To extend your visa you must:
- be in the UK on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa
- have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor – shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
- show that your studies are at a higher academic level than your current course (called the ‘academic progress requirement’) – there are some exceptions
If you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.
Apply to extend your dependants’ visas at the same time as you extend your own visa. If you cannot apply at the same time, your partner or child can extend their visas at a later date – this must be before their current visa expires.
Showing academic progress
If you’re currently studying in the UK, you’ll usually need to show your studies will be at a higher academic level than your current course.
Your new course must be one of the following:
- at a higher academic level than your current course
- at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations – it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Provider (HEP)
- intercalated to a medicine, dentistry or medical science course you started studying under your Student visa (including a Tier 4 (General) student visa)
You do not need to show your studies are at a higher level if you’re doing one of the following:
- resitting exams or repeating modules
- applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that lost its student sponsorship licence
- applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Student visa (including a Tier 4 (General) student visa)
- completing a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Student visa (including a Tier 4 (General) student visa)
- continuing your medical, dentistry or medical science degree after completing an intercalated course
- applying to extend your stay to complete your studies because you’ve done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme
If you’re applying to work in the UK
You can get a CAS if you’re applying to work as a student union sabbatical officer.
When to apply
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts.
You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.
You must also apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
You can stay in the UK until you get your decision.
If you applied for an administrative review because your application was refused, you can stay in the UK until you get your review decision.
For each person, you’ll need to pay:
- £475 to extend this visa
- the healthcare surcharge – check how much you’ll have to pay
You may need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
You must apply online.
As part of your application you’ll need to prove your identity.
How you do this depends on where you’re from and the type of passport you have.
- give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document – you will also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account
You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.
How long it takes to get a decision
A decision will usually be made within 8 weeks.
You may be able to pay to get a faster decision – you’ll be told if you can when you apply.
After you apply
You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:
- your supporting documents need to be verified
- you need to attend an interview
- of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
You can ask to withdraw your application by contacting UKVI. Your fee will only be refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.
If your application is successful
If your application is successful, you’ll get either:
- a biometric residence permit – if you gave your biometric information at a UKVCAS centre
- a digital immigration status which you can view and prove online – if you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app