A UK underage student visa allows children aged between 4 and 17 to come to the UK and study at an independent school.
What is a UK children’s Student Visa?
You can apply for a child student visa if you are aged between 4 and 17 and wish to study at an independent school in the UK. You must: have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school. be able to demonstrate that you will have access to sufficient money to support yourself in the UK and pay for your course.
Student visa for children
A Child Student Visa (formerly known as a Tier 4 Child Student Visa) is for students aged between 4 and 17 who intend to study at an independent school in the UK. Applicants can apply for this visa if:
- have received an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school
- have enough money to support themselves during their studies (proof of financial literacy will be required)
- they can submit confirmation of their parents’ or legal guardian’s consent to study in the UK
Eligibility requirements for child student visa extension
To qualify for a minor student visa extension from within the UK, you must meet the following immigration rules and requirements:
- The applicant must be in the UK with permission to enter or remain as a student;
- The applicant must be between 4 and 17 years old on the date of application;
- The applicant must submit a valid application for a child student visa extension;
- The request for an extension of the child’s student visa must be submitted no more than 3 months before the start date of the course on the Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies.
- An application for a minor student visa extension must be for the study of a course with a start date no more than 28 days after the expiry date of the applicant’s previous UK visa (residence permit).
- The applicant must satisfy all the requirements relating to the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS);
- The applicant must possess all the requirements relating to the course of study;
- The applicant must meet the points-based criteria and score 70 points to qualify for the minor student visa extension;
- An applicant aged 16 or 17 must be a genuine student;
- The applicant must meet the parental consent requirements;
- The applicant’s application for a minor student visa extension should not be refused under the general grounds for refusal set out in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules;
The applicant must not be in the United Kingdom in contravention of immigration law, except that, where paragraph 39E applies, any period of stay beyond the current time limit will not be taken into account.
Valid confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
The child student must possess the following requirements in relation to the valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS):
- The Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) must have been issued by a student sponsor who is an independent school whose license is still valid on the date the application is decided;
- The Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies (CAS) must not have been issued by the promoting student more than 6 months before the application date;
- The Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies (CAS) must not have been used in a previous accepted or rejected application (but could have been presented in a previous application rejected as invalid, canceled or withdrawn).
- The sponsoring student must not have withdrawn the offer since the Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies (CAS) was issued.
- The Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) must contain the information necessary to confirm that the course requirements are met.
The Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies (CAS) must indicate the cost of accommodation and taxes (and any payment already made) so that it is possible to evaluate the financial need.
The candidate must possess the following requirements in relation to his/her study path:
- The application must concern a single course of study that meets the requirements of CS 8.2. unless it is a combined pre-sessional course that meets the requirements of CS 11.1;
- The course for which the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) has been assigned must be one of the following:
- taught in accordance with the national curriculum; OR
- taught in accordance with the Recognized Qualifications Framework (RQF) and is not a core course intended to prepare the minor student for entry into a course provided by a higher education institution; OR
- accepted as equivalent academic status to (a) or (b) above by Ofsted (England), Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland), Education Scotland (Scotland) or Estyn (Wales); OR
- provided in accordance with prevailing independent school education inspection standards.
- Parental Consent Requirement
- The applicant must have written consent from:
- both parents; or
- one parent, if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the applicant; or
- the applicant’s legal guardian.
- The written consent must confirm support for all the following:
- the application; and
- the applicant’s living and care arrangements in the UK; and
- if the application is for entry clearance, the applicant’s travel to, and reception arrangements in, the UK.
How to apply for a student visa for children in the UK?
To apply for a UK underage student visa, you must be accepted into a British educational institution. The step-by-step application is as follows:
- Receive an offer from an educational institution in the UK
- Before applying for a visa, you must apply at an independent educational institution. Which institution you turn to depends on your situation. The UK Embassy will ask you for a copy of an unconditional offer of enrollment after you apply to a school.
- Obtain the acceptance confirmation number for studies
- Your education provider will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number once you have been offered a place at an independent school.
- The school must be an independent school authorized by the Home Office for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to be valid.
Book an appointment with the nearest Visa Application Center
If you are applying from outside the UK, find the nearest UK visa application center in your home country and book an appointment.
Similarly, when applying from within the UK, you need to find the nearest visa application centre, but you are required to apply for a visa extension or switch to a child student visa if you entered the UK on a visa different.
- You can find the nearest visa application on the official website of the UK government.
- Prepare the required documents
- When applying for a child student visa in the UK, you need to prepare the following documents:
- A valid passport or any other travel document.
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the course provider.
- Health certifications.
Proof of financial support. A monthly budget of £1,560 is required for both you and your parents (for a maximum of 9 months). Bringing another child requires an extra £625 per month (for a maximum of 9 months) for each child.
Obviously proof of payment. Students who are 16 or 17 years old and want to live on their own must have enough money to pay for the courses for up to 9 months. The cost of studying in London is expected to be £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) and in other cities it is expected to be £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months).
Confirmation of parent or guardian consent. They must confirm that they agree to your visa application, your living arrangements and treatment in the UK and your travel to the UK.
Proof of accommodation. You will need any documents showing where you will live. Boarding school accommodation rates vary depending on the school you choose. Choosing to live with a relative comes with some requirements. To qualify, your relative must be a British citizen or resident in the UK and have at least £570 per month to support you (for a maximum of 9 months).
Pay the registration fee and health supplement
- The application fee depends on whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK.
- Students from outside the UK must pay £348. Students within the UK who wish to extend their current visa or switch to a minor student visa must pay £475.
- Regarding the health supplement, the amount varies depending on the circumstances.
- Attend your visa appointment
- At the visa center on the day of the appointment, you must present the required documents and the application form. Additionally, you will have to attend an interview.
- Wait for a decision to be issued on your visa application
- When applying from within the UK, you will have to wait up to 8 weeks for a decision to be made on your visa application.
On the other hand, when you apply for a minor student visa from outside the UK, you will have to wait four weeks for your application to be answered.