Tier 4 child visa

If your child is aged between 4 and 17 and you want them to study at an independent school, we can help you apply for a Tier 4 child visa.

Tier 4 child visas are for children who intend to study at a UK educational institution on a full-time course. Designed to be flexible, they allow you to study for at least six months at a time.

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General requirements

Before applying for a Tier 4 child visa, you need to check that your child meets these minimum criteria:

  • They must be aged 17 or under
  • They must have been accepted on a course of study provided by an accredited institution (this can’t be a state-maintained school or institution – you must not be planning to study anywhere state maintained during your stay)
  • They must intend to leave the UK at the end of six months
  • They must not intend to study in the UK for an extended period through frequent or successive periods as a short-term student
  • They must have enough funds to meet the cost of their return or onward journey from the UK
  • They must have sufficient care and accommodation from their funds and not require access to public funds
  • They must be able to prove that suitable arrangements have been made for their travel to the UK, and to be looked after when they arrive

They also need to prove they have the consent of their parent or guardian in their home country, or country of habitual residence. Whoever is responsible for their care needs to confirm in writing that they consent to all these arrangements.

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Maintenance requirements

It’s important that maintenance is provided for the child, but the exact amount depends on the care arrangements.

If they are being placed with a UK resident carer, that person should have at least £560 per month to look after and accommodate the child for the duration of their study. This is up to a maximum of nine months.

If the child is under 12 years of age and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, you’ll need to demonstrate £1,535 for each month of the duration of the course. This is up to a maximum of nine months, plus any outstanding school fees.

Each additional child student in the care of the same parent must be able to demonstrate that they have a further £615 per month to cover their living costs.

Children aged 16 or 17 who are living independently need to have £920 per month if they are studying in central London, or £715 per month elsewhere.

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Visa restrictions

Children who enter the UK on a Tier 4 child visa cannot:

  • Intend to take up employment, including paid or unpaid work, work placements or work experience while they are here
  • Intend to undertake self-employment or engage in business or any professional activities in the UK
  • Switch into a different immigration category when their Tier 4 child visa
  • Get access to public funds
  • Make the UK their permanent ‘home’
  • Bring other family members with them – they need to apply separately

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Documents you need to provide

When applying for a Tier 4 child visa you need to provide:

  • The child’s current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • Proof that they can support themselves and pay for the course
  • Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent
  • Proof of a permanent home outside the UK
  • Proof that they were not last admitted to the UK under the ‘Approved Destination Status Agreement with China’
  • Proof of their relationship with their parent or guardian
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results, if the child is from a country where they have to take the test

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Established presence in the UK

Children aged 16 or 17 may be able to demonstrate that they have what is called an ‘established presence’ in the UK. They can do this if they have completed a course that was at least six months long during their previous period of leave.

Or, if they are applying to continue studying a course they have already completed six months of, then they can use this to show their established presence.

Students who can demonstrate established presence only need to prove that they have maintenance funds available for two months.

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Help with your Tier 4 child visa application

We can offer advice, guidance and support to all Tier 4 child visa applicants. We’ll use our immigration expertise and relationship with the home office to give you the very best chance of success.

Whether you are applying for a child visa yourself, or you are applying for your child, our solicitors are here to help you. Call us today for expert advice, or request a call back at a more suitable time.

Why choose us?

We hold a 100 per cent success rate for points-based visa applications. The exceptional service and support provided by our solicitors mean we can guide you through the entire Tier 4 child visa application process.

Our solicitors will help make it as smooth and stress-free as possible, guaranteeing you the best chance of success.

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