The UK is open to students coming to the UK to study at any age, these are the routes of entry for the youngest students with guidance of how adults can travel with the student.
The UK has a good education system that is revered across the world, as such it is common for families with sufficient funds to wish their children to gain a British education.
Applying for a Tier 2 Child Visa:
For a child to come to the UK to study, they will usually come on a Tier 4 (child) visa, this is available to any child of school age; so children aged 4 to 17 who wish to study at an independent school in the UK. This means they cannot make use of the free education system available to residents in the UK, but must attend a fee-paid school.
For children aged up to 12 years old, the Home Office recognises that children will usually need to travel with a parent and as such there is a possibility of one parent coming with the child or children on a Parent of a Tier 4 child visa. This type of visa can be granted for up to 12 months and can be extended provided the child remains under 12 and is still in education. Once the child turns 12 they are no longer entitled to have an adult with them in the UK.
Key points you need to know when applying for a Tier 4 child visa:
Firstly, you need to find a place on a course or in a school. That institution must be on the Tier 4 list of sponsors and therefore eligible to issue a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies, or a CAS, as it is known. Once that is obtained from the institution, you are in a position to apply. Be aware that you will need to apply for your visa no later than six months after the date the CAS is issued.
The child must have the permission from both parents or guardians in order to come to the UK. There must also be enough money. This can amount to substantial sums. So how much money do you need? The government requires that you have enough money to pay your school fees and enough money to live. It is not up to you to determine this amount, the Home Office determines this amount. Ask an immigration lawyer for an assessment of your funds and to check you have sufficient funds, held for the correct length of time, 28 days continuously, prior to making an application. It can be an expensive mistake to not have your documents checked by an immigration lawyer.
The Visa Length and duration:
For up to 16 year old children, the visa length will be for the course length, up to a maximum of six years and four months after conclusion of the course. For 16 or 17 year old children the visa length will be for the course length up to a maximum of three years plus four months afterwards. 16 and 17 year old children can work part-time up to 10 hours per week. An immigration lawyer can assist you with finding which schools can offer a CAS and the making of the application, including checking documents and funds.