Extending your Tier 4 Visa

STOP PRESS: Recent Immigration changes

Visa Application Fee Changes

As of the 6th April 2018:

Tier 4 and Tier 4 dependants
Entry clearance (visa) applications outside the UK:

  • Standard – £348 (£335)
  • Priority visa service – £560 (£519)
  • Super priority visa service – £1,304 (£1,254)
  • User-pay visa application centre – £55 (£55)

Leave to remain (extension) applications in the UK

  • Standard – £475 (£457)
  • Priority service – £952 (£916)
  • Premium service – £1,085 (£1,047)
  • Super premium service – £10,500 (£10,500)

Short-term students

  • Up to six months – £97 (£93) and remains free for non-visa nationals who apply on arrival in the UK
  • More than six and up to 11 months – £186 (£179)

As of the 11th January 2018

Changes to Tier 4:

Students who need to make a Tier 4 application to undertake a study abroad programme or an assessed work placement, or who need to extend their visa having completed a study abroad programme or work placement as part of their course, are now exempt from having to meet any requirement about academic progress. In practice this means that you may be able to add a work placement without returning home. Please contact IISA directly for further information and to check eligibility.

A limited pilot has been announced whereby students who are granted entry clearance to enter the UK from certain countries (currently limited to the USA) will receive an “e-visa” has opposed to the traditional vignette sticker in the passport.

Short Term Study:

The rules regarding the Short Term study visa have been amended to allow students who are studying on this category of visa to stay for an additional 30 days after their course has ended. However, this does not allow you to stay beyond the end date as stated on your visa.

Changes to Tier 2:

Tier 4 students (excluding those studying a PhD) who are switching to Tier 2 (General) previously needed to have completed and passed their course. This has changed so that students can make their application for Tier 2 as soon as the course has been completed. If the final degree certificate or academic transcript are not yet available, evidence can be submitted stating the date the course was completed, having sat all exams and presented all academic papers.

As of the 6th April 2017

The government have published their statement of changes due to come into effect on the 6 April 2017. The following changes will affect USW students:
◾ Definition of a working week – from the 6 April 2017, the Home Office will define a working week as a seven day period starting on a Monday. This means that during term-time, Tier 4 students will be able to work a maximum of 20 hours in the seven day period from Monday to Sunday.
◾ Permission to extend visa from official financial sponsor – the rules clarify that you only require permission to extend your visa if you have been wholly sponsored (tuition fees and living costs) by a government or an international scholarship agency within the last 12 months.
◾ Educational loans – from the 6 April 2017, educational loans where the tuition fees and living costs are paid directly to the School and the living costs are released to the student upon registration, can be used as evidence of finances. An example of these are the non-US Federal loans provided by Sallie-Mae. If you have a non-educational loan which doesn’t meet the definitions in the Home Office guidance, the money must still be held in your bank account for a 28 consecutive day period before your visa application.
◾ Period of overstay – from the 6 April 2017, the period of overstay where an application can be submitted is clarified as within 28 days or your current or most recent visa. The period of time where a ban for overstaying will be implemented is reduced from 90 days to 30 days.

Immigration Rules now state that when calculating the time limits (or ‘caps’) on study (the length of time you are permitted to study in the UK in total), it is the period of leave that you have previously been granted that will count towards the time limits, even if you did not spend all of this time studying and/or you used this time to study a different level of course. The UKVI will shortly clarify how this will effect students who have visas which have been curtailed.

The study condition for Tier 4 (General) students is being tightened so that if you apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa on or after 6 April 2016 you can only change course at the same institution if:

  • you haven’t completed the course for which your CAS was assigned
  • the course is taught by a UK recognised body or HEI that has Tier 4 sponsor status
  • the course is at degree level or above
  • the new course isn’t at a lower level than the previous course for which you were granted leave

  • you will be able to complete the new course within your current period of leave if you have previously been granted Tier 4 (General) or Student leave your sponsor must confirm that either:

1) the course is related to the previous course for which you were granted leave (that is, it is connected to your previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation) or
2) your previous course and the new course in combination support the your genuine career aspirations

A full summary of the changes to the Immigration Rules can be found here . If you would like further clarification please contact us.

The Tier 4 General application is now £457 for a postal application and £1047 for a premium, in-person appointment.

From 12 November 2015: students will need to show £1,015 per month towards the Tier 4 visa’s maintenance requirement (living expenses). The Home Office is also removing the ‘established presence’ provision so all students will need to show £1015 per month for the duration of their course or up to a maximum of 9 months, whichever is shorter.

There is now also an NHS health surcharge which you will have to pay before you make your visa application. For further information, including how to calculate the immigration health surcharge, please go to the following pages on the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website:

Applying for a Tier 4 visa in your home country
Applying for a Tier 4 visa in the UK

Biometric letter information

As part of the Tier 4 application process, you will be required to attend a participating Post Office to register your photograph and fingerprints. You will be charged £19.20 by the Post Office for this service. When you have submitted your application, a member of IISA will give you a letter that you need to take to:

Post Office
45-46 Queens Arcade
Queen Street
Cardiff
CF10 2BY

This process must be completed within 15 working days. If you do not complete it within this time frame, you may be putting your application at risk.

Completing your CAS assessment form

Before issuing your CAS statement, the University is required to consider your current circumstances and study history in order to assess whether or not you are eligible for a Tier 4 student visa. In order to access a CAS statement from the University to make your visa application you therefore need to fully complete the electronic CAS assessment form and submit as directed. You will also need to email us copies of the following documents:

  • Passport(s), including all UK visas
  • Documentation regarding all courses you have undertaken in the UK to date (e.g. offer letters / student status letters / CAS / results letters)
  • Bank statements showing you have enough money in your account to meet the Tier 4 maintenance requirements as outlined in our above guide (or sponsorship letter if you are a Government sponsored student)

Don’t forget if you are continuing on the same course you will also need to request your CAS statement from your faculty; completing the CAS assessment form alone is not sufficient.

Completing the online Tier 4 (General) application form

If you are applying by post or in person you will need to complete the Tier 4 (General) application form online.

Please come to drop-in in Treforest between 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (closed Tuesday afternoons from 1pm) or to CA008 in the Atrium between 9.30am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays and we will assist you with this.

If your visa is refused or if there is an error on your visa, you will need to submit an Administrative Review. A member of IISA will be able to assist you in identifying whether or not an administrative review is appropriate and will then also submit this for you.

When your new visa is returned all students must update the Home Office with their current home address (even if it is the same as the one you put on your form). Please see the Change of Circumstances page for details about how to do this.