The Short Term Student Child route is for children under the age of eighteen (18) years, who intend coming to the United Kingdom for studying for up to six (6) months on a course that does not include either a work placement or a work experience.
The applicants should be accepted for a course of study by an accredited institution. The applicant needs to provide an acceptance letter from the institution with course details.
Child Student’s Arrangements for Travel, Reception and Care
It is a statutory duty of Her Majesty’s Home Office to take care of children u/s 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.
The applicant is required to show that suitable arrangements have been made for his/her travel to, and arrival and care in, the United Kingdom. During the application assessment process, the genuineness of documents is thoroughly scrutinised by the examining officer.
Letter of Consent for Short Term Student Child Visa UK
If a foster carer/relative, who is not either a parent or guardian, has responsibility for child student’s care in the UK, then the applicant must provide a letter of consent from his/her parent or parents or legal guardian regarding arrangements for his/her travel to, and reception/care while in the United Kingdom that should include:
- the name and also the date of birth of the responsible foster carer or relative in the UK;
- the address where the child student will be living in the UK;
- the relationship of the foster carer/relative to the applicant;
- authority from child’s parent(s) or legal guardian allowing the foster carer or relative to care for the applicant/child student during his/her stay in the UK;
- a letter from the education provider, which should include details of the foster care arrangements, and also confirming the education provide either have or will notify the local authority – the education provider should include the reply from the local authority if they have one;
Private foster care arrangements are required to be notified to the relevant local authority by:
- the parent(s) or any other carer of the child student;
- other parties to the arrangement, for instance, the education provider in the UK;
- the Home Office UK if neither of the above has;
Unless there is cause for concern, the evidence can be either:
- the child student is accompanied by parent(s);
- suitable arrangements for private foster care exist, as detailed above;
The following information is noted:
- The name, address and also landline telephone number of either the parent or the carer in the child’s country of residence;
- the host in the United Kingdom;
- the individual(s) accompanying the child student;
If details are unclear, missing or other factors suggest concerns about the child’s welfare, then further enquiries are made to confirm the identity and residence of the host, and it is ensured that the child is expected.
If the entry clearance officer (ECO) is not satisfied with the child’s welfare in the UK, then the application is reasonable to be refused.
Scrutiny at the Port of Entry
If the immigration officers have any concerns about child’s welfare in the UK, then either children’s services department of the local authority or the police is contacted. Children’s services of the local authority advice on the
Children’s services of the local authority advice on the suitability of the sponsor and will get the child into their care if they recognise that the sponsor is either unsuitable or if there is no reliable sponsor.
To get entry to the UK, a short-term child student must give evidence that he/she has a parent or guardian who is responsible for his/her care in the home country or the country of permanent habitat. The parent or guardian are required to give their consent to the arrangements for the child’s travel/reception/care in the United Kingdom. Most applications made for either entry clearance or leave to enter are usually made by either the parent or the legal guardian and present no difficulty.
Most applications for either entry clearance or leave to enter are made by the parent or the legal guardian and present no difficulty. However, when the application is not made by either the parent or the guardian, and there is no other factor in the application which is a cause for concern, a letter from the parent(s) or guardian which consents to the child’s application is enough to establish that this requirement has been met. If the child student’s parents are divorced, the consent must come from the parent who either holds the legal custody of or sole responsibility for the child.
Private Foster Care
A short-term child student is considered to be in private foster care if he/she is:
- under the age of sixteen (16) years;
- under eighteen (18) years of age with a known disability;
- being cared for on a full-time basis for more than twenty-eight (28) days;
- not being cared for by a parent(s) or close relatives;
Parents or other carers, and other parties to the foster care arrangement (for instance, the education provider), is required to notify the local authority when a foster care arrangement is made. The Home Office must tell the local authority where the child will be staying if this has not been done.
A short-term child student is not in private foster care when a parent, close relative or legal guardian is looking after the child.
If the applicable laws by either the parent or the guardian of a child then usually no detailed enquiries are made about whether the adult, who will be accompanying the child, is acceptable unless there is a cause for concern.
If the application is not made by either the parent or the guardian, then details enquiries are made about the accompanying adult(s), and following facts are recorded:
- names and also passport number (to be included on a child’s visa);
- address in the home country;
- any address in the UK or abroad;
- employment details;
- their relationship with:
- the child;
- their parent/guardian
- their host in the UK
The applicant is required to furnish a letter of consent from the parent(s) or the legal guardian relating to the arrangements for the child student’s travel to, reception and care while in, the United Kingdom. This consent letter should include the following details:
- the name and also the date of birth of the proposed foster carer;
- the address where the child student will be residing;
- the relationship of the foster carer to the child student;
- authority from parent(s) or legal guardian for the foster carer to care for the child during their stay in the UK;
- a letter from the education provider with:
- details of the foster care arrangement;
- confirmation that the education provider has or will notify the local authority with a reply from the authority if they have one;
During the application assessment, checks are likely to be made so as to ascertain the genuineness of documents.
Private Foster Care: Legislation in the UK
Private foster care is covered under the following legislation for the different countries in the United Kingdom:
Legislation for Foster Care in England and Wales
Following laws relates to private foster care in England and Wales:
- Children Act 1989 – Part IX;
- The Children Regulations 2005 – Private Arrangements for Fostering;
Legislation for Foster Care in Scotland
In Scotland, following legislation covers private foster care:
- Foster Children Act 1984 – Scotland;
- Foster Children Regulations 1985 (Private Fostering) – these regulations require the parent(s) (inclusive of guardian and relative) to:
- notify the relevant local authority of arrangements to be made for the fostering of their child/children privately under the 1984 act;
- make necessary provision for the local authority to examine the suitability of such private fostering arrangements in the interests of a child and for the visiting of such foster child/children by the local authority;
- Scotland – Regulation of Care Act 2001 – where Care Commission is responsible for the administration of the functions of local authorities relating to private foster care arrangements
Legislation for Private Foster Care in Northern Ireland
In the Northern Ireland, following legislation covers private foster care:
- Articles 106/107 – The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;
- Children Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 – Private Arrangements for Fostering – these regulations are comparable to those in England. A health and social care trust is notified of the suitable private foster care arrangements lasting more than twenty-eight (28) days in relation to a child student under sixteen (16) years of age or a child student under eighteen (18) years of age with a disability;
Unaccompanied Vs Accompanied Children
The information on a child student’s visa will differ depending on whether the child student is either accompanied or unaccompanied.
Unaccompanied Visa Nationals
Particular attention is made to the applications from and the circumstances of a child student coming to the United Kingdom on his/her own.
A child student with an ‘unaccompanied’ visa may travel either with or without an accompanying adult.
Accompanied Visa Nationals
If a child student is travelling with an adult, he/she needs to hold a visa which identifies the adult that is accompanying him/her to the United Kingdom. The identification used is the adult’s passport number, initial and surname, which is also included in the child’s visa vignette.
If the child intends to travel with two (2) adults during the validity of the visa, (for instance the child may arrive with one parent and then may travel for a day trip to another country such as France with the other) each of the adults’ passport numbers is entered onto the child’s visa vignette.
The endorsement reads ‘only valid if accompanied by (passport numbers etc. of adults)’.
The child’s visa will only be valid if he/she is accompanied by the identified adult(s).
A child student entering the UK with an adult other than the one identified on his/her visa is refused entry.
Port of Entry
If the Border Force is concerned about the identity of the accompanying adult then it will:
- verify the passport number, initial and surname in the passport of the accompanying adult against the detail recorded for the child’s visa;
- advise the visa application Centre (VAC) that issued the visa so they may make a note against the record, in case subsequent applications are made by the same child student;
The terms of the visa are not met if the accompanying adult has travelled with the child, but has remained airside and does not accompany the child into the UK. Further enquiries are made of the child and the accompanying adult if the accompanying adult remains airside. Refusing the child entry in such circumstances is appropriate.
If the accompanying adult has legitimately got a replacement passport since the child’s visa was issued, this is acceptable as an identity to allow the child student’s entry.
If the old passport has been retained by the issuing authority, the new passport is acceptable if it gives the original passport number in full and contains an official endorsement that confirms it replaces the previous passport. Photocopies of the original passport are not a reliable evidence of identity.