Visas and Guardianship



Unless the student is a British citizen or holds an EU passport, he or she will require a visa to study for courses longer than 6 months in the UK.

In general, students will apply for one of the following two visas:

Tier 4 (Child) student visa

  • For students aged between 4 and 17
  • For those aged between 4 and 15, they must be coming to the UK to be educated at an independent, fee-paying school

Tier 4 (General) student visa

  • For students aged 16 or over

Students applying in Hong Kong will need to:

  • Register an account at
  • Complete and submit the online visa application
  • Pay the application fee with a credit card
  • Make an appointment online
  • On the appointment day, bring along a printout of the completed and signed visa application, appointment confirmation and all supporting documents
  • Attend appointments in person to complete bio-metric tests

As part of the visa application process, parents are required by law to appoint a UK-based guardian for international students under 18 on 1st September at the year of entry.

For most families, such arrangements are made through guardianship agencies. There are many guardianship agencies, each with different service plans and levels of costs. Since not every parent will want the same service from a guardian, it is important for parents to decide what they want and to find out if it is or could be provided. In this regard, we are able to advise parents on guardian choices and highly recommend parents to only consider AEGIS-accredited guardianship agencies.

In our view, it is absolutely crucial that families treat this often overlooked aspect with great care and handpick a guardian with whom they can entrust their children.


For more information on the list of AEGIS-accredited guardianship agencies, please contact us.

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