Advice about arriving, living, and working in the UK

Extending your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa within the UK  

Extending your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa within the UK

It may be possible for you submit an application to extend your Tier 4 (General) immigration permission in order to continue studying. If you are eligible and you intend to stay in the UK to submit an application for further immigration permission, you must do this before the end date of your current immigration permission. Follow the advice below on how to extend your leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) student.

Preparation

Preparing in advance is extremely important. You must apply to extend your Tier 4 visa (Leave to Remain) before your current visa expires and we recommend you should begin preparing your application at least two months before your visa expiry date.

Apply for your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from the Visa Compliance office visa.compliance@londonmet.ac.uk.  You will receive a draft CAS statement by email so that you have the necessary information to begin to complete your Tier 4 application. However you will only receive the actual CAS number when your draft application and supporting documents have been checked by the International Student Adviser.

Immigration Health Surcharge

A new Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) of £150 per year was introduced in April 2015 for students studying a course lasting six months or longer. This entitles you to use the National Health Service (NHS) at no extra cost during your stay in the UK.

The Tier 4 online application form will automatically calculate how much of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) applicants have to pay, and you will then pay the charge as you submit the application.

Please note that you will be charged the fee even if you are applying to extend your visa. The IHS will be refunded only where an application for leave to enter or remain is refused.

Interviews – Credibility Testing

It is possible that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Department of the Home Office will call you for a Credibility Interview. The UKVI state that the purpose of any interview is to confirm that the applicant is a genuine student.

When called for an interview, the UKVI staff may ask you a number of questions about your immigration and education history, including why you intend to study in London, your study and post-study plans, your financial circumstances, whilst also assessing your English Language skills.

The questions will be asked via a video link with a member of staff from the Home Office. The types of questions that you may be asked include: why you decided to study in the UK; why you decided to study at London Met and why the particular course; basic questions about the course content; your immigration history and previous education. We advise that you make sure that you read information on your department's website to familiarise yourself with the course content for your particular programme.

You should be able to talk about the course content and not just list the modules.

We recommend that while you should not worry too much about the interview, you should take some time to carefully prepare for the questions that may be asked.

What kind of questions will the Home Office ask me at the interview?

This will depend on your individual circumstances. Here are some suggestions: 

Your previous immigration history
  • you may be asked about any previous UK visas you have had
  • UKVI may want to know whether you have ever breached any of the conditions of your UK visas
  • UKVI may ask about any visas you have had for other countries around the world
Your previous study history, current study and post-study plans
  • if there is a long gap between previous study and the new course, you may be asked to explain why there has been a break
  • you will be asked for very clear information about your course and why you want to study at London Met
  • you may be asked what are your plans after the course eg where do you want to work?
Your finances
  • The UKVI may ask where your money has come from
  • you may be asked about your family's circumstances at home

Financial requirements

The requirements for making a Tier 4 (General) student visa application are very strict and it is easy to make a mistake which can lead to a visa refusal. To help you reduce the chance of a visa application refusal, we have provided the following information below. Please read all of the sections below and note that we will ask you to provide evidence of your finances before we issue your final Confirmation for Acceptance for Studies (CAS). 

The most common cause of Tier 4 refusals is incorrect financial documents.

How much money do you need to show?

To score the required ten points for maintenance, you will need to show that you (or your parents) have held the required funds for a 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application.

Course fees: You must have enough money to pay for the course fees for the first year of your course, or the entire course if it is less than one year long. Your CAS will state the fees that you will be required to pay. The Home Office will use the details in your CAS to confirm how much money you have already paid to the University, and how much of your fees you still need to pay. If you have not paid your full first year fee, you will need to show you have held this money in your bank account for 28 days.

Maintenance: Your accommodation and living costs are called 'maintenance'. You must have a fixed amount of money to cover your maintenance. London Met is located in inner London, and therefore the Home Office requires that you hold £1,265 for each month of your course for the first nine months or £1,265 for each month of the course if your course lasts less than nine months. 

Please note: a new National Health Service (NHS) surcharge of £150 per year will be introduced from April 2015 for students studying a course lasting six months or longer. This will entitle you to use the NHS at no extra cost during your stay in the UK. The surcharge will be paid at the same time as the fee for an entry clearance application or a fee for a leave to remain application. It will be refunded only where an application for leave to enter or remain is refused.

Preparing your financial documents – general advice

  • it is advisable to keep more money than you actually need in your account because exchange rates may change slightly during the 28-day period
  • the balance in your account must not drop below the required amount (even by £1), even for a single day
  • do not use any of the money in the account until after your visa has been issued to you
  • the bank statements that you provide must be no more than 31 days old
  • use the official exchange rate website Oanda to convert your currency to pounds sterling
  • some financial institutions are not accepted by the Home Office. Check this list of authorised and unauthorised financial institutions.

Please read the following section on how to provide your financial documents correctly. 

Financial requirements for DES (Doctorate Extension Scheme) applicants

You must show that you have £1,265 per month of your course that is remaining to a maximum of £2,530. You must have held the funds at the required level for a period of 28 days before you apply. You can rely on funds held in your name or in the name or your parent(s) or guardian(s).

ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) Certification

If you are a non-EU/Non EEA citizen planning to undertake some research based postgraduate study in the UK in certain science, engineering or technology disciplines, then you may need to acquire an ATAS certificate before you can apply for a visa to come into the UK, or renew an existing visa for the UK. Holders of other types of visas such as Tier 2 will now also be required to obtain an ATAS certificate.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) has been introduced by the UK government in order to "ensure that people who are studying in the UK in sensitive subjects do not have links to Weapons of Mass Destruction Programmes".

If you require an ATAS certificate, this would normally have been requested during the application stage. It will also be stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). For full details on the ATAS certificate and requirements see the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Website.

Financial documents 

In order to be eligible for the ten maintenance points you will need to provide very specific financial documents as outlined in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

You can demonstrate that you have enough money by providing one of the following :

  • Personal paper bank statements
  • Electronic bank statements
  • Official letter from an authorised bank confirming funds
  • Official letter from an authorised financial institution confirming loan funds

 

Which financial institutions are accepted? 

Please note that there are some financial institutions that are not accepted by the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration department.  

The list of these institutions can be found here in the Immigration Rules: Appendix P 

  

Can I use my parents' bank account? 

Yes, the funds must be held either in your own name or your parents' or legal guardian's name. If you would like to use your parents' funds then you will also need to provide:

  • your original birth or adoption certificate showing the names of your parents or court document naming your legal guardian
  • a letter from your parents which confirms the relationship between you and your parents and which also give consent to you using their funds for your education in the UK.

 

How do I show I have an official financial sponsor? 

An official financial sponsor can be your own or the UK government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or an independent school.  

You must provide a letter from the sponsor on official letter-headed paper which must include all of the following:

  • your name
  • the name and contact details of the official financial sponsor
  • the date of the letter
  • the length of the sponsorship
  • the amount of money the sponsor is giving to you or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs.

If you will be receiving sponsorship from an official financial or government sponsor which does not cover all of the fees and maintenance, then please remember that you will have to show that you have the rest of the required maintenance in your own, or parent's name. 

If the sponsorship also covers your dependents then the letter confirming sponsorship must include their names.  

  

Your financial documents must be presented in the correct format

Original paper/electronic statements

Personal bank statements, either original or electronic, covering a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application, must include all of the following:

  • Your name, or the name of parent/legal guardian if applicable
  • Your account number
  • Your bank's name and logo
  • The amount of funds in your account (the balance should show that there are sufficient funds in your account to cover the cost of any unpaid tuition fees and the required maintenance funds)
  • The funds required must have been in your bank account for a continuous period of 28 days
  • Your statements must not be more than one month old

If you are using electronic bank statements then each page must be stamped by the bank or your bank must issue a letter confirming the authenticity of your electronic bank statements.

Bank letter

You can provide a bank letter confirming funds have been held for a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. This can be the easiest and most simple way to provide the evidence that you have the correct amount of maintenance.  The letter must include all of the following:

  • your name, or the name of your parent/legal guardian 
  • the date of the letter
  • the account number
  • the financial institution's name and logo
  • the amount of funds in your account  - this must be sufficient to cover the cost of any unpaid tuition fees and the required maintenance funds
  • written confirmation that the funds listed have been in your bank account for a continuous period of 28 days and that the balance has not fallen below the required amount
  • any letter issued by your bank must be used to apply for a visa within 31 days of the closing balance date indicated

 Loan funding document

A letter confirming educational loan funds must include the following:

  • Your full name
  • The date of the letter
  • The loan provider/financial institution's name and logo
  • The funds available as a loan
  • that the loan is provided by your national government , their state or regional government, a government sponsored student loan company or is part of an academic or educational loans scheme
  • The letter confirming your loan funding must be dated no more than six months before the date your visa application.

 

Complete your application online

  • The application process is a fully online system (it costs £457 for a standard application) - please go to the UK Visas and Immigration section of the Home Office website.
  • Carefully read Tier 4 Policy Guidance before you complete the application.
  • If you would like to apply in person so that your application is processed in one day you can book an appointmment to use the Premium Service (at a cost of £1047) and the online process will give you this option after you have completed the declaration section. However, please note that if you are asked to attend a follow up Credibility Interview the process may take several weeks.

Contact details 

International advisers

Our international student advisers are available to help you on a range of issues including visas and immigration and can be contacted as below:

Visa Compliance Office

For any questions about your current enrolment and the processing of your CAS please email: