Guide to the Child Student Visa
If you are a parent or legal guardian of a child who wants to study in the UK, a Child Student Visa is the appropriate route to explore. To apply for a UK Child Student Visa, you must ensure the child meets the eligibility criteria and has an unconditional offer from an eligible independent school, higher education institution, or regulated qualifications framework course. The child’s parent or legal guardian should have sufficient funds to cover course fees, boarding fees (if applicable), and living costs. A licensed child student sponsor is required, and the visa application should be submitted at a designated Visa Application Centre. Immigration advice sessions or consultation with immigration lawyers can provide additional guidance on the application process and immigration rules. It’s important to apply before the child’s current visa expires, ensuring smooth transition and compliance with immigration regulations.
Who can apply for the UK Child Student Visa?
The UK Child Student Visa is designed for children aged 4 to 17 who wish to study in the UK. To apply for a Child Student Visa, the parent or legal guardian of the child must submit a child student visa application. The child should have an unconditional offer from an eligible independent school or a higher education institution offering regulated qualifications framework courses. The parent or legal guardian should have sufficient funds to cover the child’s course fees, living costs, and, if applicable, boarding fees. A licensed child student sponsor is required, and the application should be submitted at a designated Visa Application Centre. Immigration advice sessions or consultation with immigration lawyers can provide assistance in navigating the immigration rules. It’s important to apply before the child’s current visa expires to avoid any disruptions to their studies.
Financial Requirements for Child Student Visa
In order to obtain a Child Student Visa for the UK, it is necessary to demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration that you have sufficient funds to cover your course fees and living costs during your stay in the UK.
Course Fees: Unless you qualify for any special categories mentioned below, you must show that you have enough money to pay your outstanding course fees for one academic year.
Living Costs: Unless you qualify for any special categories mentioned below, you must demonstrate that you can meet your living costs while residing in the UK.
The required amount will depend on your living arrangements:
- Boarding at a residential independent school: You need to have sufficient funds to cover the boarding fees for one academic year.
- Term-time private foster carer or close relative who is a British citizen or has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): The carer or relative must have a minimum of £570 per month for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
- Living with a parent or guardian who holds a Parent of a Child Student Visa: You must have £1,560 per month for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months. Additionally, if there are any accompanying children, there should be an extra £625 per child per month, up to a maximum of 9 months.
- Aged 16 or 17 and living independently: If studying in London, you must have either £1,265 (or £1,334 from 1/12/2020) per month for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months. If studying outside London, the requirement is £1,015 (or £1,023 from 1/12/2020) per month for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
It is important to note that you must have held the required funds for a minimum of 28 consecutive days, ending no more than 31 days before the date of your Child Student Visa application.
What Documents are required to Apply For a Child Student Visa?
The documents required to apply for a child student visa in the UK are as follows:
- A valid passport or travel document
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider
- Health certifications (where relevant)
- Evidence of financial maintenance and proof of payment of course fees (e.g., bank statements or other financial evidence)
- Confirmation of consent from parent or guardian
In addition to these documents, you may also be required to provide the following:
- A tuberculosis (TB) test certificate if you are from a country where TB is common
- A police certificate if you are from a country where you have lived for more than 12 months in the past 10 years
- A letter from your school or college confirming that you are a full-time student
- A letter from your parent or guardian confirming that they are able to support you financially while you are in the UK
Please note that these are just the general requirements for a child student visa. The specific requirements may vary depending on your individual circumstances. You should always check with the UK Visas and Immigration website for the latest information. You can find more information about the documents required for a child student visa on the UK Visas and Immigration website.
What Is The Cost Of A Child Student Visa?
As of September 2021, the cost of a Child Student Visa in the UK depends on the length of the course and the location of the visa application center. Here are the current fees for a Child Student Visa:
- For a course of up to 6 months: £97
- For a course of more than 6 months, up to 11 months: £186
- For a course of more than 11 months: £348
In addition to the visa application fee, there may be other costs associated with the application process, such as the cost of providing supporting documents, biometric enrolment, and courier fees for returning documents. It is essential to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for a Child Student Visa application.
It is worth noting that the visa fees are subject to change, and applicants should check the latest fees and requirements on the official UK government website before submitting their application.
How to Apply for a Child Student Visa
To apply for a UK Child Student Visa, follow these steps:
- Determine eligibility: Ensure that your child meets the criteria for the Child Student Visa, including being a child of a British citizen, settled person, or a parent with a Child Student Visa themselves.
- Choose an eligible institution: Select an approved independent school or higher education institution that offers courses in line with the regulated qualifications framework.
- Arrange course fees: Prepare to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover the course fees for one academic year, unless you fall within specific categories that may have different requirements.
- Secure living costs: Show that you can meet the living costs for your child’s stay in the UK, considering factors such as boarding fees, living with a parent or guardian, or living independently.
- Obtain an unconditional offer: Ensure your child receives an unconditional offer of acceptance for studies from the chosen institution.
- Sufficient funds proof: Gather evidence of the necessary funds, held for a minimum of 28 consecutive days, up to 31 days before the visa application date.
- Find a licensed sponsor: Identify a licensed child student sponsor who can provide the necessary documentation for the application.
- Apply online: Complete the child student visa application online, providing accurate information and supporting documents, including financial proof, passport details, and biometric residence permit if applicable.
- Pay the application fee: Pay the required fee for the visa application.
- Biometric information: Visit a designated visa application centre to submit biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) as part of the application process.
- Attend an interview if necessary: In some cases, an interview may be required. Prepare for this by familiarizing yourself with the child student route and the child student visa requirements.
- Await decision: After submission, await a decision on the child student visa application, which typically takes several weeks. This may vary, so allow sufficient time for processing.
It’s advisable to seek immigration advice sessions or consult immigration lawyers for guidance throughout the application process, ensuring compliance with immigration rules and regulations. Remember to initiate the visa application before the current visa expires to avoid any legal complications.
Child Student Visa Processing Time
The processing time for a child student visa in the UK is currently 3 weeks. This is the standard service time, and it may take longer in some cases. If you are applying for a child student visa, it is important to start your application early to allow enough time for processing.
Here are some factors that may affect the processing time for your child student visa:
- The time of year you apply. The processing time is usually longer during peak application times, such as the summer months.
- The complexity of your application. If your application is complex, it may take longer to process.
- The availability of resources at UK Visas and Immigration. The processing time may be longer if UK Visas and Immigration is experiencing high volumes of applications or staffing shortages.
If you are concerned about the processing time for your child student visa, you can contact UK Visas and Immigration for more information.
Parent of a Child Student Visa
If your child is currently holding or applying for a Child Student Visa, you may have the option to apply for a Parent of a Child Student Visa. To be eligible, the following conditions must apply:
- Your child is between the ages of four and eleven.
- Your child is attending an independent school in the UK.
- You are the sole parent accompanying your child in the UK.
- You maintain your primary residence in your home country.
- You have solid plans to depart the UK when your visa expires.
Under this visa category, you are allowed to stay in the UK until your child’s visa expires or until they reach the age of 12, whichever comes first. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to extend the visa if you meet the necessary criteria.
If your child continues their studies in the UK beyond this age, it is important to make appropriate arrangements to ensure their continued care.
Please note that while residing in the UK under this visa, you are not permitted to work, study, establish a business, apply for benefits, or bring additional family members to the UK. Additionally, you cannot make the UK your primary residence.
Can you extend the Visa?
The duration of the Child Student Visa depends on the length of the study period and the age of the applicant.
If the child is 16 or 17 years old and their course extends beyond the maximum allowed duration of three years, they must apply for an extension before their current visa expires.
For international students who are 18 years old or older, further study in the UK requires an application through the Student Visa route.
It’s important to note that, in general, the time spent in the UK on a Student Visa or Child Student Visa does not contribute towards qualifying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
In conclusion, the UK Child Student Visa provides an opportunity for children to study at independent schools or higher education institutions in the UK. As a parent of a child student, it is important to understand and fulfill the requirements outlined in the child student visa application. This includes demonstrating sufficient funds to cover course fees and living costs, choosing an eligible independent school, and ensuring the child’s overall well-being during their studies.
To navigate the visa process smoothly, seeking immigration advice sessions or consulting immigration lawyers can be beneficial. It is essential to adhere to immigration rules and regulations, maintain appropriate living arrangements, and plan for visa extensions where necessary.
By fulfilling these obligations, parents can support their child’s educational journey and ensure compliance with the guidelines set forth by UK Visas and Immigration.
Frequently Asked Questions