Student, Child Student and Short Term Study Visas
Are you or your client looking to come to the UK to study? There are three types of study visa, one for children aged 16 or over, one for children aged between 4 and 17 years, and another for those who wish to study the English language in the UK for a short period.
The UK has for many years been considered worldwide as one of the most respected providers of education and, here at Imperium Chambers, we are always proud to be able to assist overseas students in achieving leave to enter this country to pursue their studies.
If you are aged 16-plus and have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor in the UK; are between four and 17 years old and have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school here, or have been accepted onto an English language course that lasts 6-11 months and includes no other subjects then, providing you meet a range of other criteria, you should be eligible for a UK study visa, and the specialist immigration barristers at Imperium Chambers will be able to support you through your application.
The Student visa
For students aged 16 or over with a confirmed place on a course by a licensed student sponsor, the criteria that needs to be met in order to be granted a Study visa are:
- You must have sufficient funds to support yourself and pay for your course.
- You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English.
- If you are aged 16 or 17, you’ll need evidence of consent from your parents.
How long you are able to stay in the UK on a Student visa depends on the length of your course, and what study you’ve already completed in the UK. Students aged 18-plus studying at degree level can usually stay for up to five years. For courses below degree level, it will usually be two years. It may also be possible to switch to a Graduate visa to remain in the UK for at least two years after you’ve finished your course.
Your course may be:
- Full-time leading to a below degree level qualification (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with a minimum of 15 hours per week of organised daytime study.
- Full-time leading to a degree level or above qualification (RQF level 6, 7 or 8).
- Full-time at degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8) equivalent to a UK higher education course and delivered as part of a longer course overseas.
- Part-time leading to an above degree level qualification (RQF level 7 or above).
- A recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists.
- An English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Should your application be successful, you will need to follow various rules whilst in the UK. For example, you won’t be able to work in certain jobs, claim public funds or study at an academy or maintained school.
The Child Student visa
For children aged four to 17 years with an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school in the UK, the criteria that need to be met in order to be granted a Child Study visa are:
- You must be able to show you’ll have access to sufficient funds to support you in the UK and pay for your course.
- You must have evidence of consent from your parent or guardian to study in the UK.
If you are aged under 16 when you apply for your visa, you will be able to remain in the UK for the duration of your course (up to six years), plus four months afterwards. If you are aged 16 or 17, then you will be able to remain for the course length (up to three years), plus four months afterwards. You may be able to extend your visa to continue your studies in the UK if you’re eligible.
You may only study at an independent school. You may not study at an academy or maintained school, or at a further or higher education institution. There are other restrictions too, including not being able to claim benefits, not being allowed to take certain jobs, and not being able to bring family members. If a parent wishes to accompany you, they will need to apply for a Parent of a Child Student visa.
It is not possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK with this type of visa.
The Short-Term Study visa
If you have been accepted onto an English language course that lasts 6-11 months and includes no other subjects, you may be eligible for a Short-Term Study visa. On this visa, you will be able to remain in the UK for the duration of your course, plus an extra 30 days.
This visa won’t allow you to study at a state-funded school, or study any other courses or change course whilst in the UK. You won’t be able to work, paid or unpaid, claim benefits, extend the visa, or bring family members with you.
Your course will need to be with an accredited institution, and you will need to prove that you have sufficient money to support yourself without help from public funds, or that friends or family can support and house you. You’ll also need to show that you can afford your return or onward journey.
If you are aged under 18 years, you will also need the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK.
How Imperium Chambers can help
Applying for any type of student visa isn’t necessarily straightforward. Aside from the strict criteria, Entry Clearance Officers will always be looking for applicants who they suspect are non-genuine students. It is therefore vital to make sure a study visa application is completed methodically, with plenty of time invested into researching the chosen educational institution.
At Imperium Chambers, our highly experienced immigration barristers are on hand to guide you or your client through the entire process from start to finish, from making sure you choose the right type of visa, to preparing the evidence you need, submitting your application and supporting you through any interview you may need to attend. We’ll also advise you on what you’ll need to show at the UK border, and what to do when you arrive in the UK.
We can also assist if you or your client has had a study visa application refused, using our extensive experience in immigration appeals and judicial reviews to seek to have the decision overturned.