A UK underage student visa allows children aged between 4 and 17 to come to the UK and study at an independent school.
Who needs to apply for a UK minor student visa?
Anyone who is not a British citizen needs a visa to study in the UK. As of January 1, 2021, this also includes students from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Note: If you are an EU/EEA citizen with settled or pre-established status through the EU Settlement Scheme, your rights to live, study and work in the UK remain unchanged and protected.
Who is eligible for a child student visa in the UK?
To be eligible for a child student visa in the UK, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be between 4 and 17 years old.
- Have an offer from an independent school with a valid license that sponsors students.
- Arrangements have been made in the United Kingdom for your care and welcome.
- You have enough money to support yourself and pay for the course and not rely on public funds.
- Have the consent of your parent or legal guardian.
What are the course requirements for a child student visa?
You can apply for a visa to study one of the following courses:
- A course that follows the national curriculum, or
- Courses for child students who follow the Recognized Qualifications Framework (RQF) and do not intend to prepare them for higher education courses, or
- A course recognized by Ofsted (England), Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland), Education Scotland (Scotland) or Estyn (Wales), or
- A course offered by an independent school.
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
efore 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.
How much does a child student visa cost in the UK?
The cost of applying for a student visa for children in the UK varies depending on where you apply:
- Students outside the UK must pay £348.
- Students from the UK must pay £475, if extending their visa or switching to a child student visa.
How long does it take to process a child student visa?
A decision on your child’s student visa application should be received within three weeks if it is applied for from a country outside the UK. Processing applications may take longer (six or seven weeks) if the visa application center handles a large number of applications.
From the UK, you should receive a decision within eight weeks whether you apply for an extension to your child student visa or switch to a child student visa from another visa.
How long can I stay on a child student visa?
The validity of an underage student visa in the UK depends on these factors:
- Age of the student.
- Application date.
- The duration of the course.
If you are under the age of sixteen, your child student visa allows you to stay in the UK for the duration of the course you are studying, or for up to six years, whichever is shorter.
16- and 17-year-olds can stay in the UK for the duration of their studies or for three years, whichever is shorter.
Can I extend a child’s student visa in the UK?
Yes, you can extend your underage student visa in the UK. You can extend your visa if:
- I am in the UK on a minor student visa.
- Have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) showing that you have an offer on a course with a licensed sponsored child student.
- You can demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself (if you have been in the UK for less than 12 months).
What can you and can’t you do with a child student visa?
If you are 16 years old or older, you can work:
- Part-time during the semester (not exceeding 10 hours per week).
- Full-time only during holidays.
- During an internship as part of their course (in specific circumstances).
- On the other hand you can’t:
- Have access to public funds.
- Work full time or be self-employed.
- Study at a publicly funded institution.
- Work as a professional sportsman or entertainer.
- Bring family or dependents.
Can parents accompany students’ children to the UK?
If your child is a child student visa holder, you will be eligible to apply for a child parent student visa.
Your child must be aged between 4 and 11 and attending an independent school in the UK and you must be the only parent accompanying your child.
Living in the UK you are not allowed to work, start a business, study, bring other family members with you or make the UK your main residence.
Additionally, you must keep your home in your country of residence and make sure you move back after your visa expires or when your child turns 12.