Important visa and healthcare updates if your child is coming to study at a UK boarding school

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Important visa and healthcare updates if your child is coming to study at a UK boarding school

Currently the UK government requires 14 days’ quarantine but it is not expected to be a requirement by mid August.

EU / EEA / Swiss passport holders

  • Enter the UK in time for your 14 days quarantine which is best carried out at school. If your school doesn’t provide quarantine then you need an AEGIS guardian who will arrange it for you.

You can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for 5 year visa-free access to the UK.

  • Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 31st December 2020 – don’t leave it until the last minute. Application is online.
  • You will be awarded Pre-settled status (or possibly Settled status if you have lived here continuously for 5 years) which lasts for 5 years even if you live for a maximum of 2 years outside the UK during this time.
  • Pre-settled status entitles you to the right to come and go or stay in the UK as often as you want without a visa.
  • If you live in the UK for most of the next 5 years they you can then apply for settled status. If you’ve already lived here for most of the last 5 years then you might be granted settled status in preference to pre-settled status now.

Non European passport holder?

Tier 4 Visa

Prepare your Tier 4 visa application for submission online once the visa centres in your country open.

  • Your school will provide your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) – evidence to UKVI that your visa application is to study at their school.
  • Appointment making hasn’t been a particular problem in countries where the visa centres have recently opened.
  • Visa processing takes 3 weeks typically and costs £348. There is unlikely to be any fast track process currently.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) costs £300 per year of visa and entitles you to free use of the NHS.
  • If your visa centre doesn’t open in time for you to arrive in the UK for your school’s quarantine then you might be able to apply for a Short-term Study visa when you arrive at Border Control.

Short-term Study Visa

If you do not normally need a visa to visit the UK, you can study for up to 6 months without applying in advance.

  • You must see a border officer when you arrive in the UK - do not use the ePassport gates.
  • School will provide you with a letter to say you are studying for one term (or any period less than 6 months) - you need to hand this to the Immigration control when your passport is checked  on arrival.
  • You will need to return home before your visa expires.
  • Once you have arrived in the UK, you should submit your Tier 4 application online and arrange your visa appointment when you return home in December so you are able to return in January.

Quarantine and healthcare

  • Most schools are providing quarantine but if not, then you should engage an AEGIS guardian who can make arrangements for you.
  • It is generally believed that quarantine will not be required by mid – end of August but schools will still welcome international students and run a different international induction programme for those whose flights were booked.
  • NHS treatment is free for EU students but Tier 4 students must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for their visa online. This entitles Tier 4 students to free use of the NHS. The HIS is £300 per year of study.
  • If the UK has lockdown again it is unlikely that boarding schools will close. If your child entered on a Short-term Study visa and is unable to fly home then it is expected they will be granted leave to remain as happened currently.

The Tier 4 Visa application involves lots of documentation. Our recommendation is to prepare all the documentation ready to apply as soon as visa centres open in your country. As you can’t afford to make any mistakes, we strongly recommend using a reputable visa specialist to ensure you’ve got everything covered.

The Academic Families visa lawyers can manage your visa application to ensure your child’s Tier 4 visa is awarded as soon as possible with no hitches.

This article appears in the following categories  Guardianship, School Placement

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