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APPLYING IN THE UK

Extending your Student visa

The UK Government introduced a new points-based immigration system on 5 October 2020. The system includes a new ‘Student Route’ for international students wanting to apply for a student visa to study in the UK. This route replaces Tier 4 student visas.

If you need to extend your visa to cover your current course or are joining a new course you must extend your Student visa to study in the UK.

When to extend your visa

You need to submit a visa application before the expiry date of your current visa. You can apply to extend your visa up to three months before the expiry of your current visa. 

Study Cap 

There is a time limit (also known as 'study cap') on how long you can study at Undergraduate level on a Student visa. Before a CAS can be issued to you the University will check that your studies will not take you over the cap. We may need to contact UKVI to undertake an Immigration History Check, with your permission, to check that you have enough time left to complete your course. In most cases, this limit is five years and 11 months if you have studied an Undergraduate course. When making the calculation for the Study Cap the whole duration of your visa is counted, this includes extra periods of time added to your visa before and after your course.

How to extend your visa

1. Prepare your financial documents

If you or your dependant have been living in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of your visa extension application in the UK, you will satisfy the Student Route financial requirements. This means that you will not need to submit any financial evidence with your application (but we recommend that you have funds ready in case UKVI request evidence of your Finances). If you have been in the UK for less than 12 months you must show a maintenance of £1,023 per month of your course up to a maximum of nine months (e.g if your course lasts two months, you need to show £1,023 x 2 or if your course lasts nine months or more or you will have to show a maximum £9,207).  You also need to show any unpaid tuition fees for your course. 

The full amount MUST be in your bank account for 28 consecutive days. Your bank statement must be no older than one month.

UKVI look at the date of the latest banking transaction to determine that the bank statement is no older than one month old rather than the date that the statement is printed.

If you are unsure of the official end date of your course, please contact the Department of Student and Academic Administration at: ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk.

You may use your parents’ bank account to demonstrate your maintenance and fees. The statement must be in English or officially translated but the funds can be in the local currency. If you use your parents’ bank statement to prove your maintenance and fees, you must also provide your original birth certificate (plus official translation into English) and a letter from your parents, signed and dated, confirming they are supporting you.

If you are a sponsored student, (sponsored by your home Government, the UK Government, University or an international company) you must provide an up-to-date official sponsorship letter as evidence of your funds. If your sponsor does not cover all of your tuition fees and living costs you will need to show this in your or your parents bank account.

2. Request your CAS statement

You must request your CAS statement before you can apply to extend your visa. The University will only issue you a CAS statement if you are applying for visa extension on or before the expiry date of your current Student visa. If your visa has expired, you will not be issued a CAS until you show evidence that you have left the UK (e.g. boarding pass or entry stamp for your home country). You will have to apply for entry clearance from your home country.

Click this link to request your CAS statement. You will need to use your University email account to access the form.

Please note: if you need to show finance as part of your visa application your CAS will not be released until your financial documents are checked by the International Student Advisers. 

If you require an ATAS certificate for your course you will need to apply for a new one and provide the certificate before the new CAS can be issued.

3. Register and create an account online

Please follow this link and click on 'Apply Online' 

You will need to follow the instructions to download the app so that you can verify your identity before you start the application.

4. Prepare all other documents:

  • Your current passport and any previous passports which you have used to travel to the UK
  • BRP card
  • Police registration certificate (if applicable)
  • ATAS Certificate (if stated on your CAS that you need one)
  • Your transcripts if you are extending your visa and previously transferred to a new course
  • Academic documents shown on your CAS such as degree certificate or final transcript
  • All supporting documents MUST be scanned ready to be uploaded with your visa application (each document type must be scanned separately) 

5. Fill in the online form

Fill in the online form as much as you can, but stop at the declaration page.
 
If you go any further, you will not be able to make any amendments to your application. The International Student Advisers can check your application before sending it. Please
contact us when you are ready to make your application.
 
We can advise on applications on weekdays from 10.00am to 3.00pm. 

Cost of visa application: 

  • The standard fee for applying is currently £490 per student and per dependant
  • The Immigration Health Charge (IHS) of £470 per year (per student and per dependant)

Dependants

Dependants are not required to show finances if they have been in the UK with a visa for a period of at least 12 months on the date of the visa application in the UK. If they have been in the UK for less than 12 months they will need to show £680 for every month of the main Student’s immigration permission (course end date + 4 months) up to a maximum of nine months (£6,120).

Documents

  • Your current passport and any previous passports which you have used to travel to the UK
  • BRP card
  • Police registration certificate (if applicable)

Other required documents may include:

  • Birth Certificates (for any child born in the UK)
  • Proof of address (a utility bill or bank statement)
  • Marriage Certificate

Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by an official translation.

Your spouse or partner must apply on the government website.

Your dependant child must also apply on the government website.

(These are separate links for respective parties that must apply)

What happens next?

You submit your application online, pay the immigration health surcharge fee, biometric enrolment fee (currently £19.20) and the application fee.

If you have submitted your biometrics (photograph and fingerprints) to UKVI before, you may be invited to use the IDV app on your phone to complete your application. If eligible to use the app, you will be instructed to download this after submitting your application. The app works on most iPhone and Android phones and means that the biometrics that you submitted previously will be re-used.

If you are instructed to use the app, you will be asked to take a photo of yourself and your travel documents and upload your mandatory and optional documents using your smartphone. If eligible to use the app, you will not be required to attend a UKVCAS centre.

If you are not eligible to use the IDV app, you will be directed to Sopra Steria's website to book an appointment at a UKVCAS service point. Both free and chargeable appointments are available at all service points across the UK. The only exception to this is if you book an appointment at the Premium Lounge which will always incur a fee.

Non-chargeable appointments are released into Sopra Steria’s booking system every day up to 28 days in advance. Appointments are mostly available between 9.00am and 2.00pm Monday to Saturday. As free appointments book up quickly, you may need to check the booking system regularly to find a suitable time.

The nearest service point is in Southampton.

EU and EEA nationals

EU or EEA nationals who have a passport with a biometric chip will not be required to make an appointment to give biometrics at a UKVCAS centre. Instead, you will be able to use the UK Immigration ID check app to scan and upload your passport and a photo. 

You should scan and upload your documents before your appointment. We recommend you also take all your original documents to your appointment.

If you choose to scan your documents at your appointment there will be a charge.

You will receive a decision on your application by email. If you apply using the Priority service, you should receive a decision within five working days. Your BRP card may take an additional 10 working days to be sent to you after you receive your decision.

IMPORTANT: Please note that you cannot travel outside the UK while your visa extension application is under consideration and until you have received your new BRP card.

If you do leave the UK during this time then your visa application will be automatically cancelled.

Once you have received your new BRP, you must send your old BRP card to the Home Office to be destroyed. Post it in a plain, windowless envelope with a covering letter listing your details, including BRP number and reason for return. If you applied in the UK, return to Freepost RRYX-GLYU-GXHZ, Returns Unit, PO Box 163, Bristol, BS20 1AB. If you applied overseas: BRP Returns, Home Office, Conference House, Conference Avenue, Portishead Office Park, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7LZ, UK

Resitting a Unit

Repeating Teaching Block 1 Modules only

If you are repeating Teaching Block 1 Modules only, your study and registration for the year will be suspended at the end of the Teaching Block 1 period.

In accordance with current UK Immigration regulations, if you are a student on a Student Route/Tier 4 visa the University is obliged to report to UKVI that you will not be required to study for Teaching Block 2 and your visa will be curtailed (cancelled) at the end of Teaching Block 1.

At the end of your Teaching Block 1 assessment period you will need to return to your home country. Following your assessment outcomes, if you are progressing on to the remainder of your course you will need to apply for a CAS for you to apply for fresh entry clearance to return to the UK and continue with your study in September 2022.  

Repeating Teaching Block 2 Modules only

If you are repeating Teaching Block 2 Modules only, you will not be required to attend or register until the start of the Teaching Block 2 period, 23 January 2023.   

In accordance with current UK Immigration regulations, if you are a student on a Student Route/Tier 4 visa the University is obliged to report to UKVI that you will not be required to study for Teaching Block 1 and your visa will be curtailed (cancelled) prior to the start of this period.   

As you are not required to attend the University in Teaching Block 1 of this academic year you will need to return to your home country for this period.  You will need to apply for a CAS for you to apply for fresh entry clearance to return to the UK and your study in Teaching Block 2. 

You can apply for a new UKVI Student Route visa up to 6 months before the course resumes. Please contact us in good time before you plan to return for further advice about applying for a new visa.

If you are on a Masters course and you are unsuccessful in passing your resit you will be able to undertake your final project but you will need to do the repeat unit in the next teaching block.

Are you applying for a visa extension before the second attempt of your resit with valid leave to cover this period?

The UKVI Student Compliance Team will be unable to issue to you a CAS to progress with your course until the results of your second attempt resit.
 
If your visa period does not cover the second attempt resit, you will need to apply for further leave to undertake the resit.

Work Placement/Study Abroad

If you add a work placement or study abroad year to your course, you should apply to extend your visa up to three months before it is due to expire. In most cases, this will be after you have undertaken the work placement or study abroad year.

If your employer specifies that they want you to have a valid visa to cover the work placement year and your final year of study, please get in contact with us.

Please note: If you have transferred to a new course in order to add a placement, you will need to return home to apply for your visa, extensions can only be made in the UK if you are continuing on the same course.

If you are planning to leave the UK but are unable to due to Covid

If you intend to leave the UK to return to a country or territory but have not been able to do so and you have a visa, leave or ‘exceptional assurance’ (EA) that expires before 30 September 2022 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.

Exceptional cases include where you might be unable to return to a country or territory that you are resident in, as that nation has closed their borders or where quarantine facilities are temporarily over-subscribed.

You need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration team (CIT) and send them the following information:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • nationality
  • Home Office, GWF or any other reference number
  • type of visa
  • expiry date of visa
  • reason for request
  • evidence of flight or evidence showing reason you can’t leave

The subject header of your email should read “Request for an assurance”.

In your email you should attach evidence to show why you cannot leave the UK. For example, evidence of your inability to book quarantine accommodation in your home country.

During the time in which your request for ‘exceptional assurance’ (EA) is pending you will continue on the conditions as per your current or most recently expired visa.

If UKVI accept your request for ‘exceptional assurance’ they will send you the expiry date and confirmation that you will remain in the UK on the same terms and conditions as your previous visa, although it has not been extended, and that "you will not be regarded as an overstayer or suffer any detriment in any future applications". They will also tell you that you are expected to make plans to leave the UK before your EA expires, although you can apply again under the scheme if you are still unable to leave the UK.

Exceptional assurance is not a visa but the guidance says that it offers, "Short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired", which suggests that you will not be regarded as an overstayer. Unless UKVI states that it will not treat you as an overstayer, you should declare this period in any future visa applications as a period of overstay and explain why.

If you’ve already been given EA but your circumstances have changed or you are unable to leave the UK by the EA date previously given, you must reapply using the process above. You will need to clearly state that you’re making a subsequent application. You will be asked to provide new supporting evidence.

You will need to return to your home country as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.