If you are coming to the end of your initial period of your Tier 4 Student Visa in the UK then you may be wondering about extending your visa in order to stay in the UK for longer. This is generally to continue your study in your current area or to move on to studying a different subject altogether. In this article, we look at the eligibility criteria for extending a Tier 4 Student Visa and offer some practical advice and information that may help with the process of applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa extension.
Yes, as long as you are eligible then you may indeed be able to stay in the UK longer in order to study. In general, you must still meet the original criteria of the Tier 4 Student Visa which means you must have an offer of a place on a course with a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence holder and you also have to have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course, this will depend on your individual circumstances.
The only way in which you can extend your leave to remain in the UK for a study is if your current Tier 4 Sponsor Visa holder falls into one of the following categories;
You will also need to include any dependents on a new application if they're on your current visa, this would include children have turned 18 during your stay in the UK.
You must apply within 6 months of getting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS, you also need to apply before your current visa expires but no more than 3 months before the start date on your CAS.
It will benefit you to apply for your Tier 4 Student Visa extension as early as you possibly can as the Home Office is under an ever-increasing workload meaning that more often than not it is taking longer than the standard wait time for applications to be dealt with. We always suggest using the maximum time available to you to make your application for a Tier 4 Student Visa extension.
The standard wait time is in line with many other visa applications which is generally around 8 weeks, this is, of course, a rough estimate and is highly dependent on how busy the Home Office are with applications at the time that you apply. If you need a quicker decision then there is also a Priority Service and a Premium Service which allow you to gain much quicker acceptance for your Tier 4 Student Visa extension application.
For Tier 4 Student Visa Priority applications you will receive a decision within 10 days and if you are able to apply for the Tier 4 Student Visa Premium service then you can actually get a decision on the same day. There is a significantly enhanced cost for both of these options as you would appreciate and as for the Priority Service, your application must be one of the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30 a.m. to be successful. You will receive an email to be told whether you have actually been successful and if not then you can also apply again the following day.
The Standard fee is £475 and the Priority fee is £952. For the Premium same day service, the application fee will be £1,085. These fees only cover the fee for the application to be considered and you must also take into account the fact that you will need to pay to provide your biometric information if you do this at a Post Office branch it is £19.20 currently to do so.
You will also need to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge for each person who is on the application and this will also be payable at the time of application you need to factor this into the total cost of applying for your Tier 4 Student Visa extension.
Unfortunately, you cannot gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from a Tier 4 Student Visa - the usual way in which people usually go from being a student to eventually gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) would be to switch to another visa route and gain your 5-year stay in the UK that way.
The tried and tested route for Tier 4 Student Visa holders to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK is to switch to a Tier 2 General Visa. In this route, you would work for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder and gather up your 5 years in the UK. The Tier 2 General Visa route this is still the best option for those who have no better alternative to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
If you get in touch with our immigration solicitors we can help to look at your case and help to decide what the best action is with your query. We have years of experience in helping people such as yourself to move to the UK in order to study, live and work and there is no doubt that we can help you. So for more information on an immigration query or to begin to use our services then please get in touch today.