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 hold a Tier 4 (general) student visa and you wish to apply for your visa extension from inside the UK, you must currently be sponsored by one of the following:

  • a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as a 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 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.

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 (CAS).

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

You will need to submit an online application. Before you can do so, you must ensure that you have been issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for your course.

A standard Tier 4 application usually takes 8 weeks to be processed. If you want a decision more quickly than the standard 8 weeks then you can make a priority application or super priority application.


Type of application Tier 4 Online application
Application forms

You must apply online on the GOV.UK website. 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 £300 for each year of your visa. Part years of less than 6 months will be charged at £150.

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: £475 (decision usually within 8 weeks of attending your biometrics appointment)

Priority application fee: £975 (decision within 5 working days of attending your biometrics appointment)

Super Priority application fee: £1,275 (decision within 1 working day of attending your biometrics appointment)

The application process

You must apply for your visa online and attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizen Application Services service point to have your biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) taken. You will be prompted to the Sopra Steria website to book an appointment at the end of the online application process. You will be given a deadline within which you must attend an appointment. There may be a fee associated with certain service centres.

If you have selected one of the priority services you will not be able to see appointment availability until after you have paid the application fee.

Once you have booked your appointment, you will be able to scan and upload your supporting documents. You are also able to do this at your appointment, although there may be a fee to pay for this. Please note if you do upload your documents before you attend your appointment we also recommend that you take those documents with you to your appointment.

For a full list of documents you should include with your application, please refer to our Documents required for a Tier 4 visa page.

When to apply

If you are currently on a Tier 4 visa or are switching visa 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 a visa application, you will then become an overstayer, which is a criminal offence.

I am applying for an extension of my visa as a continuing student

If you are a student at the University of Westminster and are applying for a visa to continue on your course, you will be issued with a CAS up to three months before your visa expires. You must apply for your visa extension before your current visa expires.

I am applying for leave to remain for a new course

If you are applying to start a new course at the University of Westminster you will need to make your visa application before you can enrol onto your course. The gap between the end of your visa and the start of your new course must not be more than 28 days.

If you are a current student and you wish to start a new course, please contact Student Advice

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 visa. 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 these on the website within 10 days of receiving your BRP.

If there is an error with the length of your stay or the conditions of your visa, 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 if your details change. Failing to register with the Police or keeping your Police Registration Certificate up to date 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. For detailed information about Police Registration please have a look at the UK Council for International Student Affairs website


If your Tier 4 (general) visa application is refused, it is important that you get in contact with us immediately. You must inform Tier 4 by emailing and contact Student Advice to discuss your next steps.