Extending Your Student Visa
Online Application – Print and Send
There is no longer a paper application form for extending a Tier 4 Student Visa in the UK. Applications must now be completed and paid for online. You will then need to print out the Cover Sheet and send it with any supporting documents to the Home Office, or take it with you to an appointment at a Public Enquiry Office (PEO).
Completing the Form
You can access the Tier 4 Student application form at the Gov.UK Home Office website.
There are 11 sections on the form that you must complete. At the end of each section you are given the opportunity to save your details before moving on to the next section. The form does not need to be completed in one sitting, you are able to save the information you have entered in order to log out and finish it at a later date.
The form is customised to the answers you provide and hides questions that are not relevant. It is essential that you enter the correct information in order to submit a valid application. If you have any doubts about a question please see Student Support before proceeding.
Checking your Application
Once you have completed the form you are given the opportunity to check your application before submitting it.
After checking your application click 'next' and you will be taken to a screen that lists the documents you are required to submit with your application. If you are a national of a country that is subject to the 'differentiation agreement' you will not be required to submit financial evidence with your application, however you must ensure that you have this evidence in case it is requested at a later date.
At this point DO NOT agree to the declaration or click 'next' until you have had your application checked by Student Support. Once you have clicked the declaration you will not be able to make any changes.
In order to have your application checked you should bring a printed PDF version of the application form and any supporting documents to Student Support. You can print a PDF version of the form by logging into your account and selecting the 'View Application' button.
Submitting your Application
When you have had your form and documents checked you should agree to the declaration and select 'next'. You will need access to a printer at this point in order to print out your application.
You will then be given an option to either send your application by post or make an appointment at a Public Enquiry Office.
If you choose to submit your application by post you will be required to pay for it online in advance. Once payment has been successfully taken you will need to print the cover sheet and sign the declaration.
You should then bring your documents to the Student Support Office in order to have your application posted via the RCA Student Batch Scheme.
All students applying to extend their Tier 4 (General) visa will need to supply the following:
- Completed Tier 4 (General) application form
- Two recent passport photographs
- Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) reference number
- Biometric resident permit (if you have one)
- Police registration certificate (if you have one)
- Evidence of sufficient funds
- Evidence of qualifications (as stated in your CAS)
If you are a national of one of the countries listed here, you are subject to different documentary requirements.
This means you are required to provide fewer evidential documents when submitting your application. However, the Home Office may request to see these documents at a later point, so you must ensure that you have original copies available.
Failure to provide original copies of these documents when requested may result in your application being refused.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
As part of the Tier 4 visa application you will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which will entitle you to receive free health care under the National Health Service (NHS). The charge is £150 for each year of the visa and £75 for any additional months totalling less than six months. If the additional months are over six months the full £150 applies. You can calculate how much you need to pay on the Home Office website.
The IHS is an integrated part of the Tier 4 visa application and does not need to be applied for separately.
Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
In order for you to extend your visa the College will need to issue you with a confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS). You can request a CAS from the Registry.
Evidence of Finances
You will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover any unpaid tuition fees and your maintenance costs.
One month's maintenance for students studying in London – £1,265
You will need to show maintenance for each month you have left on your course, up to a maximum of nine months – £11,385
You will need to show that you have held this money in a bank account in your name, or the name of a parent/legal guardian(s), for a minimum of 28 days prior to applying.
If you show the money in the account of your parent/legal guardian(s), you will also need to include a letter from them confirming their support and evidence of your relationship (i.e. birth certificate).
If you are in receipt of a scholarship or are being sponsored then you must include a letter confirming this.
Evidence of Qualification
If you have just begun a programme of study at the RCA then you will need to supply evidence of the qualifications that were used to assess your application to study here. The qualification used will be listed on your CAS.
If you are a continuing student then you will have been assessed on your academic progression. You do not need to submit previous qualifications.
Evidence of English Language
You must show that you met the RCA English language requirements in order to be issued a CAS from the RCA.
The CAS will confirm that you have met the English language requirements, and you will not be required to submit further evidence.
Police Registration Certificate
You must make sure that your Police Registration Certificate is up-to-date when making your application.
Please check that you have registered any previous extensions made in the UK and updated any changes in address or personal details. Failure to do so may delay your application.
How much will it cost?
Applications made by post: £458
Priority postal applications (10 day processing time) :£916
Applications made in person at a Public Enquiry Office (PEO): £1047
How long will it take?
Applications submitted by post via the Student Batch Scheme usually take eight weeks to be processed. However during busy periods (September to November) it can take longer.
If you go in person to a PEO then you will usually receive a decision on the same day. However you will not receive your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) which contains your visa until at least two weeks later.
Further information about extending your visa can be found on the Gov.UK Home Office website.
Useful information is also available on the UKCISA website.