7. Switch to this visa
You may be able to change (switch) to a Tier 4 (General) student visa if you’re in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:
- Tier 2 (General)
- Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer)
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
- Tier 4 (Child)
You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay.
When to apply
You must apply:
- within 6 months of getting a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
- before your current visa expires - but no more than 3 months before the course start date on your CAS
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|
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
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)