Visas for studying in the UK

Gaining admission to study in the best boarding Schools in the UK is a dream come true for many students, however, these dreams can be shattered if one doesn’t have a student visa. Regardless of age or field of study, every foreign student in the UK is legally required to have valid student visa so as to be allowed to study in any of the UK boarding schools. The only exceptions are foreign students from countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) or the EU.

Types of visa

The types of visas applicable to international students wanting to study in UK boarding schools are the Tier 4 (Child) student visa, for persons between the age of 4 and 17 and Tier 4 (General) Student visa, for persons above the age of 18 or between the age 16 or 17 if they are taking a course at level 3 or above of the National Qualifications Framework.

Visa Application

To be allowed to study at any UK boarding schools, your child has to;

  1. Meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules and,
  2. Have a total of 40 points; having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) for Studies from a highly trusted Tier 4 sponsor earns you 30 points while being able to raise the course fees and maintenance costs earns you 10 points.

Once you have received the Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) from the Tier 4 sponsor- the UK boarding school accepting your child for studies- you can then go ahead and complete the visa application form. For most countries, the visa application form can be completed online via www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk- the Visa4UK website.

You will need the following to successfully complete the visa application form;

  1. The Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) along with the documents you submitted to the Tier 4 sponsor for issue of the CAS. But for children under the age of 16, only the CAS is required.
  2. A Letter from you as the parent or legal guardian of the child stating your association to the child along with a written consent to the visa application. In the letter, you should also describe the living arrangements and for your child’s travel to and reception in the UK
  3. Your child’s passport
  4. The visa fee
  5. The biometric details of your child
  6. Two recent photos of your child conforming to international standards, with the name of your child on written on the back.
  7. Proof you have the course fees and can cater for your child’s living costs.

If your child is considered to be a ‘low risk’ by UK immigration officials, you will not be required to provide all of these documents. For your child to be considered as a low risk, they must be sponsored by a highly trusted Tier 4 sponsor- the UK boarding school accepting your child for studies or you must be already applying for a Tier 4 visa in your own country or presently in the UK. In addition, you must be either a British citizen (out of the country) or a citizen of a country considered to be low-risk.