Applying for a Tier 4 visa from inside the UK

Can I apply for my Tier 4 visa from inside the UK?

If you are applying for your visa extension from inside the UK you must check that you meet the UK Immigration eligibility requirements.

If you are currently on a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa and wish to apply for your visa extension from inside the UK, you must currently be sponsored by:

  • a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as an HEI (higher education institution), or
  • an overseas higher education institution and you have been undertaking a short-term study abroad programme in the UK, or
  • an embedded college offering pathway courses (this does not include pre-sessional courses), or
  • an independent school

You must have successfully completed the course that your last Tier 4 visa was issued for.

If you are already studying at the University of Westminster and need to extend your visa because you need extra time to repeat modules or exams, or because you have changed course, please contact Student Advice to check whether you can extend your visa in the UK. The rules are complicated.

Please note you will not be able to enrol onto your course until you have a visa for the University of Westminster or provide evidence that you have applied to extend your Tier 4 (General) visa in the UK using a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Can I switch to a Tier 4 visa from inside the UK?

You can apply in the UK if you are currently on one of the following visas: 

  • Tier 4 (Child) Student 
  • Tier 2

If you currently hold a visa in a different category, including the ones listed above, please contact Student Advice for further help.

Please note you cannot switch from a short-term study visa or visitor visa to a Tier 4 (General) Student visa in the UK.

How to apply

To extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK you should make a ‘Tier 4 online application’. Before you can make your online application you must ensure that you have been issued with a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

As part of the online application you can choose to post your documents using the Standard Service, pay an additional fee for the Priority Application service by post, or book a Premium Service appointment and go in person to a Public Enquiry Office. You can only book a Premium appointment as part of the online Tier 4 visa application process. Do not book an appointment separately as the Home Office will not be able to consider your application.

Type of application Tier 4 Online application
Application forms Create an account with the Home Office (UK Visas and Immigration). You will need to click on the ‘Apply Now’ button to start your online form. Complete your online form, pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, the Home Office fees and print your cover sheet (summary sheet). We would also recommend that you print a copy of the form for your records.
Immigration Health Surcharge You must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. The surcharge is £150 for each year of your visa. Part years of less than 6 months will be charged at £75.
Date of Application This is the date that you pay for the application online. You must finish the application form and pay for it before your visa expires.
Application fee

Standard Application fee: £457.00 (normally takes up to 8 weeks to receive a decision)

Priority Application fee: £916.00 (you will normally receive a decision within 10 working days)

Premium Application fee: £1047.00 (you will have to attend a Premium Service Centre and will receive a decision on the same day)*

*Please note that on occasion the Home Office may place applications on hold. If this is the case, you will not receive a decision on the same day.

Standard and Priority Applications

You must post your cover sheet and your supporting documents to the Home Office within 15 working days of submitting your application. If you do not post your application within 15 working days, your application will be rejected as invalid.

After the Home Office has received your documents, they will send you a letter to organise a fingerprint and photograph for your Biometrics. This is done via a participating Post Office.

Premium Service Appointment

If you choose this option, you will have to attend a Premium Service appointment at a Premium Service Centre. You will be prompted to book your appointment at the end of the online application process.

If applying in person, you must make an appointment within 45 days of paying for the application. Your visa documents should be correct on the date of application and you should not travel while you wait for your appointment.

Biometrics are taken at the appointment.

For a full list of documents you should include with your application, please refer to the Documents page.

When to apply

If you are currently on a Tier 4 visa or are switching category you should apply for your visa extension before your current visa expires. If you remain in the UK after the expiry date of your visa, without submitting an application for further leave to remain, you will then become an overstayer which is a criminal offence.

I am applying for leave to remain as a continuing student

If you are a student at the University of Westminster and are applying for leave to remain in the UK to continue on a course, you can submit your application as soon as you meet all of the requirements. If you are in this position, please contact Student Advice.

I am applying for leave to remain for a new course

If you are applying to start a new course, even if you currently have immigration permission for the University of Westminster, you must apply for an extension of your leave before you can start your course. The gap between the end of your current and your new course must not be more than 28 days.

You must not submit your application more than three months before the start date of your course. You can find the start date of your course on your CAS.

Receiving your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Your visa will be granted on a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). A BRP is a plastic card (like a credit card) which contains your photograph, your personal information, your immigration permission and the conditions of your leave. This will be sent directly to your address by courier once your visa application has been granted.

Errors on your BRP

For basic errors such as your name, date of birth or nationality you will have to report this error on the GOV.UK website within 10 days of receiving your BRP.

However, if there is an error with the length of your stay or the conditions of your leave you will need to submit an administrative review application. Please contact Student Advice immediately if there is an error on your BRP.

Police Registration

If you are required to register with the police, you will need to update your Police Registration Certificate within seven days of receiving your new visa. Please note you will also have to notify the police when you change your address.

A failure to notify the police of these is an offence. The Home Office can refuse future immigration applications or remove you from the UK which could result in a ban from returning to the UK.

Refusals

If your Tier 4 (General) visa application is refused, it is important that you get in contact with us straight away. You must inform Tier 4 by emailing [email protected] and contact Student Advice to discuss your next steps.