Current students: How to apply for a Student visa

This guidance page is for current students applying for a Student visa.

If you are an applicant, there are different guidance pages for:

When you apply for a Student visa from within the UK, you are applying for further leave to remain. You must make a valid Student visa application to the Home Office before your current visa expires.

You may be able to extend your Student visa to stay longer and continue your course or study a new course. This includes if you currently have a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

To extend your visa you must:

  • be in the UK on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed student sponsor - shown by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • show that your studies are at a higher academic level than your current course (known as ‘academic progression’). There are some exceptions - please see the below link.

If you are applying from outside of the UK or have been in the UK with a valid visa for less than 12 months, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.

Read the UK government's full information on extending your Student visa.

1. Check your eligibility

You may need to apply for further leave to remain* if:

  • You are progressing to a new course of study and the start date of your new course (as stated on your CAS) must be no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave. If the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course is longer than 28 days, you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
  • You need more time to undertake resits or to repeat part of your course.
  • You are applying to extend your leave in order to complete a Year Abroad/work placement or you have previously completed a Year Abroad/work placement and as a result of this you need further leave to remain to complete your course.

*It is important that you first check that you are eligible to apply and that any time limits on study in the UK do not affect your application. Please contact Kent Union Advice Centre for help with eligibility requirements and completing the application.

Points to note

If required, you will need to meet the financial requirements to qualify for a Student visa, have sufficient funds for your tuition fees and meet the maintenance costs specified in the Home Office's guidance. It is extremely important to read through this to fully understand the financial requirements for a Student visa.

You will have to pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) as part of your application.

As part of your application you may need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. If you are currently overseas, look for your relevant visa application centre. If you are applying from within the UK, you will be directed to the appropriate process within your application. If an appointment is required, these are provided by UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS).

If you are coming to the UK for more than six months you may need a tuberculosis test. Please check if you need a tuberculosis test for your visa application.

2. Prepare your documentation and finances

You should have the following documents ready to make your visa application:

  • Your unique Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number
  • Entry qualifications used as part of your offer
  • English language qualification and/or supporting documentation
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if required
  • TB certificate, if required
  • Evidence of finances, if required
  • Translations of any of the above documents, if required

Evidence of finances

We strongly advise you to read the full and official guidance on financial requirements which can be found in the Government's Student route caseworker guidance. A general overview can be found below; this is not intended to replace the policy guidance provided by UKVI.

  • You must show that you have enough money to pay for your course fees for the first year of your course, or for the entire course if your course is less than a year long.
  • You must also be able to show UKVI that you have living costs at £1,023 per month of leave granted up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,207).
  • If you are using a currency other than GBP you must convert amounts into GBP for your visa application; UKVI recommend As currency values fluctuate, UKVI will use the value from the day your application is submitted.

3. Apply for an ATAS certificate (if applicable)

Check to see if need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate as part of your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and, if necessary, apply for an ATAS certificate. This will take at least 20 working days to process and will take a lot longer in peak periods.

4. Apply for a CAS

Apply for and be in receipt of a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University of Kent.

This will generally be issued up to three months prior to your course start date.

5. Apply for your Student visa extension

Ensure that you have all of the documentation that you need and apply online for your Student visa.

If you are applying from overseas and wish to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the University, you will need to input the University's ACL code when applying for your visa online.

Kent Union has created Student visa application guides depending on if you are applying from within or outside of the UK with screenshots of each step.

6. Payment

Submit the correct fee to UK Visas & Immigration as advised within your application.

Other charges include the immigration health surcharge (IHS) and any priority services you may opt for.

7. Visa decision

If you are successful and your visa is issued, check your decision letter/email carefully for dates and conditions. If you are due to receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), this will be indicated in your letter/email.

If you have applied in the UK and you are a non-visa national, you may not receive a new BRP. You will be able to confirm your new visa via an online verification service detailed in your decision email.

When you receive your new visa, you will need to provide a scanned copy to the Student Immigration Compliance Team in order for your student record to be updated.

Please refer to the University responsibilities section of your visa responsibilities for a list of documents you must present.

Please see our guidance on what to do if your visa is refused.  

What to do if there is an error on your BRP

If there is an error on your BRP, you must report the error as soon as possible. Please read the UKCISA's guide on correcting a visa error. You can also get advice from the Student Immigration Compliance Team or the Kent Union Advice Centre.

Full information can be found on our BRP webpage.  

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