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Immigration 101: Which Student Visa Do I Need? (#9)

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No. 9 - Which Student Visa Do I Need?

Type of student visa 

Who can apply?

Child student 

You can apply as a child student if you are between 4 and 17 years old. 

If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent fee-paying school.

Child visitor

You can apply as a child visitor if you are 17 years old or under and you want to come to the UK to do a course of study for up to six months.

You will not be able to switch and apply for a child student visa while you are in the UK as a child visitor.

If you want to apply for a child student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.

Adult student You can apply as an adult student if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.

Student visitor

You can apply as a student visitor if you are 18 years old or over, you want to come to the UK to do a course for up to six months, and you do not want to work while you are here.

You will not be able to switch and apply for an adult student visa while you are in the UK as a student visitor.

If you want to apply for an adult student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.

Prospective student

You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the UK to help you decide which course to study or if you plan to start a course of study within six months.

You will be able to switch and apply for an adult or child student visa while you are in the UK.


16 and 17 year old students applying to come for more than six months

You and your approved education provider should agree whether you need to apply for an adult or child student visa.

If you will be studying a course below National Qualification Framework level 3, you must apply as a child student.

If your course is at National Qualification Framework level 3 (or equivalent) or above and is longer than two years, the UK Border Agency recommends you apply as an adult student.

If you want to study for an English language qualification at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level A2 or above, you must apply as an adult student.

** Additional Information & Advice **

You can obtain further information about  on

As discussed in a , the UK government introduced earlier this year, so you may prefer to speak with a .

You can be , which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.

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