Work placements, study abroad and extending your Tier 4 visa

If you are currently working on a placement as an assessed part of your course, or if you have a confirmed offer for a work placement, or you are on a study abroad year, it is likely that you will need to apply for further time on your Tier 4 visa as a result.

The current Tier 4 guidance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) means that you cannot extend your visa in the UK. Therefore you are required to return to your home country, or country of normal residence to make your new Tier 4 application. This applies even if you are undertaking an industrial placement in the UK.

The reasoning behind the UKVI decision is they have to be satisfied that an application for further Tier 4 leave falls within the category of what UKVI term 'academic progression'. Unfortunately they have deemed that requiring further Tier 4 leave because of, or for a work placement or year studying abroad does not represent academic progress.

The categories in which UKVI deem to be academic progress where an applicant is exempt from demonstrating they are progressing academically allowing them to apply for further Tier 4 leave in the UK listed at paragraph 5.22 of the Tier 4 sponsor guidance.

Applying for further Tier 4 leave because of a work placement or year abroad does not fall into one of the exempted categories. It is unfortunate that UKVI have not specifically stated that any further Tier 4 application because of a work placement needs to be made outside the UK. However the fact it is not included as an exemption means that the application cannot be made in the UK.

To make your application, you will require a new CAS. For further information and guidance on the procedure for requesting a new CAS refer to the applying for your visa outside the uk page.

Please be aware that payment of a mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge must now also be made when you apply for your new Tier 4 visa online, at a cost of £150 for each year of the visa you will be issued.

You must make your application for further Tier 4 leave outside the UK. If you apply in the UK, your application will be refused in line with the UKVI guidance and another confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) will not be issued you until you have demonstrated that you have returned to your home country or country of normal residence.

We do appreciate that UKVI guidance will cause inconvenience to you, however in order to ensure that you are granted further Tier 4 leave to complete your course, applying outside the UK in your home country, or country of normal residence is your only option.

If you have any questions or concerns about making your Tier 4 application then please contact the International Student Office:


Tel: 0113 343 3930

Drop-in: 10.30am Monday - Friday