge of immigration), this includes the requirements below (where the child has been in the UK for less than 12 months at the time of application):
|Living arrangements||Required funds|
|Residential independent school boarding||Enough funds to pay the course fees and boarding fee for one academic year|
|Living with a private foster carer or close relative who is a British citizen or has settled status||Enough funds to pay the fees for one academic year The carer or relative must have funds of at least £570 per month of the course (max. nine months)|
|Living with the child’s parent of legal guardian||Sufficient funds to pay the course fees for one academic year If there are no other children to be cared by the parent, £1,560 per month must be available for max. nine months If there are other children being cared for by the parent in the UK, £625 per month must be available for each child|
|Aged 16 or 17 and living independently||Sufficient funds to pay the school fees for one year £1,334 for each month of the course up to a max nine months (if studying in London) £1,023 for each month to a max. nine months where studying outside London|
In order to be eligible to come to the UK as a Child Student, the child must obtain the following points:
|Points type||Requirements||Number of points|
|Study (all criteria must be met)||– Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies – Eligible course – Eligible independent school – Aged between 4 and 17 years old – Parental consent confirmed||50|
|Financial||– Met financial requirements||20|
To submit your Child Student Visa application, it is important to prepare carefully so as to give yourself the best chance of success.
If you are in doubt about how to apply, it is recommended that you speak with a qualified immigration lawyer who can assist you.
To apply for a Child Student Visa, follow the below steps:
To maximise your chance of a successful application, you should ensure:
To apply for the Child Student Visa, you will be required to submit some of the following documents to the Home Office.
There may be additional documents required depending on your circumstances. You will be required to demonstrate your eligibility for the visa with a comprehensive set of documents.
The Child Student Visa is issued on the basis of the length of the period of study and the age of the applicant.
If the child is aged 16 or 17 year and is on a course that lasts longer than the maximum permitted time of three years, they will be required to apply again before the expiration date of their stay.
Applications made by international students aged 18 years and older must be made on the Student Visa route if they wish to continue their studies in the UK.
In most cases, the time you spend in the UK on a Student Visa or Child Student Visa do not count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).