Child Student Visa

This visa replaces the Tier 4 (Child) student visa

A Child Student Visa is for individuals aged between 4 and 17 who intend to study at a private school (also known as an independent school) in the UK. Students aged 18 or over, such as those looking to study at a UK university or college, should instead consider applying for a UK Student Visa.

Applicants for a Child Student Visa must:

  • have been offered a guaranteed (unconditional) place to study at a private school
  • prove their school fees and living expenses will be taken care of
  • have the written consent of their parent/guardian to travel to and study in the UK

A Child Student Visa can last for up to six years plus four months, depending on their age and the length of their intended studies. It is possible to switch to this visa if the child is already in the UK on a different visa when they apply, as well as to extend the visa (for example, if their existing Child Student Visa is due to expire and they intend to continue their studies).

Child Student Visa  – course requirements

To be eligible to apply for a Child Student Visa, the applicant must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a licensed Child Student sponsor. Most reputable private schools should be licensed sponsors and able to issue a CAS, but you should check this carefully before paying any fees or submitting any visa application. The applicant will need to provide their CAS reference number when submitting a Child Student Visa application to the Home Office.

Eligible courses should be at a private school and taught in accordance with one of the following:

  • the national curriculum
  • the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), Level 3 or lower
  • Independent Schools Inspectorate standards

Alternatively, it is possible to undertake any course at the same academic level, as determined by:

  • Ofsted
  • Estyn (for Wales)
  • Education Scotland
  • Education and Training Inspectorate (for Northern Ireland)

Foundation courses—which are intended to provide the knowledge and skills required for direct entry into higher education—are not accepted as a basis for an application for a Child Student Visa.

Financial requirements

Applicants for a Child Student Visa must have enough money to support them during their stay and to pay any fees for their education. The amount they must prove they have available varies depending on where in the UK and with whom it is intended they live.

For students who will be living with their parent or guardian, they must have enough money to cover course fees for a full academic year, as well as £1560 living expenses per month for up to nine months. Their parent must have an extra £625 per month per any additional child they wish to bring with them to the UK. This child must be a sibling and will need to have their own Child Student Visa.

An applicant’s parent will also need their own visa to accompany them to the UK, such as a Parent of a Child Student visa.

For students boarding at a private school, their application will need to include evidence that they have enough money to pay for both course and boarding fees for a full academic year.

For students staying with a close relative or foster carer, they must have enough funds to cover course fees for one academic year, and their relative or foster carer must confirm they have at least £570 per month for up to nine months. The relative or carer must also have Indefinite Leave to Remain or be a British citizen.

Unless you have already been in the UK for 12 months prior to your application, when you apply for a Student Visa you will have to prove to the Home Office that you have enough money in your bank account to support yourself in the UK. You will also be expected to prove that you can pay your course fee for one academic year.

16- or 17-year-olds living on their own must show that they have £1334 a month for nine months if studying in London, or £1023 per month if studying outside London.

Citizens of some countries—including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the USA and most EU/EEA Member States—are exempt from any requirement to prove they have sufficient funds when they apply for a Child Student Visa. Check before applying if you are unsure if this exemption applies in your specific circumstances.

Required documents

When applying for a UK Child Student Visa, the Home Office must be supplied with:

  • a valid passport or other travel document
  • a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) reference number
  • written consent from the applicant’s parent or guardian

If applicable, you may also need to submit the following:

  • evidence that the applicant has sufficient funds to be able to support themselves and pay any course fees
  • proof of the applicant’s relationship to their parent or guardian
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you are from a country where the UK requires this
  • evidence of any qualifications required to secure the place on the course
  • written consent from any financial sponsor if they have provided any funding for living costs or course fees within the last year

Process and fees

An application for a Child Student Visa from outside the UK costs £490 and usually takes no more than 3 weeks, while applications from within the UK (extensions and switches) also cost £490 but are usually resolved within 8 weeks. Depending on individual circumstances, it might be possible to get a decision within a matter of days by paying an additional fee for a priority or super priority service.

A healthcare surcharge will also be payable before a visa will be issued. The precise amount of the surcharge will depend on the length of the visa.

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

Tatiani Preifelt

Tatiani has a wealth of expertise in global mobility and corporate immigration. Her ample skills were acquired within leading immigration practices including three out of the Big4 firms in both the UK and Sweden. Tatiani went on to co-establish her firm in London where she continues to advise clients predominantly in corporate, business and skilled work migration.

Having personally relocated to 10 different countries, Tatiani understands the importance of an expedient and successful immigration process and takes pride in delivering a seamless experience to her clients as well.

Over the course of her career, she has assisted over 500 individuals and businesses to obtain the appropriate visa permits in the UK.

Her awarded academic work at The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, and at The Geneva University is in the fields of Political Science, International Human Rights Law, and Global Migration Governance.

She regularly provides immigration training and has recently participated as a speaker and panellist at DGEMS 2023, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.