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 has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum.
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 £328 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 (eg 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.