Tier 4 Child Student Visa
A Tier 4 Child Student Visa enables your child to study in the UK.
Awards and Accreditations
The Tier 4 Child Student visa category is for non-EEA nationals aged between 4 and 17 years old who wish to study in the UK.
If you are aged 18 or over and wish to complete a course of study in the UK then you should apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa instead. Students who are 16 or 17 can apply for either visa if studying a course at or above level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Tier 4 Child Student visa?
In order to qualify for a Tier 4 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 a course of study with an education institution holding a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence;
- You are able to support yourself financially and pay for your course (the exact amount of money required will vary depending on your circumstances).
You will also need to have written consent from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) confirming that you can travel to, and live independently in, the UK.
Children between 4 and 15 years old must be educated at independent fee-paying schools. Children between the ages of 16 or 17 year old may study at publicly funded Further Education Colleges provided that the College is able to charge for International Students and the child is a fee paying student. It is not possible for a Tier 4 Child Student to study at a publicly funded school.
What else do I need to know about the Tier 4 Child Student visa?
Your offer of a place on a course of study at a UK education institution holding a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence must be unconditional, and must be one of the following:
- A course that is taught in line with the National Curriculum, the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) or the independent school education inspection standards;
- A pre-sessional study course (i.e. a short course to prepare you for your main course);
- A course that is accepted as being at the same academic level as the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland), Estyn (Wales), Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland) or Independent Schools Inspectorate.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
Once you have been offered a place on a course of study, your education provider will send you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. You must apply for your Tier 4 Child Student visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.
The amount of money that you will need in order to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you will be able to support yourself financially without recourse to public funds will vary depending upon your care arrangements in the UK.
Boarding Child Students
If you are a Boarding Student, you will need to show that you have the money available to pay your school fees (course fees and board or lodging fees) for the first year of your course or for the entire course, if it is less than 12 months long.
Child Students staying with a resident carer
If you will be staying with a carer who is a resident British citizen or other UK resident, you will need to show that you have money for your course fees and that your intended carer has at least £570 per month to look after and accommodate you in the UK for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
Accompanied Child Students under 12 years old
If you are under 12 years old, you can be accompanied to the UK by your parent or legal guardian. You will need to show that you have money for your course fees plus £1,560 for living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
Each additional Tier 4 Child Student that your parent or legal guardian is accompanying must show that they have the money for their course fees plus £625 for living costs for each month of their course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
Child Students aged 16 or 17 living independently
Tier 4 Child Students aged 16 or 17 years of age and living independently need £1,265 per month if studying in Central London, of £1,015 per month elsewhere.
Duration of Stay
You may apply for a Tier 4 Child Student visa up to 3 months before the start of your course. If you are under the age of 16, you may stay in the UK for the duration of your course (up to 6 years) plus 4 months afterwards. If you are aged 16 or 17, you may stay for the duration of your course (up to 3 years) plus 4 months afterwards.
You can arrive in the UK up to 1 week before your course starts if your course lasts 6 months or less or up to 1 month before your course starts if your course lasts more than 6 months.
Conditions of Stay
Tier 4 Child Student visa holders can study at an independent fee-paying school (if aged between 4 and 15) or study at a publicly-funded further education college (if 16 or 17 and a fee-paying student).
If aged 16 or 17, Tier 4 Child Student visa holders can also work part-time during term time for up to 10 hours per week and full-time during vacations.
How our immigration lawyers can help
Our immigration lawyers 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 lawyers 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.
For further information, please schedule a consultation.