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Extending your Tier 4 Visa in the UK

Passports and visas

If you need to extend your student visa from within the UK, you need to prepare your documents at least three months before your current visa expires. Make sure you're able to make a student extension application in the UK:

  • If you're applying for a visa in order to start a new degree, and this degree starts more than 28 days after your visa expiry date, then you will not be able to extend your visa from within the UK and will need to return home to obtain a new one

  • If you're applying for a Tier 4 visa to start a new degree, you cannot apply more than three months before the start of your new degree

  • You cannot apply for a Tier 4 student visa in the UK if you currently have a Student Visitor Visa/Short Term Study visa.

  • You should apply for an extension before your current visa expires, if your current visa is not long enough to cover the entire duration of your course or you decide to enrol on a further course of study.

If you apply after your visa expiry date you will be an 'overstayer' and this can have a serious impact on your registration status at Royal Holloway and your visa application. Please see information on  'Protecting your Tier 4 status' on the UKCISA website. If you think you may have overstayed on your visa please contact us immediately.


I've completed my PELP, how do I extend my visa in the UK?

If you're currently studying in the UK and have a tier 4 visa for another institution you must make an application for a Royal Holloway tier 4 visa before you start your Pre-Sessional English Language Programme (PELP). 

In order to do this you must ensure that you have sufficient funds in your UK bank account for 28 days prior to your application date.

You need to show you have the living costs plus the tuition fees (unless you have already paid all your tuition fees to the College.)

If you are on a:

  • 12 week (PELP) you need £3795 plus  £3,690.00( tuition fees for PELP)

  • 12 week (PELP) + degree you need £11,385 plus tuition fees for degree and PELP

  • Eight week (PELP) you need £2530 plus £2,520  tuition fees for PELP

  • Eight week (PELP) + degree you need £11,385 plus tuition fees for degree and PELP

If you don’t have sufficient money in your bank account for this period you will not be able to apply for your visa and will not be able to start your PELP course.


I'm a current student, how do I get a CAS and extend my tier 4 visa?

If you already have a student visa to study at Royal Holloway and need to extend this to continue your studies you need to apply for a new CAS - Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies.

If you need to extend your visa, you should request a CAS online here. We recommend you request your new CAS three months before your current visa expires.

Once a CAS is produced it will be sent to your Royal Holloway email address. It's important that you attach a scanned copy of your passport photo page and your most recent UK visa to the email otherwise this may result in a delay in processing your request.

The CAS will be sent to you via email and we recommend that it is printed and included in your application. The CAS will be emailed to you as soon as possible.


If I have a tier 4 visa from another university what should I do?

If your Tier 4 visa is sponsored by another university, college or school, you must apply to the Home Office for a new visa sponsored by Royal Holloway before you can start your degree here. The International Student Support Team will do whatever we can to help you through the visa application process. You need to make sure that:

  • Your existing student visa from your former sponsor is still valid.

  • Royal Holloway has issued you with a CAS for your new degree. Please note that Royal Holloway will only be able to issue you with a CAS once you've been unconditionally accepted onto a Royal Holloway degree and have firmly accepted your offer.

  • You have submitted a new visa application to the UKVI for studying at Royal Holloway.

However, please note that the UKVI may refuse your new visa application for studying at Royal Holloway. Therefore if you start your new degree at Royal Holloway before obtaining the new tier 4 visa, you would be doing this at your own risk. Please also note that if you are already studying in the UK when you decide to change to Royal Holloway, you must make your new application from inside the UK.

For further information on how to change your educational sponsor, see the UKVI guidelines 

You can contact us via email: internationaladvice@royalholloway.ac.uk or phone: 01784 276168.

We recommend you apply through us. If you wish to apply by yourself please make sure you use the tier 4 guide. Scan and keep copies of your passport and other documents. You might need to show this to the university during enrolment otherwise you may not be able to enrol on your degree.                           


What supporting documents do I need to apply for my tier 4 visa?

To check if you have all the supporting documents to apply for a Tier 4 visa please download and read this visa checklist carefully. 

Showing financial evidence 

To avoid problems with the suitability of bank statements, you are advised to request monthly postal bank statements. This is because some ad hoc bank statements provided by some banks do not contain all of the information required by the UKVI. . We have produced a sample bank statement that you may find helpful and is considered acceptable by the UKVI.

Doctorate Extension scheme (DES) for PhD students?

If you're a PhD student and you've nearly completed your studies you may wish to apply for the tier 4 doctorate extension scheme. Information on how to apply is available here. 

What happens after I've submitted my visa? 

Once your application has been received by the Home Office, the International Student Support Office (ISSO) team will contact you to come and collect the letter or you will be sent a letter to your home address asking you (and any dependants) to have your fingerprints and a special type of photograph taken. This is called 'enrolling your biometric data'. You are now able to do this at a number of Post  Offices, a list of addresses is available from IN009. Your application for an extension of your visa will not be processed until you have done this.


What is a credibility interview? 

As part of your visa application, you may be requested to attend a 30-minute video interview with the Home Office. You might be sent an email asking you to attend an interview as part of the application process. You should check your email (including the 'junk' folder) regularly as your application is likely to be refused if you are asked to attend an interview and you do not do so without providing a reasonable explanation. This interview is to check that you are a genuine student.

Once the Home Office has your biometric data, your application will go into a queue to be processed and a decision will be made whether to grant you an extension. If they agree, they will  return your documents along with a new BRP card containing your visa to the ISSO. We will contact you when your ID card and documents are returned and ready for collection from IN009 International Building.

How long will it take to get my tier 4 visa? 

A tier 4 application process can take eight weeks, more in exceptional circumstances. We advise you not to book flights or trips where your passport will be required until you have confirmation that your visa application was successful. 


What is a BRP card?

If your visa application is successful, you will receive your visa in the form of a Biometric     Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP is a plastic card, similar in size to a credit card on which will be displayed your visa expiry date, as well as any restrictions/prohibitions on work. Your visa will allow you to enter and leave the UK for the duration of its validity. It is important that you check the details on your BRP as soon as you receive it.

What is if there is an error on my visa?

If you notice an error on your BRP you need to come to the ISSO, IN009.

If you are accompanied by dependants and they want to remain in the UK with you, they must also renew their dependant visas.

It is very important you keep your BRP card in a safe place at home and not in your wallet or handbag.


Completing your Tier 4 visa application online


You can find the Tier 4 application form online.

Please note:Your application form will also need to be checked by one of the Advisors prior to submission, so once you have all your supporting documents and the form is completed but before you complete the declaration, make an appointment with the ISSO team.

  • This form needs to be completed and submitted online and then a cover sheet must be printed out and posted to the Home Office along with your supporting documents. 

  • The cover sheet and supporting documents must be sent within 15 working days of the date the online application was submitted.

When you attend the appointment, please make sure you have all the information as on the visa checklist .

If you are on a short term study visa/ student visitor visa you cannot extend your visa in the UK.



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