Your visa while you are in the UK

How to apply for a Tier 4 Visa in the UK

These pages should have all the information you need to extend your Tier 4 visa from within the UK.  Please read the information and links carefully, and please contact the International Student Support Team if you have any questions.

If you are a PhD (or other doctorate-level) student, and will be completing your PhD fairly soon, the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa may be a good option for you.

IMPORTANT note on Academic Progression

On 6 April 2016 UKVI introduced new rules concerning who can apply to extend their visa from inside the UK. Some categories of students that were previosuly able to apply for a new visa in the UK now need to apply from their country of citizenship/residence. These include:

  • Students transferring from one institution to another (i.e. finishing the same course at a different University), unless their insitution's Tier 4 licence has been revoked.
  • Students who need longer to complete the same course, e.g. you suspended your studies for medical reasons or have had an extension finish your Masters dissertation.
  • Some students who are changing courses, especially if the new course is longer in duration or will not finish by the time your current visa expires.

If you think you fall into any of these categories, please get in touch with us ain good time before your visa expires to discuss your options.

PHD students who were given an extension can currently apply to extend their visas from inside the UK (*Information correct on 4th April 2017).

Essential Reading

Our 'Extending your Tier 4 visa in the UK' information sheet gives instructions about how to complete the application.

Our step-by-step tutorial will help you to complete the online form.

Apply online

Before you start to complete the form, it will be useful to have all your supporting documents ready. Complete as much of the form as you can. If you are unsure how to answer any of the questions, leave it blank and ask the International Student Support Team when you come for your 'Check & Send' appointment (see below).

If you have dependants, and they are applying at the same time as you, their details should also be added to the online application form. See page 4 of the tutorial for instructons on how to add extra people to the form.

Who can help me with my application?

The International Student Support Team offers a ‘Check & Send’ service for students applying to extend their visa in the UK.  Once you have completed the online visa application form and collected all the required documents you can book an appointment for one of the International Student Support Officers to check your application.  For more information about this service, read our 'Extending your Tier 4 visa in the UK' information sheet (see 'Essential Reading' above). 

After you have read the information sheet and you are ready for us to check your application, please contact us to book a ‘Check & Send’ appointment.  Email: internationalsupport@bangor.ac.uk.  Tel: 01248 382882.

When should I apply for a new Tier 4 visa?

You should make your new visa application before your current visa end date. You should contact the International Student Support Officers as soon as you know that you will need an extension, so that you have enough time to collect all your supporting documents, make sure that you have enough money in your bank account, and make travel arrangments in case you have to submit your application from outside the UK.

Continuing on the same course:  You will need to request a new CAS from the Visa Compliance team if you need longer to complete your course. You can make the visa application when you have the new CAS. Please note that unless you are a PHD student or need a visa extension to repeat a module or re-sit exams, you will most likely need to apply for your new visa from outside the UK.

Starting a new course at the same instituiton:  You must not submit your application more than three months before the course start date written on your CAS. However, you must submit new visa application no later than 6 weeks after the new course start date (*Information correct on 4th April 2017)

Switching courses within the same instituion: Depending on the circumstances, you may need to apply for a new visa before you change course, especially if this means that you will need longer to complete your studies (e.g. adding an International Experience year). Moreover, you may have to apply for your new visa from outside the UK, so please get in touch with the International Student Support Office if you are thinking of switching to a different programme.

Changing university or college within the UK:  You MUST apply for a new visa before you can register at the new institution. You do not need the new visa in your hand, but you must be able to show the new instituition that you have submitted your new visa application. This is because a Tier 4 visa is valid for one institution only. If you are transferring to another university to complete the same course, you will not be able to apply for your new visa from within the UK, unless your insitution's Tier 4 licence has been revoked.

 


WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO EXTEND MY VISA?

Our 'Extending your Tier 4 visa in the UK' information sheet gives a full list of the required supporting documents (see the 'How to Apply' tab).  You will need the same documents whether you apply via the University, or by yourself, or in person.  The documents you need to start thinking about as early as possible are your CAS letter and financial documents. 

If you are a PhD student who requires an ATAS certificate, you will need to apply for a new ATAS if you extend your visa (even if it's for your writing up year).

 

CAS LETTER  

For students who are:

How do I get my CAS? When will I get my CAS?
Starting a new course

Your CAS letter will be emailed to you once your offer of a place has been confirmed and you have met all the requirements (e.g. paid the deposit and provided previous certificates etc). Your CAS will specify which academic documents (e.g. degree and IELTS certificates) you will need to include in your application. Those documents must be originals.

Maximum of 3 months before course start date.
Continuing on the same course / Academic extension

Complete a 'visa extension CAS request form'.

 

About a week or two after submitting the completed form to the Visa Compliance Team.
Finishing Pre-sessional English and starting next course Your CAS will automatically be emailed to you when you have successfully completed your English course.

 

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

To apply to extend your visa, you must include documents that show that you can support yourself financially whilst in the UK.  You can either include personal bank statements and/or a Financial Sponsor letter.

Bank Statements

Amount of money required in bank account = course fees + maintenance.   You must have had the required amount of money in your bank account for a minimum of 28 days.  The bank statement must be less than one month old.

The table below shows how much money you will need for maintenance.  For the course fee, the UKVI will look at the ‘tuition fee’ stated on your CAS letter to calculate how much money you need for course fees.  If you have paid some, or all, of your fees and this is not shown on your CAS, you will also need to include receipt/s as proof of payment.

Using a parent's bank statement

If your parent or guardian is paying your living costs and course fees, you must include the following documents with your visa application:
     - Parent or guardian's bank statement: Must show that they have had the required amount of money in their bank account for a minimum of 28 days.  The bank statement must be less than one month old.
     - Birth certificate to prove relationship.
     - Letter from parent or guardian stating that you have access to the money.  Letter must be original and signed.

Financial Sponsorship letter 

If you have financial sponsorship (from a UKVI approved sponsor, government or international organisation), your official financial sponsorship letter must state that:
     - EITHER the sponsor will pay "all course fees and all living costs".
     - OR the sponsor will pay all course fees plus the required monthly maintenance payment (see table below for amount)

How much money do I need to show for maintenance or 'living costs'?

Maintenance Requirement Bangor University (Outside of London)
Student £9135
Student - Course less than 9 months £1015 x number of months of course
Student - Financially Sponsored £1015 per month

Dependant (Husband/wife/child)

£6120 per dependant
Dependant - Financially Sponsored £680 per month
Doctorate Extension Scheme £2030 (plus £1360 per dependant)

*Figures correct on 4th April 2017


AFTER I APPLY

How long does it take?  Should I apply 'Standard Service' or 'Premium Service'?

Standard (by post) : If you use our Check & Send service, most applications are usually returned within 8weeks. If you choose to send your application to the UKVI yourself, it may take longer.

Premium (in-person appointment): Alternatively, you can choose to apply in person and your application will usually be processed the same day, but you will only get your BRP card within 1-2 weeks of your appointment.  This option is considerably more expensive than applying by post.  If you choose this option, you must book an appointment online.  The nearest place to apply in person is the Public Enquiry Office in Liverpool.  Maps and information on how to get to Liverpool are available from the International Student Support Office. For more information, including 'Booking an Appointment', see the UKVI webpage 'Visa Premium Service Centres in the UK'. 

** We strongly recommend that you do not make any travel plans until you have your new visa in your hand**

 

Do I have to give my biometrics again?

Yes.

If you apply online/by post , you will receive a letter inviting you to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) approximately 2 weeks after your documents were posted to the UKVI.  Since April 2012, you must attend a designated Post Office and do not need an appointment.  There is a fee of £19.20 per person.  The nearest Post Office to Bangor University is in Llandudno.  It is within walking distance of Llandudno Train Station.  Alternatively, take the number 5 bus from Bangor to Llandudno; get off the bus at the Castle Hotel on Mostyn Street.  Map of Llandudno Post Office.   Local Travel Information.

If you apply in person, your biometrics will be taken on the day of your visa application appointment.

 

What happens if my visa application is refused?

Contact Alan Edwards in the International Student Support Office immediately.

Email: alan.edwards@bangor.ac.uk  Tel: 01248 388070.

 


What do these words mean?: 'Entry Clearance', 'Biometric Residence Permit', 'BRP' and 'Leave to remain'.

'Entry Clearance' is the name given to the type of visa that you are given to enter the UK for the first time. It is a yellow sticker in your passport.  See picture 1.  

A 'Biometric Residence Permit' or 'BRP' is the name given to the ID-card style visa. See picture 2.  You will be issued with a BRP if you come to the UK for longer than 6 months or if you extend your visa in the UK.

When you apply to extend your visa in the UK, the UKVI say that you are "applying for leave to remain", or in other words, permission to remain in the UK. 

              

       Picture 1: Entry Clearance         Picture 2: Biometric Resident Permit (BRP)

For more definitions, see our Glossary - A Dictionary of Immigration-Related Words.

 

What happens if I apply late?

We would strongly advise you against applying after your current visa expires, especially if this can be avoided. From 24 November 2016 applications from overstayers will only be accepted by the UKVI if made within 14 days of leave expiring and with a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative (the reason to be included in the application) for why the application was not made in time. Please seek our advice if you think you may have to submit an out-of-time application.

Overstaying is a criminal offence.  There is no "grace period" within which you can lawfully overstay. If you make a visa application in the UK while you are an overstayer you will continue to be an overstayer while your application is being decided. You will not be allowed to work and, in some cases, even study. You will need to declare any instances of overstaying in your future visa applications.

Is there a maximum time limit (or "cap") on studying with a Tier 4 visa?

Yes.  Before you apply for a course you must make sure that it will not take you over the maximum time-limit.  Generally, the limit five years for undergraduate and Masters-level.  There are some exceptions to this. See our Glossary: ‘Five-year Rule’.
While you continue to study a PhD, there is no time limit or 'cap'.  However, if you have already completed a PhD, there is an 8-year cap.
In addition, before we can issue you with a CAS,  Bangor University will also check that your application will not take you over the maximum time-limit, or "cap".

Where can I get more information?

UKVI webpages should have all the information you need about how to make an application.
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) webpages
have lots of advice and information about visas and immigration and other topics related to living, studying and working in the UK.

The International Student Support Team is always happy to answer any visa questions you might have.
Email: internationalsupport@bangor.ac.uk  Tel: 01248 38 2882

 


Important things to remember:

  • You must obey the conditions of your visa, for example working hours. (Tier 4 conditions)

  • You must tell the UK Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI) if your circumstances change, for example if you change address or change universities.

  • You must register with the police, if required.  You must keep the certificate up-to-date by telling the police if you change address or get a new visa.

  • You must attend all timetabled teaching sessions at University, and keep in regular contact with your supervisor.  Universities are required by law to monitor students and give attendance information to the UKVI. (Bangor University's Attendance Monitoring Policy

  • Before your visa end date, you must either apply to extend your visa or leave the UK.