Extending your student visa through International Student Support
You should start preparing your application at least two months prior to visa expiry. Tier 4 (General) student visa applications that are made in the UK must be submitted to the Home Office using an online procedure. We strongly recommend that you use our “student batch scheme” service as we can assist you (and your dependants) through the application process.
A new study condition introduced in November 2014, ties students to a course as well as to a Tier 4 sponsor. This means that if you are going to a study a new course then you must apply for a new visa before the course starts.
A step by step guide to extending your visa
Step 1- do some research
Download our guide to extending your student visa and read through it carefully. This will give you very detailed information about the application process. It is essential that you read this guide before making your visa application.
Step 2- complete the online application
Download our guide on how to complete the Tier 4 student online application and follow the instructions carefully. This guide will help you to create an online account and to complete the online application form.
Step 3- prepare the supporting documents
Gather together all the required supporting documents and take a photocopy of each document. Please see our document checklist below for a quick reference and refer to our guide to extending your student visa for more detailed information.
Step 4- decide method of application
You can either apply by post or make a premium application at a Premium Service Centre (PSC). Please see below for a comparison of both methods.
Step 5- pay your Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
The IHS was introduced in April 2015 and entitles you to receive free health services from the NHS. More information about the IHS can be found in our guide to extending your student visa. You will need to pay your IHS before attending your appointment with an International Student Adviser. Please follow the instructions below:
- Read the information on the UKVI web pages about the IHS;
- Find out when you need to pay the IHS or if you are exempt from payment;
- Calculate how much your IHS will be using the Home Office Calculator. You should refer to your course dates as stated on your CAS.
- Create an account and pay for your IHS. If you have dependants, you can add their details at the same time.
- Keep a copy of the email you are sent by the Home Office with your IHS number for reference. Take this to your appointment with an International Student Adviser. You will be required to write this number on your Tier 4 application form.
If you have any queries about the IHS, then please contact us
Step 6- request an appointment with an International Student Adviser
Save your Tier 4 student online application form as a PDF document and then email it to us as an attachment at least 4 weeks before your visa expires. Please identify your email as ‘Tier 4 Student Online Application’ in the subject box. In the main body of the email please include the following information:
- Your full name
- Your contact telephone number
- Student ID number
- The date your current visa will expire
- How many dependants you have (if applicable)
- Your IHS Number- see above
Step 7- attend appointment and submit application
We will contact you within 5 working days to book an individual appointment for you to review your application with an International Student Adviser. If all is complete you will pay the fee and submit the application online.
Here is a brief list of the documents you will need to prepare. More information can be found in our guide to extending your student visa:
- All passports used to travel to and remain in the UK including your current passport;
- Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one);
- 2 x recent passport sized photographs;
- Police Registration Certificate (if applicable) containing both your current address and visa details;
- Cardiff University CAS statement (you must print this)
- Original version of any document regarding academic progress that is listed on your CAS statement (if applicable);
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate (if applicable)
- Evidence that you have enough money to meet the maintenance requirements. Please check our guide to extending your student visa to find out how much money you will need and which documents are required as proof that you have access to this money.
- If you were sponsored by an official financial sponsor but are no longer receiving support, you will need a letter confirming they allow you to remain in the UK
ALL DOCUMENTS MUST BE ORIGINALS. SCANNED COPIES, FAXES OR EMAILS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE
IF ANY DOCUMENTS ARE NOT IN ENGLISH, YOU MUST GET PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATIONS.
Method of application- a comparison
There are two methods of application. The main differences are listed below
|Cost per applicant (and dependant)||£439||£839|
|Cost of biometrics||£19.20 payable to Post Office. You can pay using cash or debit card but not credit card||Included in cost above|
|How long it takes to receive new visa (approximately)||6-8 weeks||2 weeks from date of appointment at PSC|
|Where biometrics are given||Central Cardiff Post Office||At PSC|
|What happens with supporting documents||Your documents will be checked and posted to the Home Office by special delivery, a secure postal service||Your documents will be checked and returned to you so that you can submit during your appointment at the PSC|
|Is there a credibility interview requirement||Occasionally, more information provided in our guide|
My parents are providing financial support, is there a template letter that they could use?
If your parents are providing financial support you will need to submit additional documentation as outlined on page 8 of our guide. To assist you we have produced a template letter that your parents could complete:
Don't forget that the letter must be signed and it must be an original document. Scanned copies, faxes or emails are not acceptable.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, Cardiff University can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions. Cardiff University is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within. The government makes changes to the immigration rules and procedures on a regular basis, so it is important that you check the current guidance and rules when applying for a visa. For further information visit UKCISA and the Home Office websites.