Do you need a visa?
If you are planning to join us at Samiad this summer, you may need a visa to enter the UK if you are travelling from overseas. You will need a visa if you are travelling from outside the EU and you are a visa national.
A visa national is a national or citizen of certain countries that require a visa to come to the UK. The type of visa you will need to study a programme at Samiad is a ‘Child visitor visa’. All other visa’s including Tier 4 (Child) are not applicable.
To come to the UK as a child visitor, you must be able to show that:
- you are under 18 years old;
- you intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months
- you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- you have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
- suitable arrangements have been made for your travel to your destination;
- you have a parent or guardian in your home country who is responsible for your care, and you can provide their address, their landline phone number; and
- confirmation that they consent to the arrangements for your travel to, and reception and care in, the UK;
- you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and
- you are not in transit to a country outside the 'Common Travel Area' (Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).
In addition to this, you must be able to show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:
- live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits;
- take paid or unpaid employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directly to members of the public;
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership; or
- receive private medical treatment.
Accompanied or unaccompanied child visitor?
If you will be travelling to the UK without an adult (someone over the age of 18), the UK Border Agency will treat you as an 'unaccompanied child visitor'. Your parent or guardian will need to provide:
- their written consent for you to travel to the UK;
- their full contact details;
- evidence that suitable living arrangements have been made for your stay in the UK;
- the name and date of birth of your intended carer;
- address where you will be living;
- relationship of foster carer to you;
- authority from your parent(s) or legal guardian allowing your carer to care for you during your stay in the UK; and
- a letter from the school to include details of the care arrangements, confirming they have or will notify the local authority. They must include the reply from the local authority if they have one.
If you will be travelling to the UK with an adult (someone over the age of 18), we will treat you as an 'accompanied child visitor'.
If you apply for a visa, you must identify this adult in your visa application. The adult's name will appear on your visa, and you will be refused entry to the UK if you arrive in the UK without that adult. You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application, and your visa will only be valid if you travel with at least 1 of those adults.
The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.
Other information about children
The United Kingdom Border Agency has an obligation under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to safeguard the welfare of children. This means that if you apply as a child visitor they will want to know who your parents are, who you are travelling with and that there are adequate care arrangements for you in the UK.
If you are an adult (other than the parent or legal guardian) travelling with a child, you may be asked to present the parents’ or legal guardian’s written consent. If you are the child’s parent, you may be asked to provide evidence of the other parent’s consent if they are not travelling with you.
The Entry Clearance Officer may wish to see:
- the child’s birth certificate
- a signed and dated letter from the child’s parent or guardian
- an official letter from an authority confirming guardianship
Visa support letter
- Full name and date of birth of the child
- Passport number including the date of issue and the date of expiry
- The start and finish dates of the course and the full address of the school at which the child will be staying
In some cases, the Embassy in your home country may ask for the original hard copy of the letter, instead of the scanned copy. Samiad can arrange for this letter to be sent to you by courier at a charge of £45. Please make sure that sufficient time is given as delivery can take up to 10 days.
More information on how to apply for a UK visa can be found on the UK Boarder Agency website