Student Immigration

All you need to know about VISAs and studying

Doctorate Extension Scheme

On 6 April 2013 the Home Office introduced the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) that allows students who are nearing completion of a PhD to apply for a visa for a 12 month period to look for work, set up as an entrepreneur or gain practical work in their field. The scheme operates within Tier 4 of the points based system, reflecting the fact that this is a sponsored scheme offering an extension of leave to existing students.





To qualify for the Doctorate Extension Scheme, you must:

• have permission to stay as a Tier 4 (General) student to study a course that leads to the award of a PhD qualification;

• be studying with a Tier 4 sponsor that is a UK HEI; and not yet have completed your course; and

• have a CAS from your Tier 4 sponsor confirming that they expect you to complete your course on the stated expected course end date and that they will sponsor you during the 12 months you are on the scheme; and

• be applying no more than 60 days before the expected course end date specified on your new CAS.


How to apply:

1. Prior to your viva you should contact to express interest in the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

2. We strongly recommend that all students interested in the Doctorate Extension Scheme meet with an adviser at the Kent Union Advice Centre at an early stage.

3. Once your viva date has been confirmed, complete the CAS Application Form for Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme Applicants. This form will be available from the Student Immigration Compliance Team upon request

4. You must apply for the visa up to 60 days before the expected course end date on your new CAS.

5. Once your DES BRP has arrived, you must bring it in to the Registry Building so that we can take a copy.

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Last Updated: 11/09/2018