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Applying in the UK

Extending your Student visa

The UK Government introduced a new points-based immigration system on 5 October 2020. The system includes a new ‘Student Route’ for international students wanting to apply for a student visa to study in the UK. This route replaces Tier 4 student visas.

If you need to extend your visa to cover your current course or are joining a new course you must extend your Student visa to study in the UK.

When to extend your visa

You need to submit a visa application before the expiry date of your current visa. You can apply to extend your visa up to three months before the expiry of your current visa. 

Study Cap 

There is a time limit (also known as 'study cap') on how long you can study at Undergraduate level on a Student visa. Before a CAS can be issued to you the University will check that your studies will not take you over the cap. We may need to contact UKVI to undertake an Immigration History Check, with your permission, to check that you have enough time left to complete your course. In most cases, this limit is five years if you have studied an Undergraduate course. When making the calculation for the Study Cap the whole duration of your visa is counted, this includes extra periods of time added to your visa before and after your course.

How to extend your visa

1. Prepare your financial documents

If you or your dependant have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your visa extension application in the UK, you will satisfy the Student Route financial requirements. This means that you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application. If you have been in the UK for less than 12 months you must show a maintenance of £1,023 per month of your course up to a maximum of nine months (e.g if your course lasts two months, you need to show £1,023 x 2 or if your course lasts nine months or more or you will have to show a maximum £9,207).  You also need to show any unpaid tuition fees for your course. 

The full amount MUST be in your bank account for 28 consecutive days. Your bank statement must be no older than one month.

UKVI look at the date of the latest banking transaction to determine that the bank statement is no older than one month old rather than the date that the statement is printed.

Please note that applicants for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) are exempt from showing funds if they have lived in the UK with valid permission for 12 months or more. If you do not meet this requirement you will need to show £2,046 for 28 days.

If you are unsure of the official end date of your course, please contact Department of Student and Academic Administration at: ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk.

You may use your parents’ bank account to demonstrate your maintenance and fees. The statement must be in English or officially translated but the funds can be in the local currency. If you use your parents’ bank statement to prove your maintenance and fees, you must also provide your original birth certificate (plus official translation into English) and a letter from your parents, signed and dated, confirming they are supporting you.

If you are a sponsored student, (sponsored by your home Government, the UK Government, University or an international company) you must provide an up-to-date official sponsorship letter as evidence of your funds.

2. Request your CAS statement

You must request your CAS statement before you can apply to extend your visa. The University will only issue you a CAS statement if you are applying for visa extension on or before the expiry date of your current student visa. If your visa has expired, you will not be issued a CAS until you show evidence that you have left the UK (e.g a flight ticket). You will have to apply for entry clearance from your home country.

Click here to request your CAS statement.
 
Please note: if you need to show finance as part of your visa application your CAS will not be released until your financial documents are checked by the International Student Advisers

3. Register and create an account online

Please follow this link and click on 'Apply Online' 

4. Prepare all other documents:

  • Your current passport and any previous passports which you have used to travel to the UK
  • BRP card
  • Police registration certificate (if applicable)
  • ATAS Certificate (if stated on your CAS that you need one)
  • Your transcripts if you are extending your visa and previously transferred to a new course
  • Academic documents shown on your CAS such as degree certificate or final transcript
  • All supporting documents MUST be scanned ready to be uploaded with your visa application (each document type must be scanned separately) 

5. Fill in the online form

Fill in the online form as much as you can, but stop at the declaration page.
 
If you go any further, you will not be able to make any amendments to your application. The International Student Advisers can check your application before sending it. Please
contact us when you are ready to make your application.
 
We can advise on applications on weekdays from 10.00am to 3.00pm. 

Cost of visa application: 

  • The standard fee for applying is currently £475
  • The Immigration Health Charge (IHS) of £470 per year 

What happens next?

 You submit your application online, pay the immigration health surcharge fee, biometric enrolment fee (currently £19.20) and the application fee.
 
You will then be directed to Sopra Steria's (UKVCAS) website to book an appointment either at a UKVCAS service centre or at an ‘enhanced service centre’. 

Students registering with UKVCAS as part of their student visa application will NOT be able to directly book a UKVCAS appointment at this time.

Instead, you should wait to receive an email from UKVCAS confirming next steps. This is because UKVI are assessing which students are eligible for biometric reuse and able to use the IDV app.

UKVI believes that this checking process will take about a week from registration with UKVCAS/UKVI.

Please watch out for an email to your registered UKVCAS email address called:

  • Book your UKCAS appointment now or
  • Download the IDV app now.

You can then go ahead and either book a UKVCAS appointment or download and use the IDV app so UKVI can process your application.

You will not be able to use the IDV app until you receive an invitation from UKVCAS.

Attendance at a UKVCAS service centre may be free of charge, the nearest centre is Croydon.

If you attend an ‘enhanced service’ centre there will be an additional charge. The nearest enhanced service centre is in Southampton. The additional charge to attend the enhanced service centre starts at £69.99 (the price depends on whether you select a prime time/non-prime time slot or a weekend appointment). 

You should scan and upload your documents before your appointment. We recommend you also take all your original documents to your appointment.

If you choose to scan your documents at your appointment there will be a charge.

You will receive a decision on your application by email. If you apply using the premium service, you should receive a decision on the day of your appointment and your visa will usually be sent by courier to you in ten working days.

IMPORTANT: Please note that you cannot travel outside the UK while your visa extension application is under consideration and until you have received your new BRP card.

If you do leave the UK during this time then your visa application will be automatically cancelled.

Once you have received your new BRP, you must send your old BRP card to the Home Office to be destroyed. Post it in a plain, windowless envelope with a covering letter listing your details, including BRP number and reason for return. If you applied in the UK, return to Freepost RRYX-GLYU-GXHZ, Returns Unit, PO Box 163, Bristol, BS20 1AB. If you applied overseas: BRP Returns, Home Office, Conference House, Conference Avenue, Portishead Office Park, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7LZ, UK

Resitting a Unit

This applies for Undergraduate and September/January Masters intakes

  • TB1 resit only - If you have a current UKVI Student Route/Tier 4 visa to cover study for the period of September to January you can take the resit using your current Tier 4 leave. You will have to return to your home country for TB2.

    Depending on the outcome of your resit in TB1 you will need to apply for fresh entry clearance (visa) in your home country to continue your course the following September. You can apply for a new visa from 6 months before the course resumes. Please contact us in good time before you plan to return for further advice about applying for a new visa.

  • In TB2 you can either re-enter the UK to study on a Standard Visitor visa if you are a non-visa national or apply in your home country for a Standard Visitor to study or for a UKVI Student Route visa.

 
You will need to let us know which type of visa you wish to apply for so that we can provide you with the correct information.
 
A standard visa is issued for up to 6 months and cannot be extended. You are also not permitted to work on this visa.

You will need to prove that you have enough money to cover all costs of your visit, including the cost of the return journey. You will be able to use someone else's money to prove this if they will provide support to you for the duration of your visit. 

If you wish to apply for a UKVI Student Route visa this will cover the entire remaining period of the course and will be withdrawn if you are unsuccessful in completing the resit(s).

You can apply for a new UKVI Student Route visa up to 6 months before the course resumes. Please contact us in good time before you plan to return for further advice about applying for a new visa.

If you are on a Masters course and you are unsuccessful in passing your resit you will be able to undertake your final project but you will need to do the repeat unit in the next teaching block.

Are you applying for a visa extension before the second attempt of your resit with valid leave to cover this period?

The UKVI Student Compliance Team will be unable to issue to you a CAS to progress with your course until the results of your second attempt resit.
 
If your visa period does not cover the second attempt resit, you will need to apply for further leave to undertake the resit.

Work Placement/Study Abroad

You must extend your current UKVI Student Route/Tier 4 General visa prior to undertaking the work placement or Study Abroad year. You can extend your visa from in the UK or from your home country no earlier than 3 months before your work placement/Study Abroad year commences.

Please note: If you have transferred to a new course, you will need to return home to apply for your visa, extensions can only be made in the UK if you are continuing on the same course.

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