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Child Visitor Visa

A UK Child visitor visa is available for children planning to live, travel, and study in the UK for a short period. The visa is typically used for travel and tourism, school trips, and visiting friends and family. 

Talk to our experts for assistance in your Child Visitor Visa application, determining eligibility requirements, processing and the best options for you and your family. Call us on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Visitor Visa Application

    If you are planning to travel to the UK and require a visitor visa, then our immigration lawyers are on hand to provide advice and application assistance.

    Whether this is your first application or you applied on your own before but were refused the visa, we can help.

    No matter the reason why you plan to visit, the IAS range of expert services can help ensure your application is submitted quickly and to a high standard. Benefit from:

    Tailored advice to ensure you are applying for the correct visa.

    A personal immigration lawyer who can answer all queries.

    Access to UK-specific knowledge of the immigration routes.

    Confidence your application will be complete and comprehensive.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    UK Child Visitor Visa overview

    A Child Visitor Visa allows someone under 18 to travel to the UK. This type of visa falls under the Standard Visitor Visa category and is valid for up to six months. Children can use the visa to study short courses, compete in or attend competitions, visit tourist attractions, visit friends/family or attend an event or program, amongst other permitted activities. 

    If you (or your child) are applying in this category, you must be able to prove that you have suitable arrangements during the stay, including accommodation and care. 

    What is permitted on a child visitor visa?

    A Child Visitor Visa allows holders to:

    • Stay in the UK for up to six months
    • visit family and friends, tourist attractions and participate in recreational activities
    • attend short courses or educational programs, such as language courses or cultural exchanges
    • attend events or competitions, including sports events or cultural festivals.
    • receive private medical treatment whilst in the UK, if required
    • access private foster care

    Child Visitor Visa restrictions

    Certain activities are prohibited under the conditions of a child visitor visa in the UK. It is not permitted to: 

    • Work (Children aged 16 and above who are permitted to work by law in the UK are not allowed to work on this visa.) If they wish to work while they study, some work is permitted on the points-based Child Student Visa.
    • Study in full-time education
    • Access public funds
    • Live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits
    • Switch to another visa type during the child’s time in the UK

    If you/your child wants to study in the UK longer than six months, you can apply for other visa options like a Child Student Visa (previously tier 4) under the points-based system.

    Child Visitor Visa eligibility

    To be eligible to come to the UK on a Child Visitor Visa, you must be able to show that you (or your child):

    • are under the age of 18 years at the time of applying
    • have a parent or guardian in your home country who is accountable for care and can offer their address and landline contact number
    • have suitable arrangements in place (i.e. for travel, accommodation, care, maintenance, etc.) and can disclose full details of adequate arrangements including enough money
    • can provide details of return or onward journey
    • if accepted on a course of study, are at a learning institute, independent school or recreational course that is on the register of education and training providers. It cannot be state-funded.

    Contact our experts

    Our team of highly qualified lawyers can assist you with your application for a Child Visitor Visa. They can also support with other UK visas, including Family Visitor Visas and Standard Visitor Visa applications. Alternatively, if you plan a longer trip or live and study in the UK, our experts can assess your eligibility and complete your application to the highest standard.

    Your lawyer can perform a comprehensive document check and produce a supporting Letter of Representation. This support Letter highlights the merits of your case, references your supporting documentation and cites UK immigration law in support of your application.

    Contact us online or call free on 0333 363 8577 to arrange your first meeting with an immigration lawyer today.

    Child visitor visa

    Child Visitor Visa Fees

    A UK Child Visitor Visa costs £115. It must be paid at the time of application and is usually non-refundable. Longer-term visas are also available under the Standard Visitor Visa category. These still only permit stays of up to six months at a time but allow for multiple entries for terms of 2, 5, or 10 years.

    How to apply for a UK Child Visitor Visa

    The application for a Child Visitor Visa involves several steps:

    1. Online Application: Complete the online visa application form on the UK GOV website and apply online
    2. Prepare Documents: Gather all necessary documents for a strong application
    3. Visa Appointment: Schedule and attend an appointment at a visa application centre to submit biometric information (fingerprints and photographs). This may be submitted online, but in some cases, you may need to provide supporting documentation and biometric information in person. 
    4. Submit Application: Submit the completed application form and supporting documents online or at the visa application centre.
    Father walking with child on the beach

    What documents are needed for a Child Visitor Visa?

    • A valid passport
    • Proof of parental or guardian consent
    • Evidence of the purpose of the visit (invitation letter, course details, etc.)
    • Financial documents showing sufficient funds for the stay without needing public funds
    • Details of suitable arrangements, including travel, care and accommodation

    Visa processing time

    A Child Visitor Visa for the UK is usually processed within three weeks of submission. Processing times can vary depending on your country of residence and the time of year. In rare cases, it can take longer than three weeks. The visa fee is non-refundable, even if your application is refused or does not arrive in time, so it is advised to apply in good time. You can apply up to 3 months in advance. 

    For urgent applications, priority processing is available using the following options:

    • Priority Processing: Within 5 working days. £500 additional payment.
    • Super-Priority Processing: Within 24 Hours. £1000 additional payment

    Priority processing is only available in some application centres if you submit your application in person, so it is best to check if your centre uses this service. You must pay for priority processing when submitting your application, which is unavailable later. 

    a parent holding hands with a child

    Can a child travel alone?

    Child Visitors must have a valid Entry Clearance which identifies the adult accompanying the child visitor or states that the child visitor is unaccompanied.

    If they do not have proof that they can travel alone, the Child Visitor Visa will only be valid if the named adult physically escorts the child. 

    Travelling with an adult is required unless permission is granted. In such circumstances, it is typical that documentation needs to be provided with a permitted person picking the child up at the UK border if no parent or guardian is present. Airline policies and procedures must also be met. 

    Many airlines run an Unaccompanied Minor Service, though the age permitted varies (some may permit over 5s, and others over 14s, etc.), so it is worth checking with your airline if you plan to let your child travel alone. 

    Depending on the airline, a staff member will escort the child from check-in to the plane, or a parent may receive a pass to accompany the child to security or the departure gate. During the flight, staff will take care of the child. Upon arrival, the child will be escorted to the parent or guardian waiting to collect them, who must provide ID. These services typically incur an additional cost and must be booked in advance. 

    For a child to travel alone, they must satisfy the same rules and eligibility requirements as above, and some additional requirements are:

    • having written consent from your parent or guardian and complete details of accompanying adults identified by the parent’s guardians and the Home Office.
    • providing your host’s name, birthdate, address, and their consent for your stay.
    • notifying the relevant local authority or authorities. This is required if under 16 (or under 18 with a disability) staying over 28 days with someone other than a close relative. This is not necessary if part of a supervised group or school group accompanied by a teacher for visits of over 28 days.

    How can IAS help?

    At IAS, our expert advisers can help assist and support you through each stage of your visa application process.

    Our services include:

    • advising you on your child’s eligibility under the UK immigration rules;
    • assessing and collating your documents, ensuring they are sufficient for the application;
    • professionally completing and compiling all necessary paperwork;
    • producing a tailored Letter of Representation highlighting the merits of your case, referring to supporting documentation and citing UK immigration law;
    • liaising with the Home Office until a decision is reached.

    Contact us now on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form to speak to one of our immigration lawyers.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you (or your child) visit the UK as a child visitor, you can only stay for a maximum of six months. If you were granted leave to enter the UK for three months, this will be noted in your passport.

    You can use the FLR(O) application to apply for a child visitor extension.

    You are not allowed to stay in the UK as a visitor for more than six months, and you are expected to return to your home country when your visa expires.

    If you are visiting a close family member, you may appeal a decision to refuse entry clearance. An immigration officer will tell you which family members qualify for this appeal.

    We recommend you apply for Entry Clearance in your country of residence before travelling to the UK.

    No—with a visa in a visitor category, you will not have to prove a knowledge of the English Language or take the Life in the UK Test.

    But your course may have independent English Language requirements if you are studying here.

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