Parent of a Tier 4 child visa

Overview

You can apply for a Parent of Tier 4 child visa if:

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

A Parent of a Tier 4 child visa costs £516.

How long you can stay

This visa usually lasts for either 6 or 12 months. After that, you can get extensions for 12 months at a time until your child reaches 12 years of age.

You’ll be given a shorter visa and will not be able to extend that visa if your child is going to:

  • have their 12th birthday in the next 12 months
  • finish their final year at school in the next 12 months

You must leave the UK when your visa expires in either case, and cannot switch to a different visa category. If your child is staying in education in the UK without you, you must make arrangements for their ongoing care.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • extend your visa for 12 months at a time, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements

You cannot:

  • switch into a different immigration category from a ‘Parent of a Tier 4 child visa’ when it expires
  • get public funds
  • make your main home in the UK
  • take paid work
  • study
  • bring other family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately
  1. Step 1 Check if you need a visa

    You might be eligible for different visas depending on why you're visiting the UK and how long for.

    1. Check if you need a visa
    2. Compare the different types of short stay visa
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply

    1. Apply for a visa and book an appointment £516
    2. Check where your visa appointment will be

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment.

    You might be able to pay an extra £212 for a decision within 5 working days or £956 for a decision within 1 working day. Check with your visa application centre.

  4. Step 4 Attend an appointment

    1. What you need to prove at your appointment

    You'll be told when a decision has been made about your visa.

  5. Step 5 Travel to the UK

    1. Check what you need to show at the UK border
    2. Check what you can bring with you

    Keep the documents that prove why you're visiting the UK in your hand luggage so you can show them if asked.

    1. Check the documents you can use to show why you're visiting the UK
  6. Step 6 After you arrive in the UK

    If your visa allows you to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you'll need to collect your biometric residence permit soon after you arrive.

    1. Collect your biometric residence permit

    Check your visa to find out when you must leave the UK. You may be able to extend your visa if you want to stay for longer.

    1. Extend your visa

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