View Full Version : How to Extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK (Information Pack)

1st June 2013, 23:08
Extending your Stay in the UK/ Renewing your visa in the UK

To extend your stay in the UK on a Tier 4 General student visa the institution must be on the UK Border Agency Sponsor Register for Licensed Sponsors and you must meet all the Tier 4 requirements.

A sponsor for Tier 4 visa purposes is the educational institution who supports your visa application to study in the UK. You can find the UK Border Agency's list of Tier 4 sponsors here: UKBA Register of Tier 4 Sponsors (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/registerofsponsorseducation),

Applying to extend a student visa will need to use the Tier 4 (General) application form.
Tier 4 (General) Application Form & Guidance notes (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/tier4applicationform1.pdf)

Summary of the Tier 4 (General) Student Extension Rules
Tier 4 (General) is part of the UK Border Agency's Points Based System for managed migration. Under the Points Based System you need to earn the necessary points in order to be considered for an extension. You are required to have 40 points:

30 for the university Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), and
10 for maintenance (money available to you for your course fees and living costs)
You will need to have money in your own bank account covering your full fees for the current year of your course and specified living costs.

Tuition fees for the course (first or current year) PLUS
Living expenses of 9,000 (1000 per month for each month of your course up to a maximum of 9 months) OR
Living expenses of up to 2,000 (1000 per month for each month of your course up to a maximum of 2 months)

Application Fee & Process

Application Fee if applying on or after 06 April 2013:

Postal and 'Print and Send' application - 406
In Person (Premium) application - 781 (inclusive of 100 booking fee)
Please note: It is currently unclear whether the paper application form is still being accepted. We therefore strongly encourage you to use the 'Print and Send' service, unless you are using theSuper Premium Service (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/super-premium/) or have already booked a Public Enquiry Office appointment. The UK Border Agency have an online booking system (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/applyinginperson/book-appointment/) for Premium (in person) applications. As of 6 April 2013, an initial payment of 100 towards the application fee is required in order to book an appointment. This fee is non refundable should you fail to attend the appointment.

Who can apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa in the UK?
You currently hold a valid student visa or one of the other types of visa which allows you to switch to Tier 4 in the UK (see below): Only the following categories of visa allow switching to Tier 4 in the UK:
Student visa (old style or Tier 4)
Prospective Student Visa
Tier 1- Post Study Work only
Work Permit holder or Tier 2 - General (sponsored skilled workers)
Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) or Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
Participant of the International Graduate Scheme (IGS), Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme or Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme -(SEGS)
Note: If you are not in the UK as one of the above categories, you must leave the UK and apply for Entry Clearance from your home country.

Note: If you are moving from one course to another and there is a gap of more than 28 days between the end of your visa and the start of your new course, you must leave the UK.

When to Apply for an Extension
We always advise that you apply for your visa extension as early as possible, ideally around 3 months before your visa expires, if you meet the requirements.
You can apply for an extension in the UK under Tier 4 if you are:
currently studying and continuing on the course that you have already started (this does not include students who are on a break) or
moving on to a new course which starts no later than 28 days after your visa expires
If you do not meet these rules, then you must return to your home country and you may be able to make an application from there.

Limit to amount of time spent in the UK
The amount of time you can study at degree level (NQFL 6 or above) on a Tier 4 visa is limited to five years.
When applying for a Tier 4 visa, the amount of time you have previously spent studying in the UK will be considered. When calculating whether or not the five year limit applies to you, all time spent studying in the UK at degree level or above, whilst on a Tier 4 visa or pre-Tier 4 visa (student visa issued prior to 31March 2009) will be taken into account.
This does not apply to:
Architecture students
PhD students*

Maintenance Requirements (Money)
You must show that you have held the required amount of money in your bank account for the last 28 days without dipping below at any point. Evidence must be dated less than one month old. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/Tier4migrantguidance.pdf).
If you are on the UKBA's list of 'low-risk' nationals, you are not required to submit this evidence with your application, but will be required to provide it if the UKBA request it at a later date.

Evidence of funds
You must show evidence of the funds available to you depending on your situation:
Bank statements in your name covering a 28 day period (no more than a month old) always at the amount of required funds or above; or
Original letter from your bank confirming that you have maintained the required amount of funds for the 28 day period immediately prior to your application; or
Original letter from your bank or financial organisation confirming loan agreement and amount; or
Original letter from the organisation providing your official financial sponsorship stating the amount that they will provide you with or a statement that they will provide the full tuition fees and living costs
Note: Letters and Bank statements should be dated no more than a month prior to application. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 guidance notes.
If you are on the UKBA's list of 'low-risk' nationals, you are not required to submit this evidence with your application, but will be required to provide it if the UKBA request it at a later date.

Procedures for requesting a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
A Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is an electronic document inputted directly into the UK Border Agency database by the University.
The UK Border Agency stopped accepting Visa Letters for student visa applications made on or after 22nd February 2010. The Visa Letter was replaced by a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which you can obtain by following the procedures below.

English Language Requirements & Educational Qualifications
English Language Requirements
The UK Border Agency requires the university to ensure that you have the required level of English language ability. There are a number of different ways through which you will be able to meet the English language requirements of a Tier 4 General visa for study at highly trusted Institution. Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will state how the University has assessed you meet the English Language Requirements. This can be through one of the following:

If Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) has determined, through its own methods that you are sufficiently competent in English language to study at the level of your course. If this is based on a particular qualification or certificate and is named on your CAS, you must provide the original document*.
Secure English Language Test (SELT) - If you meet the English Language Requirement through an appropriate SELT, this will be stated on your CAS. For example: if you have taken IELTS, you will need to include a valid original test certificate with your application.*
If you have taken the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) a physical paper certificate is not required. However, you must have a print out of your online score report*. In addition, you will also need to ensure that you have made your online results available to the UK Border Agency listing on the Pearson verification service on the Pearson website. NB This provision only applies to the PTE Academic test as no physical paper certificate is produced by the test provider for this test. Where an applicant undertakes an English language course which results in an official paper certificate, this certificate must always be submitted in support of their application

If you are continuing on the same course at Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) and have already completed at least one semester it should be stated on your CAS that you meet the English Language requirements in line with the Tier 4 guidance for Higher Education Institutions (HEI's). In this case you will not need to provide any evidence of this.

Useful links for Visas and Immigration
UK Border Agency (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/)
United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) (http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/)
Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) (http://www.iasuk.org/)