This visa route is only open to PhD students who are very near to the end of their studies. Even though this visa falls under the Tier 4 route it is a work visa which allows the applicant to remain in the UK for 12 months to work for any employer, look for work or set up a business.

If you wish to remain in the UK beyond this 12 month period you will need to move into another visa category for which you are eligible.

When can I apply?

PhD students can apply for this visa once the following steps have been completed:

  • viva completed
  • final corrections made and uploaded to the Spiral system
  • internal examiner has confirmed that the corrections have been completed and
  • submission of Thesis Declaration Form to Registry, signed by the PhD student and their supervisor

Once these steps have been completed your date of award will be the 1st of the following month (eg if you complete all these steps in March then 1 April will be your date of award). Now you can email the International Student Support team to request a new CAS number.

The visa application must be made 

  1. before the PhD date of award and
  2. before the current Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.

Applications can only be made from within the UK.

Requesting a CAS

Once you have completed the steps mentioned in "When can I apply?" please email the International Student Support team to request a new CAS number and state that it is for a Doctorate Extension visa.

Visa application

What funds do I need to show?

Available cash funds, also known as maintenance, are a requirement for this visa. An applicant will need to demonstrate they have held £ 2530 in a bank account for 28 consecutive days. The money may be a UK bank account or an overseas bank account.

Visa application

The International Student Support office offers a Check and Send service whereby an adviser will check and post your application to the Home Office on your behalf. If you wish to receive a faster decision on your application an adviser will check your application and assist you in booking a premium appointment with the Home Office.

Documents required
  • Passport
  • Biometric Resident Permit (if your visa was issued in this format)
  • Police Registration Certificate (only if you are from a country required to register and it must be up-to-date)
  • 2 Brand new passport size photos on a grey or light cream background
  • Bank statements
  • CAS number

Please note that if you have been fully financially sponsored (all tuition fees and living expenses) by a government or international scholarship agency, and this funding ended less than 12 months before your intend to apply for this visa, you will need written permission from that sponsor to say they do not object to you applying for the visa. If you were fully funded by Imperial College then you do not need a letter of consent.

Important links