Applying for a student visa in the UK
You may be required to extend your student visa if your current visa does not cover the length of your course or if you will be progressing onto a new course of study. Speak to an adviser in the International Student Support team to discuss your particular circumstances.
We strongly advise you not to make any travel plans until you have received your new visa and supporting documents from the Home Office. It is extremely difficult for us to request a return of your documents/passport or to speed up the processing of your application once the application has been submitted.
Once your application has been submitted you will receive a letter from the Home Office inviting you to attend a biometrics appointment with a participating Post Office. The Post Office website provides a brief video which demonstrates what happens when you attend a biometrics appointment at the Post Office.
Tier 4 students applying in the UK – important information
On 6th April 2016 there was a change to the Immigration Rules for Tier 4 students currently studying in the UK.
If you currently hold a Tier 4 visa and you need to make a new Tier 4 application in the UK you can only do this if:
- You have successfully completed and been awarded the qualification you have been studying and that your current Tier 4 visa was issued for AND
- There is less than 28 days gap between the end date of your current visa and the start date of your new course of study.
- You are a PhD student and you need additional time to complete your course
If you are a current student and you need additional time to complete your course, you will have to leave the UK and make a new Tier 4 application from your home country. This includes:
- If you undertake a work placement as part of the course and this extends your course end date
- If you undertake a study abroad placement as part of the course and this extends your course end date
If your current Tier 4 visa was issued BEFORE 6th April 2016, you can make the new Tier 4 application from your home country at any stage. If your current visa was issued AFTER 6 April 2016, you have to make your Tier 4 application from your home country BEFORE your course changes.
If you are not sure if you are able to make a visa application from within the UK, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I get a new CAS number?
You will need a brand new CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies). More information is available on how to obtain a new CAS number.
What documents will I need for my application?
For further information on the documents that you will need to prepare for your Tier 4 application please visit our documents page.
How do I make an application?
- Refer to our page on applications made inside the UK for the International Student Support guidance on how to complete the Tier 4 (General) online application form.
- DO NOT tick the consent box on the 'Declaration' page of the online form as you will not be able to correct any mistakes beyond this stage.
- Book an appointment with the International Student Support office to have your application and documents checked.
Our office can post the application on your behalf to a dedicated team in the Home Office who deal exclusively with Tier 4 applications. Your new visa, passport and all supporting documents will be returned safely to us by recorded delivery.
Do I need to apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)?
More information on the ATAS scheme and applying for ATAS.
What do I do if my visa is linked to another institution?
- If you want to start a course at Imperial College but still have some time left on a student visa from your previous course at another University/School, you will need to change your tier 4 sponsor [pdf].
- You will not be permitted to complete registration or to start your studies at the College if you hold a Tier 4 visa linked to another institution.
How do my dependants extend their visa?
Please refer to our dependants page for information on dependant applications.
How much does the application cost?
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The health surcharge was introduced on 6 April 2015 and it applies to visa applications for courses that are more than 6 months long.
Cost: The health surcharge is £150 for Tier 4 students and £150 per dependant for each year of the visa granted. The health surcharge is incorporated into the online visa application form and is paid only once the application has been submitted online.
How the surcharge is calculated: The amount payable will be based on the maximum period of time for which a visa could be granted under the relevant application route (eg 17 months for a one year Masters course). Where the maximum period includes part of a year, a pro-rata payment will be applied. Where this is for six months or less, the amount payable will be half the annual surcharge. Where the period is for more than six months, the full yearly surcharge will be payable.
Healthcare provided to those who pay the surcharge: Health surcharge payers will be able to access the National Health Service in the same way as a permanent UK resident, i.e. they will receive NHS care generally free of charge but may be charged for services a permanent resident would also pay for, such as dental treatment and prescription charges in England
There are a limited number of exemptions to paying the health surcharge. You can read the full list of exemptions and further information about the health surcharge on the Home Office website.