Studying in the UK on a Student visa

Immigration law in the UK is complex and can change very quickly, if you or your child wishes to live and study in the UK, it is essential that you understand the process and evidence required so that you can choose the most appropriate entry route.

Visas for students over 16

Student visas are available for over 16-year-olds who wish to study in the UK.

These visas have replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa.

To apply you will need the following:

  • An offer on a course provided by a licensed student sponsor. You will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number.
  • Proof that you have enough money to pay for your course and support yourself while in the UK
  • A good understanding of the English language. You should be able to read, write and speak it sufficiently to undertake your course.
  • The consent of your parents if you are 16 or 17 and proof of this when you apply.

Like all UK visa routes into the UK, there are certain eligibility criteria for Student visas, and rules and restrictions for your stay in the UK.

Speak to Wellers Law Immigration Services team to find out more.

Visas for students between 4 and 17 years old

Child Student visas are available for children between the ages of 4 and 17 who wish to study in an independent school in the UK.

These visas have replaced the Tier 4 (Child) student visa.

To apply for a Child Student visa, you will need the following:

  • An unconditional offer from an independent school on an appropriate course or national curriculum key stage.
  • Proof that you have enough finances to pay for the course (tuition) and to support you in the UK.
  • Proof of consent from a parent or guardian to study in the UK.

Child student visa applications MUST be made online and you will be required to prove your identity and other criteria at the time of application.

The Immigration Services team at Wellers Law Group can help you make a visa application and give you the best chance of success. We can also ensure that the visa route you have chosen is the most appropriate for your circumstances.

When to apply

The timing for a Student visa or a Child Student visa will depend on whether you are applying from outside the UK or from inside the UK.

  • Outside the UK: For Student visas and Child Student visas, you should apply in the six months before the start date of your course, but not before.
  • Inside the UK: For Student visas, you should apply in the six months before the start date of your course, but not before and you must apply before your current visa expires. For Child Student visas. The earliest an application can be made is three months before the start of the course and before your current visa expires.

Switching visa routes

You may be able to extend your stay in the UK, if you are eligible, by switching to a Child Student visa or a Student visa. Some talented students may be able to switch to a Global Talent visa. Graduates who have found a suitable job and wish to stay in the UK can change to the Skilled Worker visa route.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to extend your visa to continue your studies.

Talk to Wellers Immigration team about extending your visa.

Global Talent Visa

Leaders or potential leaders in the fields of academia, research, digital technology, and arts and culture may be able to study in the UK on a Global Talent Visa.

This route is open to applicants who are 18 years and over who have received an endorsement, prize or award which signals their potential. The Global Talent Visa may provide a suitable route for talented graduates who wish to extend their stay in the UK but do not yet have a work visa.

Short-term study visa – for English students

The Short-term study visa is for English language students on courses lasting longer than six months, up to eleven months. This can be a cheaper route than other student visa types, but there are a number of restrictions, for example, you cannot change your course while in the UK on this visa, and you cannot work, bring family members with you or extend this visa. You will not be able to claim public funds.

Wellers immigration solicitors for Student visas

Coming to the UK to study can be a wonderful experience for any student, at any age. However, making sure you have chosen the most appropriate visa route and have the right evidence to assist your application can be complex.

The immigration services team at Wellers, led by Lorraine Toal, can advise you about all aspects relating to your visa application. Why not book a confidential fixed-fee consultation with our experienced immigration lawyer for just £100 (plus VAT). We will answer your questions and explain the processes that will apply. You will not be charged for your consultation if you go on to instruct us.

To discuss your student visa application, please call Lorraine Toal on 020 8290 7956 or email