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Extending a visa

Last updated: 16/08/2022 16:00

If you already have a Tier 4 student visa or a Student Route visa and want to extend it to continue your studies, the Student Visa Support team (SVS) can help you with this process.

If you already have a student route visa

Suppose you are currently based in the UK and hold a Student Route or Tier 4 visa, (valid either for Cardiff University or another University) but will be starting a new course with Cardiff University. In that case, you will need to make a Student Route visa application for your new course before enrolment.

Whether you can make a new visa application from within the UK depends on when your current visa expires and whether this is within 28 days of your new course start date, whether you have successfully completed the course for which your current visa was granted, and whether your new course demonstrates Academic Progression from the previous course.

Access our downloadable guide for further eligibility details to apply to extend your Student Route visa within the UK. Contact Student Visa Support (SVS) if you are unsure or for support with the process:

If you want to leave your current course before completion, then you must make your application from outside the UK.

Visitor visas or short-term study visas cannot be extended or switched in the UK, so you must return home if you have this type of visa.

Help with your application

If you are currently in the UK,  contact Student Visa Support at to assist you with your visa application as our staff:

  • have in-depth immigration knowledge and are authorised by the OISC
  • can assist and guide you through the process
  • can track the progress of your application
  • can verify that your application has been submitted to the Home Office, which will assist you during the enrolment process.

You should start preparing for the application as soon as you receive your new CAS. You can contact Student Visa Support at

Please note that demand for our service is high during September and October it may take up to five working days to receive a response. We recommend you apply as soon as possible.

Applying from home on your summer holidays

Many students may use the summer vacation period as an opportunity to travel home to see family and friends.

If you are in your home country over the holiday period, you can apply for your Student Route visa during this time. The cost of application overseas is lower than in the UK, be aware that there may be additional Visa Application Centre costs involved.

Allow enough time for your visa application to be processed so that you can arrive in Cardiff to start your course on time. Add as an alert or something similar please - ‘Please note that Priority and Super Priority Visas are currently unavailable overseas. The standard processing time at the moment is 3 weeks, but during the peak period, this can, unfortunately, be delayed.

Enrolling without a new Cardiff University Student visa

The UK immigration rules will not allow us to enrol you until you can provide evidence that you have a valid Cardiff University Student visa for your new course or you have submitted an application to the UKVI for Cardiff University. You are not enrolled on your course fully until you have presented your immigration documents and collected your Student ID card.

Your visa (or proof of application) will be checked by University staff at enrolment. If you do not have a visa that allows you to study (or proof of appropriate application), you will not be able to start your studies.