Child Student

Tier 4 (Child) student Visa (UK)

Overview

You can apply for the Tier 4 (Child) student visa if you’re aged between 4 and 17 and you want to study in the UK.

You should also:
have a place on a course
have the consent of your parent or guardian
have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs
be from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
meet the eligibility requirements


How long will it take?

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the start of your course.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

It costs £310 to apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa from outside the UK

How long can you stay?

Your age and the length of your course of study will affect how long you can stay.
Under 16 – Course length (up to 6 years) plus 4 months afterwards
16 or 17 – Course length (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
up to 1 month before your course starts if your course lasts more than 6 months

What you can and can’t do

You can:
study at an independent fee-paying school (if you’re aged between 4 and 15)
study at a publicly-funded further education college (if you’re 16 or 17 and you’re a fee-paying student)
apply from inside or outside the UK
apply to extend your stay

You can also work, if you’re 16 or over:
part-time during term for up to 10 hours per week
full-time during vacations
on a work placement as part of your course, (but not for more than 50% of your course time)
as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years

You can’t:
study at a publicly-funded school
get public funds
take a full-time permanent job or be self-employed
work as a doctor or dentist in training
work as a professional sportsperson (eg a sports coach) or entertainer
settle in the UK on this visa
bring in family members (‘dependants’) – if your parents want to accompany you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Child At School visa

Eligibility

You must have:
an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a qualified education provider
enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances

You should read the guidance for the full list of documents and how much money you’ll need according to your situation.
Your course

You can do a course that’s taught in line with:
the National Curriculum
the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)
independent school education inspection standards

You can do pre-sessional study, ie a short course to prepare you for your main course.

You can also do a course that’s accepted as being at the same academic level as the:
Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland)
Estyn (in Wales)
Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland)
Independent Schools Inspectorate

Confirmation of acceptance of studies

Your education provider will send you a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) once they’ve offered you a place on a course. You’ll need to enter this on your application.

Your CAS can cover both the pre-sessional course and your main course of study.

You must apply for your visa no later than 6 months after you’re sent the CAS.

* content copyright Open Government License v2.0 (UK)

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