Extending your visa in the UK
If you currently have a student visa and need more time in the UK as a student, then you may be able to make an immigration application within the UK.
Please see the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for updates about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect visa applications.
Please contact us about making an immigration application in the UK. We can check your visa application and documents and assist you in submitting your application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
Please complete the following steps to make a successful visa application:
On 5 October 2020, the UK government changed the immigration route for students. What used to be the ‘Tier 4’ route has become the ‘Student’ route. Most of the changes are not significant but they might affect you and might affect the information on this page. We will update the information on this page as soon as possible. You can read the guidance the Home Office has produced.
STEP 1 – WHEN TO APPLY
You should begin to think about your immigration application two months before your visa expires. This will give you enough time to prepare everything properly and make the process less stressful.
If you're applying in the UK you should always make your application before your current visa expires. If you apply after your visa has expired you'll become an 'overstayer' and this could affect any future visa applications you make.
You should make your visa application within 3 months of the start date of the Work Placement/Study Abroad Year, or after completing the placement/study abroad year and within 3 months of the course start date of the next academic year.
STEP 2 - REQUESTING A CAS (EXISTING STUDENTS ONLY)
NEW STUDENTS - will receive their CAS automatically from the Admissions department. Please follow from Step 3 when you have received your CAS.
EXISTING STUDENTS - will need to request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Please complete one of the following forms and email it to the e-mail address listed at the top of the form:
- Undergraduate or Taught Postgraduate student complete and return this CAS Request form
- Undergraduate student undertaking a Work Placement year or a Study Abroad year complete and return this CAS Request form
- Research student, complete and return this CAS Request form
You must submit a scanned copy of a bank statement or a financial sponsorship letter with your CAS request form. A CAS request cannot be authorised until you demonstrate that you meet the UKVI financial requirements. A CAS is usually issued within five working days of the request being received.
STEP 3 – PREPARE YOUR FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
There are strict rules about how much money you need to have access to for your living expenses (maintenance).
- You need to have your outstanding tuition fees plus £1,023 per month for a maximum of 9 months (£9,207) or for the remainder of your course, whichever is shorter.
- You must hold this amount of money in your bank account, your parent’s bank account, or your partners bank account for 28 consecutive days before making your application. The bank account must be a current or savings account. You cannot use company accounts or any other relative’s account (other than your parents or partner).
- If using your parents account then you also require your birth certificate and a letter from your parents confirming they are funding your studies.
- You can only use your partners account if they are already in the UK or are applying at the same time as you.
- The bank statement/letter must be no more than 31 days old on the date that you make your application.
- If you are a sponsored student or in receipt of a scholarship you will require an up to date letter confirming your sponsorship/scholarship.
- If you have dependants in the UK, you will need to show that you have a minimum of £680 per month per dependant for the course extension period and the additional 4 months which is added to the end of your visa by UKVI, up to a maximum of 9 months.
- If you don't meet these requirements your application will be refused.
STEP 4 – PREPARE ANY OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
Depending on your situation, you will need some, or all, of the following documents:
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
- Current passport and any previous passport that includes your last visa inside.
- Sponsor letter (if you are sponsored)
- Financial documents – as detailed above in Step 3
- Previous qualifications mentioned in your CAS. If your CAS states that you are being "sponsored on the basis of progress to date" you do not need to provide qualification evidence
- Evidence of successful completion of your previous course of study in the UK, if it is not the same as the qualification you used to obtain your offer.
- Police registration certificate, if applicable
- ATAS certificate, if applicable
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if applicable
- Birth and marriage certificates for dependants (husband/wife and children), if applicable and only if they are applying as part of your immigration application.
- Translations for any documents that are not in English
- Please note if you are a low risk applicant you must still prepare your documents and meet the financial requirements on the date of your application. You do not need to submit financial or academic documents with your visa application, however UKVI can and do request them when considering your application.
- Immigration Health Surcharge – this is a mandatory fee of £470 per person per year, which you will pay as part of your visa application.
STEP 5 - APPLY ONLINE
Once you have the CAS, you should complete the online visa application form. DO NOT complete the ‘Declaration Page’ or pay for your IHS or visa application fee. If you go past this point we cannot make any amendments if needed.
STEP 6 - CHECKING YOUR VISA APPLICATION
We can check your online visa application form and supporting documents for you before you pay and submit your application. Just email the pdf of your visa application and supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org before you pay the IHS and visa fees.
STEP 7 – BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT UKVCAS
After you have paid your IHS and visa application fee you will be directed to another website, Sopra Steria, to book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centre.
UKVI may be able to re-use your fingerprints from a previous visa application. If they can, UKVI will email you with instructions on what to do, please check your emails regularly for any updates from UKVI. Further information regarding the process can be found on the UKVI website. If you need to attend an appointment you can either upload your supporting documents prior to the appointment, or take the documents with you to your appointment. You must then attend the appointment to enrol your biometrics and have your documents scanned, unless you have uploaded in advance.
The nearest UKVCAS centre is in Leeds. It costs from £71.50 to book an appointment at this centre. The address is: Rooms 510 and 511, Regus, 2 Wellington Place, Leeds, LS1 4AP.
Alternatively you can attend an appointment at the UKVCAS core centre in Manchester, as free appointments can be booked at this location, subject to availability. The address for this centre is: Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD
Please note that due to COVID-19 disruptions to services, there may be delays in booking a biometrics appointment. UKVCAS will contact you when you submit your visa application with information about booking an appointment or if your previous biometrics can be used again.
If you were planning to return to your home country around the time of your visa expiry date, it may be quicker for you to complete the application process in your home country. However please note that Doctorate Extension Scheme applications can only be made in the UK.
WHAT WILL MY APPLICATION COST?
Our service is free of charge to international students at the University of Leeds. However, UKVI charge the following fees:
Visa application fees are (Inclusive of Biometric Enrolment fees):
- £475 standard service (8 weeks)
- £975 priority services (1 week)
- £1,275 super priority (next working day)
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £470 per person per year
UKVCAS Appointment booking fee: Biometric appointment booking fees start from £71.50 per person.
HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESS TAKE?
On occasion UKVI can take longer than their published processing times for a decision to be made. Standard service applications take up to 8 weeks from the date of your UKVCAS appointment and priority applications can take 1 week for a decision to be made from the date of your UKVCAS appointment, super priority decisions are made within 24 hours of the UKVCAS appointment. Your BRP will posted within 2 weeks of a decision being made. You should not travel outside of the UK until you receive your new BRP card as doing so will invalidate your visa application.
WHAT IF MY OLD VISA EXPIRES BEFORE I GET MY NEW VISA?
Don’t worry - you won’t be in the UK illegally. As long as you submit your immigration application before the expiry date of your current visa, you're entitled to remain in the UK, on the same conditions, while UKVI consider your application. It doesn’t matter how long UKVI take to make a decision.