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Extending your student visa through International Student Support

You should start preparing your application at least two months prior to visa expiry. Tier 4 (General) student visa applications that are made in the UK must be submitted to the Home Office using an online procedure. We strongly recommend that you use our “student batch scheme” service as we can assist you (and your dependants) through the application process.

If you are going to study a new course, you must apply BEFORE the course starts.


A step by step guide to extending your visa

Step 1- do some research

Download our guide to extending your student visa and read through it carefully. This will provide information about the application process. It is essential that you read this guide before making your visa application.

Step 2- complete the online application

Download our guide on how to complete the Tier 4 student online application and follow the instructions carefully. This guide will help you create an online account and complete the online application form.

Step 3- prepare the supporting documents

Gather together all the required supporting documents. See our document checklist below for a quick reference and refer to our guide to extending your student visa for more detailed information.

Step 4- decide method of application

You can either apply by post or make a premium application at a Premium Service Centre (PSC). Please see below for a comparison of both methods.

Step 5- request an appointment with an International Student Adviser

Save your Tier 4 student online application form as a PDF document and email it to us as an attachment at least 4 weeks before your visa expires. Please identify your email as ‘Tier 4 Student Online Application’ in the subject box. In the main body of the email include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your contact telephone number
  • Student ID number
  • The date your current visa will expire
  • How many dependants you have (if applicable)

Step 6- attend appointment and submit application

We will contact you within 5 working days to book an individual appointment to review your application with an International Student Adviser. If all is complete you will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (for more information see our guide to extending your student visa) and the application fee and submit the application online.

Document Checklist

Here is a brief list of the documents you will need to prepare. More information can be found in our guide to extending your student visa:

  • All passports used to travel to and remain in the UK including your current passport;
  • Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one);
  • 2 x recent passport sized photographs;
  • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable) containing both your current address and visa details;
  • Cardiff University CAS statement (you must print this)
  • Original version of any document regarding academic progress that is listed on your CAS statement (if applicable);
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you have enough money to meet the maintenance requirements. Please check our guide to extending your student visa to find out how much money you will need and which documents are required as proof that you have access to this money.
  • If you were sponsored by an official financial sponsor but are no longer receiving support, you will need a letter confirming they allow you to remain in the UK



Method of application- a comparison

There are two methods of application. The main differences are listed below

 Postal Premium
Cost per applicant (and dependant)£439 + Immigration Health Surcharge£839 + Immigration Health Surcharge
Cost of biometrics£19.20 payable to Post Office. You can pay using cash or debit card but not credit cardIncluded in cost above
How long it takes to receive new visa (approximately)6-8 weeks2 weeks from date of appointment at PSC
Where biometrics are givenCentral Cardiff Post OfficeAt PSC
What happens with supporting documentsYour documents are checked and posted to the Home Office by special delivery, a secure postal serviceYour documents are checked and returned to you to submit during your appointment at the PSC
Is there a credibility interview requirementOccasionally, more information provided in our guide

My parents are providing financial support, is there a template letter that they could use?

If your parents are providing financial support you will need to submit additional documentation as outlined on page 8 of our guide. To assist you we have produced a template letter for them to complete: 

Don't forget that the letter must be signed and it must be an original document. Scanned copies, faxes or emails are not acceptable.

Useful links

UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) information on making a Tier 4 (General) application in the UK

Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance

Home Office PBS (Dependant) Policy Guidance


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, Cardiff University can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions. Cardiff University is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within. The government makes changes to the immigration rules and procedures on a regular basis, so it is important that you check the current guidance and rules when applying for a visa. For further information visit UKCISA and the Home Office websites.