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 Tier 4 Visa

Many students will need to extend their student visa at some point during their stay in the UK.  This may be because you need additional time to complete an existing course, or you may wish to begin a new course of study.  It can seem complicated to understand what the visa requirements are, but do not worry, International Support are available to advise and assist you through the application process.​​​​​​

Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student Visa extension

It is very important to keep a note of your visa expiry date.  This will either be located on your visa inside your passport or on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card.  We advise you to make a note in your diary approximately 3 months before your visa is due to expire to enable you to make the necessary preparations to either extend your current leave under Tier 4, to switch to another Tier of the Points Based System or  to make plans to return home, depending on your circumstances.

What do I need to do to extend my student visa?

You will be required to complete an online application form and submit a series of original documents in support of your application.  Before you complete the online form, it is important that you carefully read through the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.​​
You are strongly advised to make an appointment with International Support at least 6 weeks before your current visa expires. Before your appointment, International Support will send you an email giving instructions on how to prepare for your appointment.   
You should email​ to make an appointment.

Maintenance requirements

You must meet certain financial requirements in order to be awarded the necessary points to obtain your Tier 4 Visa.  The amount you must demonstrate depends on the length of your course.​

You need to show  maintenance (living costs) of £1015.00 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.  You will also need to show any outstanding fees you have with the university at the time of your visa application.​

How long must the money be in an account?

When you make a Tier 4 (General) Visa application, you will need to provide evidence that you have maintained the required funds for a minimum of 28 days prior to submitting your application.  During this period, the funds must not drop below the required amount even if it's just for one day.

Immigration Health Surcharge

In addition to the visa application, applicants will also be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge at the point of submitting their Tier 4 Visa application.  This is not optional and will apply to applicants and family members applying for an extension to their current visa.  The surcharge for students and their dependents is £300 per year of visa granted for any applications made on or after 8 January 2019For further information regarding this, please contact for advice. 


Supporting documentation

You must submit supporting documents as evidence of your visa application.  The supporting documents may vary depending on your individual circumstances, however in general, the documents required for an application under Tier 4 (General) Student Visa are:
  • CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number;
  • Current passport;
  • Any previous passports that you have used to travel to and from the UK during your period of study (if applicable);
  • 2 x recent, identical passport sized photographs of yourself (must be no older than 1 month and you must not smile - please read the UKVI Photo Guidance to ensure you provide the correct photograph;
  • Biometric Residence Permit (if applicable);
  • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable);
  • Documents that show an official name change e.g. marriage certificate (if applicable);
  • Certificates of qualification and/or transcript of results;
  • Letter from your official financial sponsor - only if you are sponsored by your home government etc. (if applicable);
  • Bank statements covering a period of 28 days prior to your submitting your application.  The account must be in your name and must clearly show your required level of  maintenance on the date of your application.  Statements must be no more than 1 month old, show your current UK address and must be in the correct format as specified in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance. If the bank account you are using is in the name of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), then you must show your birth certificate/family registration or court document and a letter of financial consent from your parent(s)/legal
Please note all documentation must be ORIGINALS.

Options on how to submit your application

Once your application is complete and you have all your supporting documents, you have 3 options to choose from:

Send your application via the university "Check and Send" service

Edinburgh Napier University can send your application to the Home Office (UKVI) on your behalf.  Once the Home Office have made a decision on your application, they will notify the university by post and return your documents directly to the International Officer who dealt with your application.  The university will then contact you as soon as your documents have been returned.  The visa fee for this is £475.00 for the main applicant and £475.00 for each dependant applying at the same time as you.​

Send a postal application directly to the Home Office yourself

You can send your own application directly to the Home Office yourself to the address given on your online form.  You are strongly advised to send this by recorded/special delivery at the Post Office so that you have record of your application being sent.  Once the Home Office have made a decision on your application, they will notify you by post and return your documents directly to you.  The visa fee for this is £475.00 for the main applicant and £475.00 for each dependant applying at the same time as you.

You can also apply for Priority Service which means a decision will be made on your visa application in 10 days.  The fee for this would be £952.00 for the main applicant and the £952.00 for each dependant applying at the same time as you.

If you would like International Support to check your application before you post it, then please email​ to arrange an appointment.

In Person Application at a Public Enquiry Office (PEO)

If your application is urgent or you just wish to get a quick decision, then you can go to a Public Enquiry Office (PEO).  The nearest PEO to Edinburgh is in Glasgow.  The Home Office state that the majority of applications will be dealt with on the same day, provided applications and documents are complete and you meet the requirements of the immigration rules. 
Please note that if your application is successful, your BRP will be sent to you 7-10 days after your appointment.  You can apply for an appointment with a PEO once you start the process of your online Tier 4 Visa application.  The visa fee for this service is £1085.00 for the main applicant and £1085.00 for each dependant applying at the same time as you.
If you would like International Support to check your application before attending your PEO appointment, then please email to arrange an appointment.

Applying with dependants

If you have any dependants applying in the UK at the same time as you, you will have to enter their information as part of your online application.
Your dependants can apply for immigration permission to remain with you if:
  • you are government sponsored and your course is over 6 months long; or
  • you are doing a post-graduate course of 12 months or longer at a Higher Education Institute; or​
  • you had Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4 Student leave for your previous course where the course was over 6 months long; and
  • your permission is current; and
  • your new immigration application is for a course over 6 months long; and
  • your dependants already have Tier 4 Dependant or Student Dependant leave; and
  • you apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant.

Maintenance requirements for dependants

As of 25th November 2016, each dependant will need to show maintenance (living costs) of £680.00 for each month of the main Tier 4 applicants leave, up to a maximum of 9 months.​​


Please be aware that International Support can check your application, but it is your responsibility to ensure your application is correctly completed and all supporting documents required are submitted

It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your application is processed in good time. You MUST apply for a new visa BEFORE your ​current visa expires.

International Support offer guidance only. They should not be viewed as legal representation and the guidance offered is to be viewed strictly as guidance not legal advice.

International Support and Edinburgh Napier University are NOT part of the Home Office/UKVI.

Edinburgh Napier University is a separate and independent body from the Home Office/UKVI and has NO power or ruling over immigration decisions.​​ | Edinburgh Napier Mobile App