extending or switching to a Tier 4 General student visa

Extending or switching to a Tier 4 General student visa

If you hold a student visa that you applied for prior to 31st March 2009, the old immigration rules apply to you, whilst you still have a valid student visa. If you need to extend your visa to continue studying in the UK, you will need to extend under the new rules (Tier 4).
Switch to this visa
You may be able to change (switch) from another visa to a Tier 4 General student visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Eligibility
You can apply to switch into this category if you’re in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

Tier 1 (Post-study work)
Tier 2 (General)
Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer)
Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
Tier 4 (Child)
student (under the rules in place before 31 March 2009)
student re-sitting an examination
student nurse
students writing up a thesis
student union sabbatical officer
work permit holder
postgraduate doctor or dentist
Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme
International Graduates Scheme
Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
How to apply
Check how to apply to switch to this visa.

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

You can give your biometric information at:

at certain Post Office branches if you applied online (this costs £19.20)
at a premium service centre if you applied in person
You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

How long it takes
A decision will be made:

within 8 weeks for online applications
usually on the same day if you use the premium service
You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

your supporting documents need to be verified
you need to attend an interview
of your personal circumstances (eg if you have a criminal conviction)
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Extend your visa
You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You may be able to apply to extend your stay to continue your course or study a new course.

You must:

meet the eligibility requirements of this visa
be in the UK
You should read the full Tier 4 guidance before you apply.

Fees
It costs £439 to extend your visa.

You must pay £439 for each dependant.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge for each person as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How to extend your stay
Check how to apply to extend your stay.

How long it takes
A decision will be made:

within 8 weeks for online applications
usually on the same day if you use the premium service
You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

your supporting documents need to be verified
you need to attend an interview
of your personal circumstances (eg if you have a criminal conviction)
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

You can give your biometric information at:

at certain Post Office branches if you applied online (this costs £19.20)
at a premium service centre if you applied in person
You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.