If you are the parent of a child who is looking to come to the UK for the purpose of education, you may wish to join them in the country. Most foreign children who immigrate to Britain to attend school apply for a Child Student visa; if you are the parent of a son or daughter who ultimately does pursue a Child Student visa to the UK, and you wish to go with them to the country, you should strongly consider applying for a UK Parent of a Child Student visa. Today’s blog will answer commonly-asked questions relating to this visa category, including, “Who can apply for the visa?” and, “Is working on a Parent of a Child Student visa allowed?” In addition, today’s blog will also provide an overview for this application process, while addressing the duration of stay on a Parent of a Child Student visa. 

How to apply for a Parent of a Child Student Visa

  • 1. Confirm that you fulfill the eligibility requirements 
    • Do not apply for UK Parent of a Child Student visa unless you fulfill the below eligibility requirements regarding who can apply for the visa:
      • Your son or daughter will apply for the Child Student visa (or did apply).
      • Your son or daughter is no younger than four and no older than 11 years old at the time when you submit your application. 
      • Your son or daughter aims to enroll at an independent educational institution in the country (i.e. not a publicly (state) funded school).
      • As the parent applicant—you will be the sole parent journeying with your son or daughter to Britain (i.e. your child’s other parent is not already in the country with them/planning on travelling there to be with them).
      • You intend to exit the country before you overstay your Parent of a Child Student visa. 
      • Your main residence is abroad (i.e. not in Britain). 
      • You can financially afford your application costs as well as the costs of living in the country (as well as those of your son or daughter). These include: 
        • The cost of the application itself (£516).
        • The cost of the healthcare surcharge (typically £624 yearly). 
        • £1560 per month (per the months that you and your child are in the country) for up to nine months. 
        • £625 each month, for up to nine months (if you have another child join you in the country—i.e. you have another child who is coming to the UK on a Child Student visa). 
    • Please note that you are restricted from having relatives and any children who are not themselves applying for a Child Student visa from coming with you to the UK. 
  • 2. Learn what you can and can’t do on your visa 
    • Even if you fulfill the above eligibility requirements, you should be sure to look into what you cannot do on your Parent of a Child Student visa, in order to make sure that it is the correct visa for you (for example, studying on a Parent of a Child Student visa is not allowed). 
    • Keep in mind that Parent of a Child Student visa holders are barred from the following activities throughout their time in the country: 
      • Having relatives join you in the country. 
      • Being employed in the country (working on a Parent of a Child Student visa—even if it’s for yourself—is prohibited). 
      • Founding a business in the country.
      • Establishing Britain as your primary place of residence.
      • Studying on a Parent of a Child Student visa.
      • Seeking UK welfare. 
      • Switching from your Parent of a Child Student visa to another kind of UK visa. 
    • Parent of a Child Student visa holders CAN extend their visa, provided that they fulfill the above eligibility terms and conditions, and that they apply to do so prior to the expiration of their first Parent of a Child Student visa. The application process for extending a Parent of a Child Student visa is mainly online, with the exception of the in-person requirements for a Parent of a Child Student visa related to biometric data collection (which must be fulfilled by attending an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services—UKVCAS—center). Applicants tend to receive their extension (or rejection) in under eight weeks, and they should make sure not to leave the UK while their application is being processed (or otherwise risk having it be cancelled). If you are thinking of extending your Parent of a Child Student visa, contact us here
  • 3. Decide when you want to travel 
    • Because applicants for the Parent of a Child Student visa are not allowed to apply from within the country, you will need to plan your trip to the UK so that it coincides with the receipt of your visa. If you attempt to enter the country without first receiving your Parent of a Child Student visa, you will not be allowed in). 
    • Keep in mind that the majority of successful Parent of a Child Student visa applicants receive their visas three weeks after applying. Therefore, the absolute earliest you should theoretically plan to enter the UK is three weeks after applying for your visa.  
    • Finally, keep in mind that UK immigration does not accept applications for visas made more than 6 weeks prior to your intended date of travel to Britain.  
  • 4. Gather your required documents 
    • Applicants for Parent of a Child Student visa must submit the following documents which qualify as requirements for a Parent of a Child Student visa (including the below documents and materials):
      • Passport. 
      • Evidence that they fulfill the above outlined financial requirements (applicants who have resided on a UK visa in the country for a year are exempt from having to provide evidence that they meet the financial requirement).
      • Proof of ownership of a permanent abode abroad (i.e. not in Britain). 
      • Negative Tuberculosis test result (if you are a resident/national of a state that the UK considers a significant source of TB).
    • Please note that any documents not already written in either English or Welsh must be accompanied by an official translation into one of those official UK languages.
  • 5. Apply online 
    • The application process for the Parent of a Child Student visa is mainly online. Once you have gathered your required documents, you can apply online (contact us when you are ready to do so). 
    • Once you access the online application, you will be granted the opportunity to both pay your visa application fee (£516) and also make an appointment at a visa application center. This is where you will fulfill the in-person requirement of the Parent of a Child Student visa, which involves submitting one’s biometric information (photos and fingerprints). 
  • 6. Attend your visa application center appointment 
    • After you have submitted your online application, you must travel to the visa application center and submit your biometric information. 
    • Keep in mind that because visa application centers are not e found in every country, fulfilling this requirement may necessitate you journeying abroad (i.e. outside of wherever you are currently living) in order to find a valid visa application center. For help finding the closest visa application center near you, contact us here
  • 7. Await your decision 
    • You will likely receive your visa in under three weeks (if your application is successful). 
    • If you do receive a visa, you should be aware that the duration of stay on a Parent of a Child Student visa will allow you to remain in the UK throughout the validity period of your Child’s Student visa (what this means is that you will have to leave the country when his or her own visa expires). However, if your child reaches age 12 before their visa expires, you will have to leave the country as soon as that occurs (even if your child still has time left on his or her visa). 
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