Yes! Many students will need to extend their student visa at some point during their stay in the United Kingdom. A student may need additional time to complete an existing course, or they may wish to begin a new course of study. It can be very complicated to understand what the visa requirements are but do not worry, the International Student Welfare Officers are available to advise and assist you through the application process.
We would advise that you think about preparing for a visa extension within the last four months before your current visa is due to expire. It is very important to keep a note of your visa expiry date in order to make preparations well in advance and to avoid overstaying. Your visa expiry date will either be located on your visa that is inside your passport or on your Biometric Residence Permit.
You will be required to complete an application form entitled Tier 4 (General) Student and submit a series of original documents in support of your application. Before you complete the form, it is important that you read through the Tier 4 Policy Guidance Notes and Photo Guidance Notes carefully to avoid making any mistakes. All of the above mentioned documents can be downloaded from the UK Border Agency website.
Please ensure that you always use the most up to date copy of both the application form and policy guidance when making an application.
Yes of course! The Welfare Team are here to assist you with your application. We strongly recommend that you attend a visa extension workshop which will be organised by one of the International Student Welfare Officers. At the workshops, you will receive advice about how to complete each page of the Tier 4 (General) application form and what documentation is required. Any worries or queries you have will be answered at these sessions. Please attend a workshop at least 2-3 months before your visa is due to expire as it is essential that you have time to prepare the necessary documents and finances.
The International Student Welfare team will hold visa extension workshops every Wednesday afternoon. The workshops will take place at the I-Zone, which is located at the front of Llandaff campus. The workshops start at 2.00pm prompt and will run for approximately two hours. You will need to bring with you:
- Passport(s) - You will need to submit your current passport plus any old passports that contain visas relating to your current stay in the UK
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) - Only applicable if you have previously applied for a visa extension in the UK and have been issued with a BRP
- Police Registration Certificate - Only applicable if your visa states that you must register with the police in UK (see page 19 of this booklet).
- Marriage or Civil Partner Certificate - Only applicable if applying with dependants or if it proof of a name change
- Birth certificates - Only applicable if using parents bank statements or proof of name change
- Driving licences - Only applicable if needed as proof of name change
- Bank statements - You will require original bank statements showing transactions over a 28 day period. The statements must not be older than 28 days old on the date you submit your application
- CAS - All applicants require a CAS number which will appear on a CAS statement issued by the International Office
- Letter from parents - Only if you are using your parents’ bank statements. The letter should confirm that their money will be used for your fees and living expenses.
- Translations - Any document that has not been written in English must be translated by an official translator and contain the translators qualifications, stamp, date and confirmation that the translation was based on the original document.
You can download it from the UK Border Agency website
Once your application is complete and you have collated all of the relevant supporting documents, it is essential that you make an appointment with one of the Welfare Officers in order for them to check your documentation and to give you a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). This is a unique number which is vital piece of information which must be included if your application is to be considered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
When you are ready to submit your application you have two options to choose from:
Application Process: You can send your application form and documents to the address printed on your application form and we strongly advise that it is sent by recorded or special delivery so that you have a record of when they were sent.
The processing can take between 4 and 14 weeks. During this time you will be called to attend a biometric appointment where your fingerprints and photograph will be taken. We have a UK Border Agency Public Enquiry Office in Cardiff where this can be done. Once the UKBA have made a decision on your application, they will notify the Welfare Officers by post and return your documents to the university.
Application Process: If you need to get a rapid decision on your visa extension application, you can go in person for an appointment at a Regional Public Enquiry Office. The UK Border Agency states that the majority of applications will be dealt with on the day of the appointment, providing that the application is straightforward and that the application and all of the documents are complete and they meet the requirements of the immigration rules.
For an in person application, it is necessary to book an appointment in advance by calling the UK Border Agency on 0870 606 7766 (Mon – Fri 8:00am – 4:00pm) or using the online booking service:
The application fee for both postal and in person applications is very expensive so please ensure that you check the current costs before applying and budget for them.
New rules with regards to dependant visa applications were introduced in July 2011. Your dependants can apply for immigration permission to join or remain with you in the UK only if:
- You are government-sponsored and your course is over six months long OR
- You are doing a postgraduate level course of 12 months or longer at a Higher Education Institution OR
- You had a Tier 4 or Pre-Tier 4 student visa for your previous course where the course was over six months long AND:
- Your visa is valid or expired no more than three months before this immigration application AND
- Your new immigration application is for a course over six months long AND
- Your dependants already have Tier 4 Dependant or Student Dependant visas AND
- You apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant
If you require further details about making visa extension applications or dependant applications for your husband, wife or children, please contact the International Student Welfare Team for advice.
You should always plan well in advance and check whether you require a visa to enter the country you wish to visit before you make plans to travel.
Another important aspect you must check if you are planning to travel is that countries quite often require you to have a minimum number of months remaining on your UK student visa in order for the relevant embassy to grant you a visa. The minimum may be up to 6 months for some countries - always check!
Here is a very useful website to look at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ - it will help you locate the embassy web page of your choice which will then give you full information about application procedures. A member of the Welfare Team will be happy to write a letter to support your visa application.
This is the name of a visa that you may wish to apply for if you are planning travelling to Europe. This single visa would allow you to travel to multiple European countries meaning that you would not need to apply for individual visas for each country. There are currently 25 European countries that are part of the Schengen agreement. For a list of these countries, please visit http://www.schengenvisa.cc/
Decide which country you would like to travel to first, then visit the embassy website of that country to download a Schengen visa application form. Apply to this embassy for your visa. Details of the requirements and how to apply will be found on the embassy’s website. For a list of embassies, please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s website