Student Route 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, the Visa & International Support team are available to advise and assist you through the application process.

Applying for Student Route 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 Student Route, 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 documents in support of your application. Before you complete the online form, it is important that you carefully read through the Student Route Policy Guidance. You are strongly advised to make an appointment with the Visa & International Support team 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 your application.

You can book an appointment using myFuture.

Financial Requirements

You must meet certain financial requirements in order to be awarded the necessary points to apply for the Student Route Visa.  The amount you must demonstrate depends on the length of your course.

You need to show living costs of £1027.00 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.

If you are a national of one of the exempt countries listed here, the Home Office specifies that you can be considered under the differential evidence requirement.

This means that you do not need to send points-scoring evidence (financial and educational qualification documents) with your visa application.  Even if you are a differential evidence national, we strongly recommend that you ensure you have this evidence as the Home Office can request it as part of their decision process and they will refuse your application if you are unable to provide it within the specified timeframe. 

If you are making your visa application in the UK, and have been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds. Please note however, if you have been out of the UK for a period of 3 months or more during this period, you will not qualify for this and will be required to show the financial evidence required. Further information regarding this can be found in the Financial Requirement Appendix.

If you are applying for entry clearance or permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for less than 12 months, you must have the funds and provide evidence with your application.

How long must the money be in an account?

When you make a Student Route 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

There is also an Immigration Health Surcharge that will have to be paid at the time of your visa application for you and also any dependants that are in the UK with you. Please note however, that there is an increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge. The immigration health surcharge was due to increase on 1 October 2020. This rise will still take place, but probably on 15 October or later. We are expecting the surcharge to rise from £300.00 per to year to £470.00 per year – please note the exact amount you have to pay depends on how much leave you are granted if your visa application is successful.

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 Student Route 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);
  • 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;
  • ATAS certificate (if applicable)
  • 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 should be in your name or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and must clearly show your required level of maintenance on the date of your application. Statements must be no more than 1 month old and must be in the correct format as specified in the Student Route 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 guardian(s).

How to submit your application

You submit your application online, pay the immigration health surcharge, biometric enrolment fee (currently £19.20) and the visa application fee.  Once you have submitted the online application, you will be directed to Sopra Steria’s website to book an appointment at either a UKVCAS service centre or at an enhanced service centre.  Attendance at a UKVCAS service centre will be free of charge, attending an enhanced service centre will incur an additional cost and the understanding is that this charge will be between £60 to £125 depending on the selection of prime time/non-prime time slot or weekend appointment.

As part of the online application, you can scan and upload your documents prior to your appointment at UKVCAS with assistance at your appointment.   It is recommended even if you choose to scan and upload your documents prior to your appointment, that you take original documents to your UKVCAS appointment in case there have been any issues uploading your documents.

Some applicants are able to upload their biometrics using the new UKVCAS IDV app allows biometric information to be submitted straight to UKVI without having to attend a face-to-face appointment. Once you have submitted your visa application, UKVCAS will contact you regards to whether or not this is available to you.  If not, then you’ll have to attend an in person appointment.

Attend the biometric enrolment appointment

Make sure you take the appointment confirmation, passport and supporting documents with you to your appointment.

As part of the interview process, you must have your photograph and your fingerprints taken – this is known as your biometric enrolment and you have already paid for this as part of your application fee.

Once you have attended your appointment, you will be able to leave with all your original documents as you are no longer required to submit original documents with your application.  You will also get your passport returned to you at your appointment, however, you should not travel outside the UK until you receive a decision on your application.

Application decision

When your application has been processed by the Home Office, you will receive a letter or email notifying you of the outcome and if your application has been successful, your BRP will be sent to the correspondence address within 7-10 working days.

What if my application refused?

If your application is refused, please contact Visa & International Support as soon as you have received the notification.

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 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.
  • Each dependant will need to show maintenance (living costs) of £680.00 for each month of the main Student Route applicants leave, up to a maximum of 9 months.

Need Help?

The Visa & International Support team can help you submit the application online and check your supporting documents before attending your appointment.  In order to make an appointment to meet with an advisor, please email us or call us on 0131 455 2272.

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 ha

Student working with a laptop and headphones

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