• 10 September 2018

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.
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.

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:
You can:
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

You can’t:
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 at the GOV.UK website