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Tier 4 General Student Extension

This category (Tier 4 General Student) is a Point Based System Immigration category. These points are awarded for Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and Funds for Maintenance. An individual who seeks to extend his/her residence in the UK if he/she is already in possession of a valid Tier 4 Students Visa, the individual can make the application to extend to the Home Office, United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA). It is required by the UK Immigration that the application be made in no more than 28 days between the date of expiry and the scheduled date for the commencement of the new course. In a situation where there is more than 28 days between the date of expiry of the visa and the scheduled date for the commencement of the new course, the individual is then required by the UKBA to leave the UK and make the application for the Tier 4 General Student Visa from his/her home country of origin making submissions to the British Embassy or High Commission of an entry clearance application.

If you are looking to extend your Tier 4 leave to remain, we expect that your current grant of leave to remain in the UK is as a Tier 4 (General) Student. It is important to note that you may not be able to apply to extend your Tier 4 visa if you are currently in the UK as a Short-term Student or a Visitor.

There may be numerous reasons why you may need to extend your leave to remain as a Tier 4 migrant; some of which include; extension on the basis that you have failed a course, you want to change your course of study or you are progressing to a higher NQF level.

It is also important to note that there is a cap on the number of years you can spend at a particular NQF level. A degree course for example is level 6. You may not be able spend more than 5 years on your Tier 4 whilst studying your degree course. If for any reason you have to extend your course, it must be within the 5 years cap. Any further application will have to be made outside the UK.

Academic progression

Essentially what this means is that you cannot extended visas moving along the same NQF level. As with the example above, you cannot extend a tier 4 visa in the UK to do a second bachelor’s degree. Not only will you not qualify because you would have in effect spent more than 5 years, you will also not be able to apply in-country because you are doing another course on level 7.

The crux of the concept of academic progression mean that visa applications must show an upward movement academically for the migrant. From NQF level 3, to NQF level 4, 5, 6 and so on.

Academic progression also mean that your next course of study must complement your current course of study. Note also, that if you are applying to extend your Tier 4 visa because of a resit, you do not need to show academic progression.

The requirement of academic progression makes it impossible to apply to extend your visa in the UK regardless of whether or not you meet the other criteria.

Should you need help in making a tier 4 application, please contact one of our immigration solicitors on 02037442797 or drop us an email on

Tier 4 General Student Extension Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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Kind regards
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