How to apply
You apply, pay the fee and submit the form online, and then submit your passport and other documents to the Home Office by post or in person.
The paper application form is only available to those few applicants who use the Home Office's Super Premium Service,or who have more than ten dependants. Such applicants can request a paper form here.
See Submitting your application for more information.
You must be in the UK on the date of application (see next section for what this means) otherwise your application will not be considered.
When to apply
It is important that you apply before your current immigration permission ends. Your date of application is the date on which you pay the application fee and submit the application online. You then have 15 working days to submit your documents by post (or two days if you are using the priority postal service), or 45 working days to submit them in person at an appointment.
If you remain in the UK after the date on which your current immigration permission ends without submitting an application for further leave to remain, then you become an overstayer, which is a criminal offence.
Becoming an overstayer can have serious consequences for any future immigration applications that you make, including applications for countries other than the UK.
If you are unable to apply before your current immigration permission ends you should leave the UK before this date and apply for entry clearance to return to the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student once you meet all of the requirements.
The Immigration Rules do allow you to submit an application in the UK after your current leave has expired, as long as you do so within 28 days of becoming an overstayer. However, you will have no legal permission to be in the UK while your application is being decided. As a result your Tier 4 sponsor might not allow you to continue your studies if you become an overstayer. Indeed your Tier 4 sponsor might withdraw your CAS if you become an overstayer, meaning that your Tier 4 application would be refused. Therefore if you think that you are going to be unable to submit a Tier 4 application before your current leave expires you should speak to an adviser at your institution as soon as possible.
It is a good idea to start preparing for your leave to remain application early. We advise you start at least two months before your current immigration permission ends, and longer if you need an ATAS clearance certificate. You will need to start collecting the documents that you will need, including a print out of your CAS from your institution, your financial evidence, official translations of all documents not in English (or Welsh) and passport photographs.
If you are applying for leave to remain to continue on a course that you are already studying, you can submit your application as soon as you meet all of the requirements. However, if you are applying in order to start a new course you must not submit your application more than three months before the start date, as stated in your CAS. You should also wait until you have finished, or almost finished, your first course before you make your application for leave to remain to study a second one.
If you have finished one course and wish to stay in the UK to start another course, the gap between the end of your current immigration permission and the start of your new course must not be more than 28 days otherwise your application will be refused if you apply from within the UK.
How much fund do I need to show for my maintenance?
You must show that you have enough money to cover the outstanding course fees (mentioned on your CAS) for the first year of your course or for the entire course (if it is less than a year long) plus living costs.
• £1265 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £11385 if you are studying in inner London for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time): or
• £1015 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £9135 if you are studying in outer London or anywhere else in the UK, for the majority of your study (more than 50% of your study time) You can qualify for the reduced maintenance fund (the amounts shown above for up to 2 months) if you have an 'established presence' studying in the UK whether you are applying from inside the UK or from overseas.
• Dependent (Inner London): Each Dependent Needs £845 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £7605 or
• Dependent (Outer London): Each Dependent Needs £680 per month for living costs for up to 9 months total of £6120
The Tier 4 application fee is £448 if you submit your documents by post, £823 if you use the priority postal service, and £948 if you attend an appointment at one of the Home Office's Public Service Centres. The in-person fee is payable in full when you book the appointment; if you fail to attend the appointment, without good reason, a £100 booking fee will be retained.
Immigration health surcharge
There is an 'immigration health surcharge' if you are applying to extend your Tier 4 leave in the UK. The cost of this is based on the length of the visa that you are applying for, including the extra periods of leave that you will be granted before and after the end of your course.
The surcharge is calculated as £150 per year for each year of leave that you are applying for. If this includes part of a year that is six months or less you will be charged an additional £75 for this period. If it includes part of a year that is more than six months, you will have to pay £150 for this period. For example, if your Tier 4 application is to allow you to do a further 12 months of study in the UK then you should be granted leave for an extra four months after your course end date and the immigration surcharge will therefore be £225.
It is important to note that the surcharge calculation is based on the maximum length of leave that you could be granted under the Immigration Rules. It therefore includes the short period of time that you could be granted before the start of your course (maximum one month). If your new period of leave overlaps with the leave that you were previously granted then you will be entitled to a refund of the surcharge for this overlapping period of time, but only if you have paid the surcharge twice for the same period of time.
For example, if your first visa was valid from 1 September 2015 until 1 February 2016 and you applied for a new visa in January 2016 for a course that started on 8 February 2016 and ends 30 September 2017, then the maximum period of leave you could be granted under the Immigration Rules is from 8 January 2016 until 30 January 2017 (that is one month before your course and four months after your course) and the IHS will be calculated accordingly. These two periods of time ‘overlap’ between 8 January 2016 and 1 February 2016 (even if you are not granted your new visa until after this date) so you would be entitled to a refund of the IHS for this period, if you had paid it as part of your first visa application. However, in this example, since your first visa was granted outside the UK and was less than six months long it did not include the IHS so there is no overlap in payment and you would not be eligible for a refund.
You can use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool on the Home Office website to check how much you will have to pay.
The Tier 4 application form calculates the amount that you need to pay and asks you to pay it before you can complete your Tier 4 application. Once you have done this you will receive an email containing your IHS reference number. This number will automatically be included on your Tier 4 application form cover sheet.
Note: a very limited number of people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge, including British Overseas Territory citizens who live in the Falkland Islands. See the Home Office website for more information about who does not have to pay the IHS.
As part of the application process you must have your photograph and your fingerprints taken, this is known as your biometrics.
If you submit your documents in person at an appointment, you will be required to give your biometric data on the day of your appointment.
If you submit your documents by post the Home Office will write to you and ask you to attend a participating post office and enrol your biometric data; there is a fee of £19.20 to do this. You cannot make an appointment at a post office but you must take this letter from the Home Office with you as it will contain a barcode. It is very important that you enrol your biometrics within 15 working days (or two working days if you use the 'priority' application service - see here for more information) of the date on the letter otherwise your immigration application will be rejected as invalid and returned to you. For details see Biometric Residence Permits.
If you submit your documents by post and you have a problem enrolling your biometrics (for example the Home Office send you a second letter asking you to enrol your biometrics after you have already enrolled them) then you should email AppointmentExceptions@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. This email address is provided on your biometric enrolment letter.
You must only use this email address if you have problems enrolling your biometrics. It must not be used for general enquiries about your application. Emails to this address are expected to be dealt with within five days.
You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of the application process. Interviews are normally carried out by a secure telecommunications system (similar to Skype), although sometimes they will consist of a face-to-face interview. In either case the interview will take place at one of twelve Home Office centres across the UK, namely:
Your interview will normally be held at the closest centre to where you live. If there are no appointments available at your nearest centre you may be invited to attend the next nearest centre. However, if you are asked to attend a centre that is very far from where you live you should contact the Home Office using the email address provided in the invitation letter and ask them to move your appointment to a centre closer to your home.
During this interview a Home Office member of staff (either in person or by Skype) will assess whether you meet the English language requirements, and also if you are a 'genuine student.' If you are asked to attend such an interview you must do so (unless you have a good reason as to why you cannot), otherwise your application is likely to be refused.
Note: these interviews do not include any opportunity to discuss your application or evidence. If you feel that an aspect of your application needs further explanation, we advise that you submit your documents by post and include a covering letter containing the relevant information. We also advise you to speak to an adviser at your institution before doing this as it might be better for your institution to send your application to the Home Office on your behalf if they agree to do so.
You do not need any medical check or evidence if you are applying in the UK.
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Tel: + 44 (0) 2074767066
Mob: + 44 (0) 7507380343
Mob: + 44 (0) 7885815796
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