Visas for Students Studying at a UK Independent Boarding School

ACS Cobham International

The UK’s departure from the EU in December 2020 signals a change in visa requirements for students who wish to study in the UK. For students already in the UK before 31st December 2020, there is the option of applying for pre-settled status before June 30, 2021. With this option the student will not need to apply for a visa and can stay in the UK for several years.

If the student enters the country after December 31, 2020, there are several options depending on the length of course. For academic courses lasting less than 6 months starting in January 2021, the student simply needs the letter of acceptance from the school, evidence that the course lasts up to 6 months and an indication of start date. Passports will be stamped indicating short term study with the date of entry into the country, which will authorize you to be in the country for a period of up to 6 months.

In addition, you will need to purchase private health insurance for your stay in the UK, which will provide health protection and access to medical staff should you need it.

The process for studying in the UK for longer than 6 months is slightly different and more complex. There are two visa options available to students. We recommend applying for a Child Student Visa (available to students under 18) as it doesn’t require official IELTS English proficiency tests for processing. The other visa is the Student Visa, available to students aged 16 years and over and is best for students over 18 who want to take a pre-foundation course for university access. The school will provide prospective students with the necessary documentation to begin the visa application process such as CAS documents.

The initial fee for a Child Student Visa is £348. Additionally, you will have to pay for the Immigration Health Charge, which provides access to the English public health system (NHS). The cost of this is £ 300 per academic year, (including a 25% discount for being a student).

If you require any further information on studying in the UK or have any further questions on visa requirements specifically, please contact Which Boarding School. For more information on regulations related to acquiring a visa and studying in the UK, please follow this link.