If you’re a PhD student and are planning to work in the UK after your studies, you may want to apply for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension scheme. This will give you an additional 12 months at the end of your PhD study in which to look for and start work in the UK.
Who can apply?
If you want Royal Holloway to sponsor your application for a Tier 4 Doctorate Extension, you must:
- be a PhD student whose current Tier 4 visa is being sponsored by Royal Holloway
- be in the UK
- be able to demonstrate that you have funds of £2,530 held in a bank account for 28 consecutive days before the date of your visa application (plus £1,690 living costs for each dependant if applicable)
Timing your application and when to apply
The timing of a Doctorate Extension Scheme application is key. Because of the forward planning that goes into the timing, we recommend getting in contact with the International Student Support Office about the scheme when you are ready to submit your initial thesis.
The application itself must be made before you are formally awarded your PhD and before your current Tier 4 visa expires, so we advise you contact the International Student Support Office as early as you can to discuss your progress if you are interested in this scheme.
Once you contact the International Student Support Office you will be asked to complete a declaration of interest form which will be kept on record for when you request a CAS later on during your PhD.
When to apply
We recommend speaking with the International Student Support Office before starting any applications for this scheme as the timing can be quite difficult. However, your application for the Doctorate Extension Scheme will have to be made within this timeline:
- Before your current Tier 4 visa expires
- Before you are formally awarded your PhD
- After you have submitted your final thesis (after revisions)
- You must apply no more than 60 days before the expected award date on your CAS
How to apply
- To apply for sponsorship from Royal Holloway, first read our guidance. Then fill in this application form. This will normally be completed and submitted before your viva.
- Once you have completed your revisions post-viva and you have received your new Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from Student Administration You can start the online application form and make an appointment with the ISSO to submit your visa application.
- In your application you will need to give the ‘expected end date’ of your doctoral study. This is the same as your PhD award date (eg. normally 1st of the month following the Faculty Dean’s approval of your award).
How to find out more
- You can find out more in this Home Office guidance document (see paragraphs 95 to 104).
- The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has useful information here.