The Child Student Visa is available to children looking to study at independent schools in the UK. Children under the EU Settlement Scheme do not need to apply for a Child Student visa. However, all other non-UK passport children looking to study in the UK have to apply for this visa if they wish to study for longer than six months.
Table of contents
- How to qualify for a Child Student Visa
- Family Members and Guardians
- Maintenance Support
- When to apply for the Child Student Visa
- Length of Stay in the UK
- Switching or Extending your Child Student Visa
- Right to Work
- Immigration Health Surcharge
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- How Breytenbachs can help you
How to qualify for a Child Student Visa
The child must be between 4 and 17 years old
You must have an unconditional offer for a place on a course at an independent school. The education provider must be a licensed Child Student sponsor and provide the child student with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number once they offer a place. You will only be able to apply for the Child Student visa once you have the CAS number. Studies at an academy, local authority-funded school, or further or higher education institution are not allowed under this visa route.
The child must have the consent of the parent or guardian to study in the UK. The consent must be in writing from both parents or the legal guardian, confirming that they consent to the visa application, the living arrangements and care in the UK and the child travelling to the UK. Consent from one parent is sufficient if that parent has sole responsibility.
Family Members and Guardians
Family members cannot accompany the child student. It is, however, possible for one parent to apply for the Parent of Child Student visa.
You have to prove that you have enough money to apply for the course and to support yourself in the UK.
Different amounts are required depending on whether the child student lives with a parent or guardian, boarding at an independent school or living with a foster carer or close relative. There is also a set amount required for child students who are 16 or 17 and living independently.
You do not need to prove the maintenance support if you have a valid UK visa for at least 12 months before your Child Student visa application. However, you need to be in the UK at the time of the application.
British Nationals overseas do not need to fulfil the maintenance requirement. There are also different maintenance support criteria for some countries and territories.
We strongly recommend that child student applicants seek advice from your Breytenbachs consultant in every case.
When to apply for the Child Student Visa
If you are applying from within the UK, the earliest you can apply is three months before the course starts. You have to ensure that you apply before your current visa expires. However, the new course must begin within 28 days of the current visa expiring.
If you are applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply is six months before the start of your course.
You can arrive in the UK up to one month before the course starts but no earlier than the start date on the visa.
Length of Stay in the UK
The length of the stay in the UK will depend on the applicant’s age when applying and the course length.
If the applicant is under 16 years old, they will be able to stay for the length of the course (up to six years) plus four months afterwards.
If the applicant is 16 or 17, they can stay for the course length (up to three years) plus four months afterwards.
Switching or Extending your Child Student Visa
It is possible to switch to a Child Student visa from another visa if the child is already in the UK on another visa. However, switching is not possible on a visitor visa, a short-term student visa or if the child has leave outside the UK immigration rules.
One can extend the Child Student visa if one wants to continue studies in the UK. Please seek advice from your Breytenbachs consultant.
Right to Work
If the child student is 16 years or older, they may work part-time during the term for up to ten hours per week. During vacations, the child student can work full-time. Working on a work placement as part of the course is also possible. However, it may not be for more than 50% of the course.
You cannot take up full-time permanent employment or be self-employed. You may also not work as a professional sportsperson, sports coach or entertainer.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The Immigration Health Surcharge is payable as part of the visa application for every year that you apply for the visa.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
Time spent on the Child Student Visa does not lead to settlement in the UK.
How Breytenbachs can help you
We have a dedicated team of consultants specialising in the UK Student Visa routes. If you are interested in letting your child study in the UK or wish to apply for the Parent of Child Student visa, please get in touch with one of our consultants. Breytenbachs will guide you through the process. Contact us today.