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Transferring to a new institution

If you want to leave your current course in order to study the same or a different course at a new institution then there are different rules depending on the institution’s sponsor rating and the date you applied for your current visa:

If you applied for your current student visa on or after 5th October 2009

Because your current student visa was granted for study at Cardiff University you must make a new Tier 4 student visa application for permission to study at a different institution.

You can start your new course before your application has been approved by Home Office if:

  • You have applied for permission to study at an institution that has Highly Trusted Sponsor status (HTS); and
  • Your new institution has given you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)  for your new course; and
  • Your current Tier 4 student visa has not yet expired.

Although you are allowed to start the new course subject to the conditions listed above, you do so at your own risk as there is no guarantee that your application will be successful.

If you want to transfer to an institution which has an A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor) rating, you will not be able to enrol until your visa application has been approved by the Home Office.

You can check the Home Office Register of Sponsors (Tier 4) to see what sponsor rating your new institution holds.

If you are already studying in the UK when you decide to change to a different Tier 4 sponsor, you must make your application from inside the UK.

If you applied for your current student visa before 5th October 2009

If you want to leave your current course in order to study a course at a different institution you must get written permission from the Home Office.

Procedures to follow if you have enough time on your current student visa:

You need to apply for permission using the Tier 4 (Permission to Switch) application form and guidance notes and pay the appropriate fee which is currently £160.

You can start your new course before your application has been approved by Home Office if:

  • You have applied for permission to study at an institution that has Highly Trusted Sponsor status (HTS); and
  • Your new institution has given you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)  for your new course.

Although you are allowed to start the new course subject to the conditions listed above, you do so at your own risk as there is no guarantee that your permission to switch application will be successful.

If you want to transfer to an institution which has not been granted HTS status, you will not be able to enrol until your permission to switch application has been approved by the Home Office.

You can check the Home Office Register of Sponsors (Tier 4) to see what sponsor rating your new institution holds.

Procedures to follow if you don't have enough time on your current student visa:

If you do not have enough time on your current student visa to complete the new course, then you should not apply for Permission to Switch. You should apply for a new Tier 4 visa that covers the full length of your new course.