Without a visa, it is impossible for a child without British citizenship to study in the UK, at a football school or elsewhere. There are two main methods for children to secure the right to study, and they are detailed in this blog.
A Child Student Visa allows those aged 4 to 17 to study at independent schools in the UK. You can apply from inside or outside the UK, and the visa allows you to stay for the length of your course plus an additional 4 months. Courses must be no longer than 6 years for those under 16, and no longer than 3 years for 16- or 17-year-olds. This visa is not applicable to all courses; the course must be taught in line with either the national curriculum, the Regulated Qualifications Framework at level 3 or below, or independent school education inspection standards – in other words, the structure of the school’s curriculum will have had to be analysed and found acceptable. It would therefore be best to ask the football school you are considering whether they teach within these guidelines. Once a school has accepted your child, they will issue them with a CAS number to use on their visa application. If your child is over 16, this visa would allow them to work 10 hours a week during term time (unless it is part of the course, in which case more work is allowed) and full-time outside of term time. They would not be able to receive public funds (including studying at a state-funded school) or apply for settlement.
The other method of gaining the right to study in the UK is joining a family member in the country on another visa, such as a Skilled Worker or Innovator Founder visa. The most likely situation would be that you would find work in the UK and then bring over your child, along with any other dependants you may have. You will need to provide your child’s birth certificate with your name on it, show that the child lives with you (using something like an official letter from their school), and prove that you have the money to support them. Taking your child to the UK as a dependant would allow them to study at a football school. They would need to apply as a dependant linked to your work visa, information on which can be found here, as well as on the pages for individual visas on the UK government website.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.