Overview

You can apply for a Child Student visa if you’re between 4 and 17 years old and you want to study at an independent school in the UK.

You must:

If you’re 18 or over, apply for a Student visa instead.

This visa has replaced the Tier 4 (Child) student visa.

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you’re coming to the UK from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.

The earliest your Child Student visa will start from is 1 January 2021.

When to apply

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

Applying from outside the UK

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course.

You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.

You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

How long you can stay

How long you can stay depends on your age on the date you apply and the length of your course.

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

When you can travel to the UK

You can arrive in the UK up to 1 month before your course starts.

Staying longer in the UK

You may be able to:

Fees

It costs:

  • £348 to apply for a Child Student visa from outside the UK
  • £475 to extend or switch to a Child Student visa from inside the UK

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

What you can and cannot do

You can study at an independent school.

If you’re 16 or over you can work:

  • 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)

You cannot:

  • study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school) or further or higher education institution
  • get public funds (benefits)
  • take a full-time permanent job or be self-employed
  • work as a professional sportsperson (for example a sports coach) or entertainer
  • apply for settlement
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) - if a parent wants to accompany you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Child Student visa visa

If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Child Student visa.

  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

    You can apply for a Child Student visa if you’re between 4 and 17 years old and you want to study at an independent school in the UK.

    1. You are currently viewing: Check what you can and cannot do on this visa
    2. Check what courses you can study on this visa

    You might be eligible for a different visa if you're 18 or over.

    1. Check which visas you're eligible for
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply from outside the UK

    1. Apply from outside the UK £348

    You'll need to prove your identity as part of your application.

    You'll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

    1. Find out if you can pay more to get a faster decision
  4. or Apply from inside the UK

  5. Step 4 Check what you can bring with you to the UK

  6. Step 5 Check what you need to show at the UK border

    1. Check what you need to show at the UK border

    If you said in your application that you would be accompanied by an adult, they need to be with you when you arrive at the border.

    If you're not accompanied by an adult, the official at the border will check that you know where you're going and how you're getting there. They may ask you other questions too.

  7. Step 6 After you arrive in the UK

    1. Find out how to get your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you were told you'd get one when you applied

    You might be able to extend your visa to stay longer in the UK.

    1. Check if you can extend your visa

    If you break the conditions of your visa you may not be able to come to the UK again.