Tier 4 (Child) student visa
You can apply for the Tier 4 (Child) student visa if you’re aged between 4 and 17 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK.
You must also:
- have a place on a course
- have the consent of your parent or guardian
- have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs
- be from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- meet the eligibility requirements
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.
How long it will take
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course.
You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country.
It costs £335 to apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa from outside the UK.
How long you can stay
Your age and the length of your course of study will affect how long you can stay.
|Age when you apply||How long you can stay|
|Under 16||Course length (up to 6 years) plus 4 months afterwards|
|16 or 17||Course length (up to 3 years) plus 4 months afterwards|
You can arrive in the UK:
- up to 1 week before your course starts if your course lasts 6 months or less
- up to 1 month before your course starts if your course lasts more than 6 months
What you can and can’t do
- study at an independent school
- apply from outside the UK
- apply to extend your stay
You can also work, if you’re 16 or over:
- part-time during term for up to 10 hours per week
- full-time during vacations
- on a work placement as part of your course, (but not for more than 50% of your course time)
- as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years
- study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school) or further education college
- get public funds
- take a full-time permanent job or be self-employed
- work as a doctor or dentist in training
- work as a professional sportsperson (for example a sports coach) or entertainer
- settle in the UK on this visa
- bring in family members (‘dependants’) - if your parents want to accompany you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) visa
Read the full guidance on the Tier 4 (Child) student visa.