Tier 4 General and Child Student Visa

The UK Student Visa: General and Child Student category has replaced the previously known Tier 4 General and Child Student Visa. The Student Visa is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK. If you are between 4 and 17 years old and wish to study at an independent school in the UK, you should apply for a Child Student Visa.

What is the General and Child Student Visa? 

The Student Visa: General and Child Student category has replaced the previously known Tier 4 General and Child Student Visa. The Student Visa is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK. If you are between 4 and 17 years old and wish to study at an independent school in the UK, you should apply for a Child Student Visa.

Requirements for a General and Child Student Visa application

In order to qualify for a General Student Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that:

  • You are aged 16 or over;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on an approved course with a licensed student sponsor – The “Course Requirement”;
  • You can read, write, speak and understand English to at least CEFR Level B2 (if studying at degree level or above) or CEFR Level B1 (if studying at below degree level) – The “English Language Requirement”;
  • You have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds – The “Finance and Maintenance Requirement”; and
  • You have the consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian if you are 16 or 17 years old.

For a Child Student Visa, you will need to satisfy the UKVI that:

  • You are aged between 4 and 17;
  • You have been offered an unconditional place on an approved course of study at an independent school holding a valid student sponsor licence – The “Course Requirement”;
  • You have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds – The “Finance and Maintenance Requirement”; and
  • You have the consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian.

All applicants must be sponsored by licenced sponsor and issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.

Course Requirement for a UK Student Visa

For a General Student Visa, the following Course Requirement applies:

  • A full-time course that leads to a qualification below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours per week of organised daytime study;
  • A full-time course that leads to a qualification that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8);
  • A full-time course that is at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8), that is equivalent to a UK higher education course and is being delivered as part of a longer course overseas;
  • A part-time course leading to a qualification that is above degree level (RQF level 7 or above);
  • A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists (if you have finished a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry, received that degree from a registered student sponsor and spent your final year and at least one other year of studies leading to that degree in the UK); or
  • An English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

For a Child Student Visa, the following Course Requirement applies:

  • A course taught in accordance with the National Curriculum; or
  • A course taught in accordance with the Recognised Qualification Framework (RQF), that is not a foundation course intended to prepare the Child Student for entry to a course provided by a higher education provider; or
  • A course that is accepted as being of equivalent academic status to the above courses by Ofsted (England), the Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland), Education Scotland (Scotland) or Estyn (Wales); or
  • A course provided in accordance with prevailing Independent School education inspection standards.

All applicants must be sponsored by licenced sponsor and issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration solicitors and barristers for legal advice on whether you meet the Course Requirement.

English Language Requirement for a UK Student Visa

You will need to be able to read, write, speak and understand English to at least CEFR Level B2 (if studying at degree level or above) or CEFR Level B1 (if studying at below degree level).

You will usually need to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.

If you are a national of Canada or applying to travel to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA or have proved your level of English in a previous visa application then you will be exempt from meeting the English Language Requirement. Nationals of certain majority English speaking countries and those who have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree taught in English are also exempt from meeting the English Language Requirement.

You may want to speak to our expert immigration solicitors and barristers for legal advice on whether you meet the English Language Requirement.

Finance and Maintenance Requirement for a Student Visa

For a General Student Visa, the following Finance and Maintenance Requirement applies:

  • You will need to have sufficient cash funds available to pay any outstanding course fees for 1 academic year of your course (up to 9 months). If you have paid all or part of your course fees to your student sponsor or a deposit to your student sponsor for accommodation, then this can be offset against the funds required, provided this is either confirmed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or you provide a receipt issued by your student sponsor confirming the amount of fees paid.
  • You will need to have sufficient cash funds to meet your living costs in the UK. If you will be studying in inner London, you will need £1,334 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months. If you will be studying elsewhere in the UK, you will need £1,023 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months. You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your UK Student Visa application. 

For a Child Student Visa, the following Finance and Maintenance Requirement applies:

  • You will need to have sufficient cash funds available to pay any outstanding course fees for 1 academic year of your course. If you have paid all or part of your course fees to your student sponsor or a deposit to your student sponsor for accommodation, then this can be offset against the funds required, provided this is either confirmed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or you provide a receipt issued by your student sponsor confirming the amount of fees paid.
  • You will need to have sufficient cash funds to meet your living costs in the UK. Living with parent / guardian who has a Parent of a Child Student Visa: applicant must have £1,560 per month for each month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months, plus £625 per child per month of the course up to a maximum of 9 months, for any additional children accompanying the parent. If you are aged 16 or 17 living independently: you must have either (a) £1,334 for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying in London; or (b) £1,023 for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying outside London. You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Child Student Visa application.

You may want to speak to our expert immigration solicitors and barristers for legal advice on whether you meet the Finance and Maintenance Requirement.

Can I study and work in the UK on Student Visa?

Yes, you can work and study in the UK. In relation to work, the following restrictions apply:

  • You are only permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time if you a studying a course at degree level or above and 10 hours per week during term-time if you are studying a course at below degree level.
  • You are permitted to work full-time outside of term-time. 
  • All other student, not falling within the above categories including part-time student, are not permitted to work unless expressly given the right to do so.

It is important that you double check with the UKVI as to the conditions of your Student Visa so as to avoid inadvertently breaching the Immigration Rules. You may want to speak to our expert immigration solicitors and barristers for legal advice on your requirements.

Making a UK Student Visa application with OneLaw Chambers

At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with Student Visa applications in order for applicants to remain and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful Immigration and Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world.

Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a UK Student Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your Student Visa immigration application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.

We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.

To discuss your Student Visa application with one our immigration solicitors and barristers, please contact our Immigration lawyers on 0207 489 2044 / 0208 616 1819 or complete our enquiry form with your details.


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