6. Extend your visa

You may be able to stay longer to continue your course or study a new one.

You must:

  • meet the eligibility requirements of this visa
  • be in the UK
  • have a sponsor

Who can sponsor you

You can only apply to extend your leave to study if your current or new sponsor is:

  • a higher education institute (HEI)
  • an overseas HEI
  • an embedded college offering pathway courses
  • an independent school

You must include your dependants in your application if they’re on your current visa, including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

Read the full Tier 4 guidance before you apply.

When to apply

You must apply:

You can stay in the UK until you get your decision.

Ways to apply

If you want to get a decision more quickly than the standard 8 weeks, you can apply:

  • for priority service - there’s a limited number of places each day
  • to use a premium service centre - you’ll need to go in person
Application type Time for a decision Cost per person
Standard 8 weeks £457
Priority 10 days £916
Premium Same day £1,047

You’ll also need to provide biometric information and pay the healthcare surcharge.

Apply for the standard or premium service

You can apply online:

  • for the standard service
  • to book an appointment at a premium service centre

Pay the appropriate fee at the same time.

Apply for the priority service

You must fill in a request form before you can use the priority service. Send it to the email address on the form.

Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30am (Monday to Friday) are accepted - you’ll get an email saying if you’ve been successful.

Once you’ve been accepted for the priority service you should apply online for yourself and any dependants within 24 hours. Pay the fee at the same time.

Send your supporting documents by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email. Send your dependants’ documents in the same envelope.

Your documents should reach UK Visas and Immigration no later than two days after you applied.

Provide your biometric information

For all applications you must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You can do this at:

  • some Post Office branches (this costs £19.20)
  • a premium service centre if you’ve paid to use one

You’ll be told when you need to provide your biometric information for the standard or priority service. You’ll have to do it within 2 working days if you’re using the priority service.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

Pay the healthcare surcharge

For all applications you must also pay the healthcare surcharge for each person. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply for your extension.

What happens next

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)