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.
Who can extend their visa?
You can extend your Student Visa inside the UK under the following circumstances:
Progressing from one course to another – If you have successfully completed a course e.g. undergraduate to postgraduate and your new course starts within 28 days of the expiry of your current visa. Or progressing from a Bachelors to an integrared Masters.
Resit or repeats – If you are required to resit/repeat your course as an ‘internal student’ then it may be possible to extend your visa inside the UK.
PhD student requesting additional time – If you require more time to complete your studies and this has been agreed with your Graduate School you can extend your visa inside the UK.
There are also exceptions for visa extensions made inside the UK when adding a work placement or study abroad year, completing an intercalated course or working as a student union sabbatical officer.
You cannot extend your visa in the following circumstances:
• To attend your graduation.
• If you are repeating some or all of your course as an ‘external student’ student (which means you do not need to attend any classes but only need to sit an exam or hand in assignments).
• If you have already been awarded your qualification
• If you have, or will, exceed the 5-year cap on study (for degree level study only)
• If you do not meet the requirements for academic progression
• Student Visas cannot be extended purely to gain eligibility for the Graduate Route. There must be an academic need to extend the Student Visa.
When to apply?
You should begin to think about your immigration application three months before your visa expires. This will give you enough time to prepare everything properly and make the process less stressful. The earliest you can apply for your visa is three months before the course start date on your CAS.
If you are 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 three months of the start date of the Work Placement/Study Abroad Year, or after completing the placement/study abroad year and within three months of the course start date of the next academic year.
Please follow the steps below to make a successful visa application:-
Step 1: Request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (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 CAS. Please complete one of the following forms and email it to the email address listed at the top of the form:
- Undergraduate or Taught Postgraduate students CAS Request form
- Undergraduate students undertaking a work placement or a study abroad year CAS Request form
- Research students’ 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 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) financial requirements. A CAS is usually issued within 5-10 working days of the request being received.
Step 2: 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 four 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.
If you have been living inside the UK for the last 12 months continuously with a valid UK visa, then you may automatically meet the Student Route financial requirements and not need to provide any financial evidence with your visa application. However in order to receive a CAS from the University of Leeds you must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to pay any outstanding tuition fees for the upcoming period of study.
Step 3: Prepare any other supporting documents
Depending on your situation, you will need some, or all, of the following documents:
- New 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 in Step 2.
- 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.
- New 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’re from a country listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’ 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.
Step 4: Apply online
Once you have received the CAS, you should complete the online visa application form: Student visa : Extend your visa - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Step 5: Checking your visa application
If you would like the Student Visa Advice Team to check the content of your visa application form or supporting documents, we are happy to do this over email or during an appointment.
If you wish to have your application form checked, please DO NOT complete the ‘Declaration Page’ or pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) or visa application fee. If you go past this point we cannot make any amendments if needed.
You can email the pdf of your draft visa application and supporting documents to email@example.com and we will review these before you pay the IHS and visa fees.
If you would prefer an in-person or teams appointment then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request one. (Please quote your student ID number in all correspondence).
Step 6: Submit Your Biometrics (ID Check App)
In most cases, you will be able to submit your biomeotrics via an app – UKVI will confirm to you which option applies in your circumstance. If you are able to enrol your biometrics via the ID check App – a useful guide is available here: Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Students who are able to enrol their biometrics via the ID check app do not need to attend a biometric appointment.
Step 7: Submit Your Biometrics (Appointment)
Some students might be required to attend a visa appointment to enrol their biometrics and upload their supporting documents. These are operated by UKVCAS and you will be redirected to book an appointment with UKVCAS after you submit your online application.
The nearest UKVCAS centre is in Leeds. It costs from £100 to book an appointment at this centre. The address for Leeds UKVCAS centre 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 Manchester UKVAS centre is:
Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD
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):
- £490 standard service (8 weeks)
- £990 priority services (1 week)
- £1,290 super priority (next working day)
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £470 per person per year
Biometric appointment booking fees start from £71.50 per person. UKVCAS Appointment booking fees can be found on their website.
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 one 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 two weeks of a decision being made.
Can I leave the UK?
You should not travel while your visa application is pending and until you receive a decision as doing so will invalidate your visa application and you will need to re-apply.
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.
What do I need to do when I receive my visa/BRP?
You will receive either a BRP or digital visa or both. Check all the details on it are correct. If there are any errors you can report this to UKVI to get this corrected, please follow the guidance on the following page: For Students | University of Leeds
When you receive your new BRP please email a copy to BRP@leeds.ac.uk so your student record can be updated.