Child Student Visa - Information & Application Guide

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What is a Child Student Visa?

A Child Student Visa allows an individual between the ages of 4-17 to study at an independent school in the UK. The independent school must be a licensed student sponsor. This visa route was previously called ‘Tier 4 Child’ visa.

A Child Student Visa is a different UK visa route from a Student Visa. A Student Visa is for applicants aged 16+ who wish to study in the UK at a licensed student sponsor. For the Student Visa route, sponsors include private providers, independent schools, publicly funded colleges or higher education providers. See more information on a Student Visa.

What are the requirements for a Child Student visa?

The UK has a points based immigration system for work and study visa routes. A Child Student Visa application will therefore be decided by the UK Home Office on a “points” basis. An applicant needs 70 points to make a successful Child Student Visa application with 50 points awarded for the ‘Study’ requirement and 20 points for the ‘Financial’ requirement. Further details about the study and financial requirement are outlined below.

  • Study requirement - You need an unconditional offer of study from a licensed student sponsor. This is shown by a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The Child Student CAS reference number needs to be inserted into the Child Student Visa application form.
  • Financial requirement - You need to show you have enough money to pay for your course as well as your UK living costs. The specific amount you have to show is dependent on the length of your course, where you will live in the UK and your UK care and living arrangements.
  • Parental Consent requirement - All Child Student Visa applicants must have written parental consent. For Child Student Visa applicants under the age of 16, there are only certain permissible UK care and living arrangements.
  • Genuine Student requirement - Child Student Visa applicants aged 16+ must genuinely intend to study in the UK and comply with all Child Student Visa conditions.

    What supporting documents are needed to apply for a Child Student visa?

    A current passport or travel document (including one blank page for your visa) as well as a Child Student CAS reference number from the UK independent school sponsoring your visa. Additional mandatory supporting documents needed will depend on your nationality, age and intended UK care and living arrangements. Nationals of certain countries benefit from easier evidence arrangements at visa application stage.

    How much is a Child Student visa? 

    Home Office visa application fees are updated on a regular basis. For up to date Child Student Visa application fees, check the following link: UK visa fees - GOV.UK.

    Child Student Visa applicants will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge which is £470 per year. The amount payable therefore depends on the length of your course.

    How do I apply for a Child Student visa?

    If making your Child Student Visa application from overseas, the earliest you can apply is six months before your course start date. The application process consists of an online Child Student Visa application form and the enrolment of biometric data. Supporting evidence must also be submitted for the Home Office’s consideration.

    Applicants should apply in their home country or country of residence before travelling to the UK to commence your studies. If you already hold a Child Student Visa or another form of long term UK immigration permission, you may be able to make your Child Student Visa application from within the UK.

    Can I extend my Child Student visa or change my student sponsor?

    If you are currently studying in the UK on a Child Student Visa and you wish to extend your visa to do a new course of study (for example, progress from GCSE to A level study) or change sponsors to a different UK independent school, you will need to make a new Child Student Visa application supported by a new CAS from your existing or new student sponsor. This application can usually be made from within the UK and the earliest you can apply is three months before your course start date.

    How long is a Child Student visa granted for?

    For a Child Student Visa applicant under the age of 16, a visa is granted for the course length (up to six years) plus four months. Where an applicant aged 16 or 17 applies for a Child Student Visa, the maximum length of immigration permission granted will be three years, plus 4 months after the course ends.

    Am I allowed to work in the UK on a Child Student visa?

    Child Students aged 16+ can work 10 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation periods. It is not possible for Child Student visa holders to work in a permanent full time role nor to be self-employed. However, Child Student Visa holders aged 16+ can do work placements provided it is an integral and assessed part of your course.

    What is a Parent of a Child Student visa?

    A sponsored Child Student cannot live with their parent in the UK unless the parent holds a Parent of Child Student Visa. A parent is only able to apply for this visa if their child is aged between 4 and 11 years old and their child is sponsored by an independent school on a Child Student Visa. Only one parent can apply for a Parent of a Child Student Visa, with the other parent remaining overseas. A Parent of a Child Student Visa holder has no right to work or study in the UK.

    ‘The immigration team at Doyle Clayton are exceptionally knowledgeable, well-organised, accurate, reliable, professional as well as very friendly and approachable. We know that our immigration needs are in excellent hands with the team.’
    (The Legal 500)

    Our Personal Immigration Team

    The Personal Immigration Team is led by Partner, Malini Skandachanmugarasan. Malini has specialised in immigration law for well over a decade and is one of the UK’s leading immigration experts. Ranked in Chambers & Partners, marked as a 'Next General Partner' by Legal 500 and as a 'Future Leader' by Who’s Who Legal, Malini is known for expertly advising on the range of personal immigration matters with individuals and families all over the world.

    Malini is joined by Senior Associate, Anna Blackden, a highly experienced immigration solicitor who leads the team’s immigration offering to the education sector. Anna is also ranked in the Legal 500. Anna draws on her unique experience working in house at a UKVI licensed student sponsor to assist individuals with Child Student visa applications to study at independent schools in the UK or to accompany their young children on the Parent of Child Student visa route.

    Contact us today

    If you are looking for help with a Child Student visa in London, Reading or anywhere else in the UK and overseas, we can help. To make contact call us on 020 7329 9090 or email us at and we will call you. You can also contact Malini (Head of Personal Immigration) at or on 020 7778 7224 or Anna Blackden at Please leave a message if you can’t get through. We will respond quickly to all enquiries.

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    Malini Skandachanmugarasan

    Malini has specialised in immigration law for well over a decade and is one of the UK's leading immigration experts.

    • Partner
    • T: +44 (0)20 7778 7224
    • Email me

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    Anna Blackden

    Based in the City office, Anna is a highly experienced immigration lawyer advising employers, education institutions and private individuals in the areas of personal immigration (including family routes and human rights), Student (including Child Student) and Work (including Creative and Skilled Worker) visa routes and sponsorship.

    • Senior Associate
    • T: +44 (0)20 3696 7170
    • Email me

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