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CHILD STUDENT VISA

The Child Student Visa route is for children aged between 4 and 17 who wish to study at an independent school in the UK, which is a Home Office approved student sponsor.

If you are aged 18 or over and wish to study a further or higher education course in the UK then you should apply for a Student Visa instead.  If you are aged 16 or 17 and want to study a course at or above Level 3 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework then you can apply as either a Child Student at an independent school or as a Student.

Requirements for a Child Student Visa

In order to qualify for a Child Student Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged between 4 and 17;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on an approved course of study at an independent school holding a valid student sponsor licence;
  • Suitable arrangements are in place for your care and reception within the UK;
  • You have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds;
  • You have the consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian;

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

Course Requirements for a Child Student Visa

Child Student Visa applicants can apply for a visa to study one of the following courses:

  • A course taught in accordance with the National Curriculum; or
  • A course taught in accordance with the Recognised Qualification Framework (RQF), that is not a foundation course intended to prepare the Child Student for entry to a course provided by a higher education provider; or
  • A course that is accepted as being of equivalent academic status to the above courses by Ofsted (England), the Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland), Education Scotland (Scotland) or Estyn (Wales); or
  • A course provided in accordance with prevailing Independent School education inspection standards.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Once you have been offered a place on an approved course of study at an independent school, your education provider will send you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must have been issued by a student sponsor which is an independent school whose licence is still valid.  You must apply for your Child Student visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.

The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must not have been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and the education institution must not have withdrawn its offer.

The CAS must also contain certain information including details of the course to be studied, the cost of accommodation, the tuition fees and any payment already made.

Financial Requirement for a Child Student Visa

You will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you have enough cash funds to pay your course fees and support yourself financially in the UK.

Course Fees

Unless you fall within one of the special categories listed below, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to pay any outstanding course fees for one academic year.

Living Costs

Unless you fall within one of the special categories listed below, you will need to demonstrate that you can meet your living costs in the UK.

The amount you will need will depend on your living arrangements:

  • Boarding at a residential independent school: applicant must have boarding fees for one academic year;
  • Term-time private foster carer or close relative who is a British or has ILR: carer or relative must have funds of at least £570 per month for each month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months;
  • Living with parent / guardian who has a Parent of a Child Student Visa: applicant must have £1,560 per month for each month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months, plus £625 per child per month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months, for any additional children accompanying the parent;
  • Aged 16 or 17 living independently: applicant must have either (a) 1,265 (or £1,334 from 1/12/2020) for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying in London; or (b) £1,015 (or £1,023 from 1/12/2020) for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying outside London.

You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Child Student Visa application.

Special Categories

The following categories of applicants will automatically be treated as having satisfied the Child Student Visa financial requirement:

  • Applicants who have been in the UK with valid leave for at least 12 months prior to the date of their Child Student Visa application;
  • Applicants who are British Nationals (Overseas) or who are from one of a list of specified countries or territories that are subject to the ‘differential evidence requirement’ (such applicants should still hold the required level of funds as UKVI reserve the right to request evidence of funds from these applicants).

Genuine Student Rule

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you will need to satisfy the genuine student requirement.  The Home Office will assess your immigration history, your education history, your course, where you want to study, your reasons for studying in the UK, your post study plans and your personal and financial circumstances in order to assess whether you are a genuine student.

Switching into the Child Student route

If you currently have valid leave to remain in the UK, you can apply to switch into the Child Student route provided you do not have, or were not last granted, permission to stay as a Visitor, Short-term Student or outside the Immigration Rules.  You must also not be on immigration bail.

Apply for a Child Student Visa

If you are applying for a Child Student Visa from outside the UK then you should submit your application not more than 6 months before the start date of your course.

If you are applying from inside the UK then the earliest you can apply for a Child Student Visa is 3 months before your course starts.  Your course must be scheduled to start no more than 28 days after the expiry date of your previous leave.

Child Student Visa Processing Times

If you apply for a Child Student Visa from outside the UK then you should receive a decision on your Child Student Visa application within 3 weeks.

If you apply for permission to stay as a Child Student from within the UK then you should receive a decision within 8 weeks.

Travel to the UK on a Child Student Visa

If your Child Student Visa application is approved then you will be able to travel to the UK up to 1 month before your course starts.  This will be reduced to 7 days if there is less than 1 month until the course start date.

Duration of Stay on a Child Student Visa

If you are under 16 years of age, your Child Student Visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either the duration of your course of study or 6 years, whichever is shortest.

If you are aged 16 or 17, your Child Student Visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either the duration of your course of study or 3 years, whichever is shortest.

Working on a Child Student Visa

A Child Student who is aged 16 or over may work for a maximum of 10 hours per week during term time and for any duration during vacations.

Extension of stay as a Child Student

In order to extend your stay in the UK under a Child Student Visa you will need to be in the UK, aged between 4 and 17 years old and sponsored by an independent school. There is no requirement to show academic progress, but you will need to have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor. You will also need to have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the exact amount will vary depending on your circumstances, as set out above.

Settlement in the UK as a Child Student

The Child Student route is not a route to settlement.

Switching into the Student route

Child Student Visa holders are permitted to switch into the Student route.

How our immigration barristers can help

Our immigration barristers regularly assist international child students and their family members to move to, or extend their stay in, the UK in order to pursue their education.

Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for child students and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to child students as part of a professional and friendly service.

 

Contact Our Managing Director

As specialist immigration solicitors, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist immigration solicitors  with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Our top rated immigration solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of UK visa and immigration applications, immigration appeals, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review.

Managing Director

Theo Mathias-Nwaulune

Managing Director

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