Schools visa service

Passport and visa

The issues

The overseas student market is buoyant and, for many independent schools, an essential source of revenue. But, unless the student is a national of one of the countries of the European Economic Area, they will need a Tier 4 student visa to enter the UK to study between the ages of 4 and 17.

The process can be daunting but at CLM, our lawyers specialise in helping independent schools obtain student visas on behalf of their pupils.

How CLM can help

Nearly 700 Independent Schools Council (ISC) schools are registered with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for Tier 4 visas and independent schools sponsor around 15,000 overseas pupils each year, as well as employing gap students and other overseas staff.

Securing visas to the UK for overseas students can be a daunting process, particularly in light of the ever-changing UK Immigration Rules. However, CLM’s Visa Service provides practical advice from approachable immigration specialists.

We are able to take the administrative burden and worry about visa applications away from independent schools by advising on a range of matters such as:

  • Applications for entry clearance or leave to remain for overseas students under Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child)
  • Administrative Review under the Tier 4 categories
  • Advising on sponsorship duties and applications for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Migration checks on pupils – and other sponsor compliance responsibilities
  • Teaching partnership arrangements – how to prove your relationship with pre-sessional providers
  • Employing gap students and other overseas staff
  • Reporting to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
  • Sponsorship of non-EEA national employees under Tier 2

How we work

Much of the visa application process is straightforward but burdensome. Although straightforward, if steps are missed out or information not properly vetted, then you risk having UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) reject the application.

Then there are occasions where complexities emerge and the decision needs to be appealed.

CLM Visa Services provides you with a straightforward, tried and tested process – all for a fixed fee – giving you peace of mind that your overseas student recruitment process will run smoothly and effectively.

Equally important is the way in which we deal with parents. This can be an anxious time for them, with a great deal riding on the outcome. Our lawyers strive to make the process as smooth as possible, answering parents’ queries and allaying fears. This, in turn, reflects well on your school, as the sponsoring establishment.

CLM Visa Services undertakes the following:

  • The school logs basic details about the student into a database provided by CLM
  • CLM provides parents with information about the application process, with key steps they need to undertake and key dates
  • The parent applies for the visa
  • CLM checks all the UKVI requirements: passport, domicile, study intentions, proof of funding and that a year’s fee have been paid upfront
  • CLM records the status of each of the required steps – precision is vital at this point, as otherwise UKVI may reject the application
  • The school is able to monitor each email received from parents and sent by CLM
  • Once the visa is granted, CLM logs this on the database and records the status as closed.

Next steps
For expert advice and assistance with the processing of Tier 4 Student visa applications or appeals, call our specialist schools visa lawyers on 01235 821115 or email