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 citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.
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 £348 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 cannot 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.