Tier 4 Child Students

Who may apply for this visa?

If you are a non-EEA national between the ages of 4 to 17 years, and you have a place to study a course in the UK, you may apply for a Tier 4 Child Student visa.

Children between 4 and 15 years must be educated at independent fee-paying schools. It is not possible for a Tier 4 Child Student to study at a publicly funded school. Children between 16-17 years may study at publicly funded Further Education Colleges provided that the College will charge for International Students and the child is a fee-paying student.

What are the requirements for a Tier 4 child student visa?

  • You are between 4 to 17 years old;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on course of study with the education institution holding a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence;
  • You are able to support yourself financially and pay for your course;
  • Written consent from your parents or legal guardian confirming that you can travel to, and live independently in the UK;
  • A course that is taught in line with the National Curriculum, the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) or the independent school education inspection standards;
  • A short course to prepare you for your main course;
  • A course that is accepted as being at the same academic level as the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), HM Inspectorate of Education (in Scotland), Estyn (Wales), Education and Training Inspectorate (in Northern Ireland) or Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Once offered a place to study a course, your education institution will provide you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. You must apply for your Tier 4 Child Student visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS reference number.

Maintenance Requirement

The amount of money you will need to prove that you can support yourself financially without relying on public funds will depend upon your care arrangements in the UK. If you are boarding student, you will need to demonstrate that you have the money available to pay your school fees for the first year of your course or for the entire course if it is less than 12 months long.

Child students staying with a resident carer

If staying with a carer who a British citizen resident or other UK resident, alongside showing that you have money for your course fees, your intended carer must have at least £560 each month to maintain and accommodate you in the UK for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

Under 12 child students accompanied by parent/ legal guardian

You can be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian if you are under 12 years old. They should apply for a Parent of a Tier 4 Child Student visa. However, you will need to show that you have money for your course fees and in addition, you must have £1535 living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months. Each additional Tier 4 child student must show that they hold £615 for living costs for each month of their course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

16/17 years old students living independently

Child students who are 16/17 years old and intending to live independently need £920 per month if studying in Central London or £715 per month elsewhere.

Leave to remain under Tier 4 category

If you have finished a single course that was at least 6 months long within your last entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain or are applying for a continued study on a single course where you have completed at least six months of that course, then you will be able to demonstrate an ‘established presence’ in the UK. An ‘established presence’ may be demonstrated and you will only need to demonstrate availability of maintenance funds for 2 months.

How long is this visa granted for?

Application for a Tier 4 Child Student visa may be made 3 months before the start of your course. Once you are granted the visa, if your course will last less than 6 months, you may arrive in the UK one week before the start of your course or up to month before the start of your course if the course will exceed 6 months.

  • If under 16: may stay in the UK for up to 6 years plus 4 months afterwards
  • If 16/17 years: may stay for up to 3 years plus 4 months afterwards

Permitted activities

  • If 16/17, child student visa holder can work part-time during term-time for up to 10 hours per week and full-time during vacations
  • If aged between 4-15, child student visa holders can study at an independent fee-paying school
  • If aged 16/17, you can study at a publicly funded further education college, but must be fee-paying.