Follow this step-by-step guide to making an online Tier 4 application whether you are applying in the UK for more time to finish study, for a further visa for a new course or for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.
If you would like to use the optional free ‘check and send’ service, follow the instructions below and contact the University’s Visa Advisers before you finalise your application.
New Priority Service available
The Home Office is offering a new Priority Service to students at participating universities for a trial period. The fee for a Tier 4 application using the Priority Service is £739 (£823 for applications on or after 18 March 2016). To use it, you need to book a place before making your online application. The Home Office should decide your application within 10 days without you needing to attend an appointment. If you would like to use the service, read these instructions, then complete the request form and email it to the Home Office.
Applications started before 1 February 2016
On this date the Home Office introduced a new online form for Tier 4 applications; this page gives information on using the new form. If you have already started an application using the previous form you will be able to access it through your account and continue, but you must complete and submit it, saving any information about the application or your appointment if relevant by midnight on Thursday 25 February when the previous system will be withdrawn.
Submitting your application online
1. Start your online application on the Home Office website, look for the ‘apply now’ button at the bottom of this page.
2. If you will be submitting your application with the help of the University’s Visa Advisers, select ‘no’ for the question, ‘Do you have a legal representative for this application?’.
3. You will receive a link by email allowing you to access the application.
4. If you are using the University's ‘check and send service’ tick the box ‘I want to receive mail at a different address and enter the details provided by the University’s Visa Adviser.
5. For the question ‘Do you currently have a visa or leave to remain’ contact the University’s Visa Adviser if you cannot answer ‘yes’ here. For the question ‘what type of residence permit or visa do you have?’ write down the category of your current or most recently issued visa, for example ‘Tier 4’.
6. For the question, ‘Have you completed the course of study for which your most recent leave was granted?’, if you are applying for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme, select ‘No’.
7. You will only have a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) if you made your last visa application from within the UK or you applied outside the UK in 2015 or later and were instructed to collect a BRP on arrival.
8. Public funds section. This refers only to specific welfare benefits. Note that student funding such as scholarships and bursaries do not count as public funds. Council tax exemption does not count as recourse to public funds.
9. Sponsor licence number and address section. You will find this information on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
10. Primary site of study. For the question, ‘is the address of your primary site of study the same as your Tier 4 sponsor’s address. Answer ‘yes’ if your college and/or department is in Oxford.
11. UCAS details section. You will only have applied for your course through UCAS if it is an undergraduate degree.
12. ATAS section. See the ATAS information.
13. Course information section. Refer to your CAS for the information to complete this section.
14. In the Documents section, if you are a low risk national, tick the box to confirm that you are a national of a differentiation arrangement country and would like to submit your application under this arrangement. You will need to have financial evidence and previous qualification evidence available in case you are asked for it but you do not need to submit it with your application. You do however have to submit any required permission letter from a previous official financial sponsor.
15. At any stage before you click the button to be transferred to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) website you can view and edit your answers. If you wish to use the University’s ‘check and send’ service, contact the University’s Visa Advisers to have your application checked before your proceed to the IHS website.
Print or save your application when prompted – this will be your record of the answers you have given.
16. For the ‘documents’ screen, click to indicate which documents you will be sending in or taking to your appointment. To check the requirements for documents, see requirements for your application.
17. In the IHS application section you will find your assessment mostly pre-filled with data from your application form. Complete the assessment and pay the charge. See the information on IHS to check how much you should be charged. If you are charged too little, the Home Office will contact you later to ‘top up’ the payment. If you think you have been charged too much contact the Visa Advisers if you do not receive a refund. After the IHS (if required) you will be returned to your visa application. Your IHS reference number will appear on the cover sheet for your finalised application.
18. Choose between the three services available: ‘standard’ (£439, or £448 for applications on or after 18 March 2016) which will require you to post your documents within 15 days of submitting your application, ‘premium’ (£839, or £948 for applications on or after 18 March 2016) which will require you to book an appointment and submit your documents in person for a same-day decision, or priority postal (£739, or £823 for applications on or after 18 March 2016).
19. Book your appointment if you have chosen the premium service. Note that this is the only way to book an appointment for a Tier 4 application in the UK. Croydon, Solihull and Cardiff are the three centres nearest to Oxford. If you have chosen ‘priority postal’ be careful to complete the steps within the time limit as instructed.
20. Pay for your application using a debit or credit card.
21. Print the application cover sheet. This will confirm your payment and give you an application reference number and an IHS reference number. Sign the cover sheet and complete the check boxes.
22. Follow the instructions on the print-out to submit your cover sheet and documents if applying by post, or bring them to the University Visa Advisers if you are using the ‘check-and-send’ service to be sent by recorded delivery. If using the check-and-send service, please give the Visa Adviser a copy of your documents as well as the originals.
23. If you are submitting the application yourself, keep a copy of everything you send, and send your application package by recorded or special delivery so that you have proof of posting.