English Country Schools is accredited by a UKBA approved accreditation body known as Accreditation UK (a British Council scheme which offers an accreditation service for English language schools.)
The following attempts to explain / summarise the visa requirements for children wishing to attend English Country Schools. This information is provided in good faith based on the information at the UK Border Agency web site, http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ English Country Schools disclaims all liability for any errors, misunderstandings or omissions in the contents of this page and disclaims all liability to you if you choose to act on our interpretation of the visa requirements. For the latest authoritative advice please see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ or contact your nearest UK visa application centre: please see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries.
At the time of this update (January 2014) our understanding of the visa requirements is:
Your child will *not* need a visa if he or she holds a United Kingdom passport or one issued by another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. You can find a list of these countries at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/
Your child *will* need a visa if he or she is a national or citizen of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People's Republic of China (except those referred to in sub-paragraphs 2(d) and (e) of this Appendix), Colombia, Comoros, CongoCuba, Democratic, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, SaoTome, Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, The territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
To check if your child needs a visa to visit the UK please see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/do-you-need-a-visa/
The correct visa for a child to attend a short English Language course in England is a CHILD VISITOR VISA. Do *not* ask for or be persuaded that your child needs a visa under Tier 4 (for example do *not* ask for a Child Student Visa or Student Visitor Visa).
The correct application form to apply for a Child Visitor Visa appears to be VAF1A. You can find this at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/visas/vaf1a.pdf
The Child Visitor Visa can be 'accompanied child visitor' or 'unaccompanied child visitor' depending on whether your child will be travelling with or without a named accompanying adult. If your child is travelling independently or in the care of airline staff (UM) he or she will need an 'unaccompanied child visitor' visa. If your child is travelling with a named accompanying adult (eg. with a parent or other adult relative) the child will need an 'accompanied child visitor' visa and will only be allowed to travel in the company of the named adult.
A long-term visitor visa exists for people who wish to make frequent short visits to the UK. Long term visas can be for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. Long term visas do not mean that the visitor is allowed to stay in the UK continuously during the period of the validity of the visa. Visitors are still required to remain in the UK for a maximum of 180 days per 12 months period. A long-term Child Visitor Visa makes sense if you think your child will travel to the UK several times over the next few years. Be careful if you decide to name an accompanying adult on the visa as this would mean that the same person will need to travel with the child every time they enter the UK. For further information please see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/child/extend/
To assist with your application, if your child requires a visa English Country Schools will, after receiving your deposit payment, send a Letter of Confirmation to you containing the following:
- The full name and date of birth of the child, with passport number if provided.
- The start and finish dates of the course and the full address of the centre where your child will be staying.
- Confirmation that the course fees include airport transfers, full residential accommodation, travel and medical insurance, 15 x 1hr English lessons per week and an organised activity programme.
- Confirmation that English Country Schools is Accredited by a UKBA approved accreditation body (Accreditation UK)
Depending on the country, visa applications can take several weeks to process and longer to correct mistakes. If your child requires a visa you are advised to begin the visa application process well in advance.
(C) Christopher Etchells, 2014