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.
In order to qualify for a Child Student Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
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.
Child Student Visa applicants can apply for a visa to study one of the following courses:
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been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and the education institution must not have withdrawn its offer.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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The following categories of applicants will automatically be treated as having satisfied the Child Student Visa financial requirement:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Child Student route is not a route to settlement.
Child Student Visa holders are permitted to switch into the Student route.
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.
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.
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