Child Student Visas

Child Student Visa (Tier 4) 

You can apply for the Tier 4 (Child) student visa if you are aged between 4 and 17 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK.  

You must also: 

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.  


It costs £348 to apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa from outside the UK.  

You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you will 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 - Under 16 

  • How long you can stay - Course length (up to 6 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 

  • Age when you apply - 16 or 17 

  • How long you can stay - Course length (up to 3 years) plus 4 months afterwards 

  • You can arrive in the UK: up to 1 month before your course starts if your course lasts more than 6 months 

What you can and cannot do 

You can:  

You can also work, if you are 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 cannot: 

  • 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 will need to apply for a Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) visa 

Read the full guidance on the Tier 4 (Child) student visa. 

See Also: 

Further information on Child Student Visas can be found on GOV.UK.