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UK Tier 4 Student Visa

If you are an international student wishing to study in the UK you must apply for a student visa. Tier 4 student visa applications can be complex and it is highly recommended to use an Immigration lawyer to assist and ensure your application is completed correctly. A fundamental requirement is to have an educational institution sponsoring the applicant and to support your visa application to study in the UK.

You can find the UKVI list of Tier 4 student visa sponsors relevant to Tier 4 Student Visa here: Home Office Register of Tier 4 Sponsors. All students applying to extend a student visa will need to apply as a Tier 4 General migrant.

A Tier 4 visa is part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Points Based System where you need to earn the required amount of points in order to be considered for an extension. The required amount is 40 points:

  • 30 points for the University Confirmation of Acceptance Studies (CAS) and
  • 10 points for Maintenance e.g. course fees and living expenses.

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Applying for an extension

If you are applying for an extension to your Tier 4 visa on or after the 12 November 2015, you will need to have:

  • Your Tuition fees for the course (first or current year) PLUS
  • Living expenses of £11,385 for the duration of your course up to a maximum of 9 months).

If you do decide to complete the application yourself and collected the required documents, it is advisable to book an Application Review Session at Optimus Law where we will review your application to ensure it is correct and ready to be sent off


Tier 4 Visa Extension Application Fee & Process

‌‌In most circumstances, applications for a Tier 4 Visa Extension in the UK should only be made using the online application.

Application Fee:
  • £439 – Standard applications: Online applications/ supporting documents sent by post. Typically, decisions on applications are made within 6 – 8 weeks.
  • £916 Priority Applications: Appointment at Public Enquiry Office. Normally, decisions on applications are made the same day and your new visa usually sent within 8-12 days.

The other application option available is:

  • £7,000 + Premium fee + application fee – Super Premium Service: This is a very expensive service where you Home Office will arrange collection of your application, biometrics and documents and a decision is made on your application within 24 hours. Up to 4 main applicants can apply at the same time using this service.
Immigration Health Surcharge

All students making a Tier 4 visa application will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge in addition to the visa application fee. For students making a Tier 4 (Entry Clearance) application outside the UK, this will apply if they intending to study a course lasting 6 months or longer. Tier 4 dependants will also be required to pay the mandatory surcharge.

If you are refused a visa, the surcharge will automatically be refunded.. For further details of the Immigration Health Surcharge, please refer to the UK Council for Internationals Student Affairs (UKCISA) webpage.

Who can apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa in the UK?

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa extension in the UK if:

  • You are currently studying UK or have an unconditional offer of a place on a programme, and
  • You have been issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies for any universities/colleges and
  • You currently hold a valid Tier 4 visa or one of the other types of visa which allows you to switch to Tier 4 in the UK.
When to Apply for an Extension

You must make your application in the UK before your current visa expires, if you submit your Tier 4 application more than 28 days after your visa has expired then your application will automatically be refused by the Home Office.

It is always best to do make your application ideally around 3 months before your visa expires.

You can apply for an extension in the UK under Tier 4 if you are:

  • currently studying and continuing on the course that you have already started (this does not include students who are on a break) or
  • moving on to a new course which starts no later than 28 days after your visa expires

If you do not meet these rules, then you must return to your home country and you may be able to make an application from there.

If your application is successful then you will be granted a visa to stay and further study here in the UK for the duration of your course which thereafter you will have to leave unless you can switch to another visa category.

How Optimus Law can help

With over 30 years combined experience Optimus Law comes highly recommended in Immigration services. Living and studying in a different country can be an awful lot to handle and which many find stressful. At Optimus Law, we want to help you remove any worries surrounding your visa. We achieve this by breaking down your application into small steps that are easy to follow and easy to manage. We also provide after care services to ensure your settling in the UK and can help facilitate your needs during and after your studies should you wish t stay here in the UK.

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