Extending your visa
Last updated: 10/08/2023 15:55
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
If 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 start a new course with Cardiff University you will need to make a Student Route visa application for your new course before you can complete enrolment and collect your new Student ID.
Whether you can make a new visa application from within the UK depends on:
- when your current visa expires
- 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
- whether your new course demonstrates Academic Progression (is at higher level) from the previous course.
If you want to leave your current course before completion, you must make any further Student Visa applications 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
The Student Visa Support team can assist you with your visa application if you are currently in the UK. Student Visa Support staff have in-depth immigration knowledge and are authorised to provide immigration advice by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Please contact the team through Student Connect.
Our staff can:
- assist and guide you through the process
- check your application, including supporting documents, before submission
- verify that your application has been submitted to the Home Office, which will assist you during enrolment.
You should start preparing for the application as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to gather all documents required. Please do not wait until you received the CAS to apply for ATAS if needed and to begin saving the required funds.
Demand for this 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 may be lower than in the UK, but be aware that there may be additional Visa Application Centre costs involved.
Allow enough time for your visa application to be processed so you can arrive in Cardiff to start your course on time.
The standard processing time at the moment is 3 weeks, but during the peak period, this can unfortunately be delayed, and applications often take 6 weeks or more to complete. View information about visa processing times.
Enrolling without a new Cardiff University Student visa
The UK Immigration Rules will not allow us to enrol you until you provide evidence that you have a valid Cardiff University Student visa for your new course or have submitted an application to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for Cardiff University.
You are not fully enrolled on to your course 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 cannot start your studies.