Extend your visa

You may be able to extend your Student visa to stay longer and continue your course or study a new course. This includes if you currently have a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

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.

Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

You can also switch to a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing your course.

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

Read the guidance for more information about when you need to prove your studies are at a higher level.

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.

Fees

For each person, you’ll need to pay:

You’ll need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.

Apply

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 or resident permit you have.

You’ll either:

  • use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document - you’ll also create or sign in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account
  • give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point - this is to get a biometric residence permit

You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.

Start now

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

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:

  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

    You can apply for a Student visa if you’re 16 or over and want to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.

    1. Check what you can and cannot do on this visa
    2. Check what courses you can study on this visa
    3. Check if you can bring your partner or children ('dependants') with you

    If you're under 18 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK, you may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead.

    1. Check which visas you're eligible for
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

    1. Check what documents you can use as evidence
    2. Prove your knowledge of the English language
    3. Check if you need a tuberculosis (TB) test

    If you're doing a masters degree or above, you may need to apply for the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

    1. Check if you need to apply for ATAS
  3. Step 3 Apply from outside the UK

    1. Apply from outside the UK £348

    You'll need to prove your identity as part of your application.

    You'll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

    1. Find out if you can pay more to get a faster decision
  4. or Apply from inside the UK

  5. Step 4 Check what you can bring into the UK with you

  6. Step 5 Check what you need to show at the UK border

  7. Step 6 After you arrive in the UK

    1. Find out how to get your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you were told you’d get one when you applied

    You might be able to extend your visa to stay longer in the UK.

    1. You are currently viewing: Check if you can extend your visa

    If you break the conditions of your visa you may not be able to come to the UK again.