You may be able to apply in the UK depending on your current immigration status. You should apply before your current visa expires. You are not allowed to apply in the UK if you are here as a Short-term Student or Visitor. This page explains other possible restrictions on applying in the UK.
The Student route replaced 'Tier 4' on 5 October 2020
You do not need to take any action if you still hold a current Tier 4 visa, but if you need to make a further student application it will be under the new Student route.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national
You will now also need to make a Student visa application for study in the UK unless you already have settled status or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme or other application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The EU Settlement Scheme, for EU, EEA or Swiss nationals resident in the UK before 11pm 31 December 2020 closed for applications on 30 June 2021 but EUSS applications with reasonable grounds for being late may still be considered. The UK government has published an introduction leaflet for EU, EEA and Swiss students.
Check that you can make your application from within the UK
You can apply for a Student visa (either switching from another visa type or extending a current Student or Tier 4 permission) from within the UK, providing you are not on immigration bail, and you currently have any type of immigration permission except:
parent of a child student
domestic worker in a private household
permission outside the Immigration Rules
If your visa has expired, please contact us for advice.
You must meet the Home Office's 'Academic Progress' requirement, or be exempt
If you have already been studying in the UK on a Tier 4 or Student visa, normally you will only be able to get a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) and apply in the UK for a further Student permission if you have successfully completed your course and will be studying at a higher academic level, for example you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree and will be starting a masters, or you have successfully completed a masters and will be starting a DPhil. You will need proof in the form of your degree certificate, a final academic transcript or formal written confirmation from the course organiser that you have completed or, based on all progress to date, are highly likely to complete your course. If you are going on to a new course at the same academic level, to meet the academic progress requirement it should either be connected to the previous course, be part of the same subject group or involve deeper specialisation; or in combination with the previous course support your career aspirations. For full information, see the Student Route guidance (academic progression section).
Students who are progressing from a BA to a master’s level course as part of an integrated master’s course, where the BA study is part of the master’s course can meet the academic progression requirement even if they are not going to formally complete the BA.
Students who are transferring from a masters course to a DPhil course can meet the academic progression requirement without completing the master’s course if their study towards the masters will form part of the DPhil.
You do not need to show academic progress if your Student visa application is going to be for one of the following:
- to resit an exam or repeat a section of your course, or to complete your course where you need extra time because you needed to resit an exam or repeat a section of your course previously
- to complete your DPhil, and your last student visa was granted for your DPhil at Oxford or a doctorate at another University and you have transferred to Oxford
- to be a sabbatical officer, or to complete your course after serving as a sabbatical officer
- if you are studying medicine and intercalate for another degree – please contact us for advice
This is a summary of the requirement, you should also look at the Student Route guidance (academic progression section).
If you are unsure whether your further study meets the academic progress requirement please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
You do not need to meet the ‘academic progress requirement’ if you make your student visa application outside the UK, it is only a requirement for in-UK applicants.
Gap between courses
If you are applying for a visa for a new course and want to apply in the UK, the start date of the new course must be no later than 28 days after the expiry date of your latest visa. If there is a gap of more than 28 days following the expiry date of your current visa before your course starts, you must apply in your country of nationality or usual residence.
Time limit on study in the UK
Your Student application must not lead to you spending more than five years in total on Student or Tier 4 visas for undergraduate level study. The time limits for postgraduate students were removed under the new Immigration System introduced on 5 October 2020.
There are exceptions to the five year limit:
- applications for some courses are exempt from the limit including architecture, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and science, conversion or professional law courses following a degree in the UK, or music at a Conservatoire.
Visit the UKCISA website for information and how to calculate the time limit. If you think that the time limit may be a problem for your application, email email@example.com for a calculation of the time limit.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for access to NHS treatment
The IHS is a compulsory charge for access to NHS treatment on the same basis as other UK residents and must be paid even if you have your own private medical insurance and do not intend to use the NHS.
The IHS charge is currently £470 per year for each year of permission, and any extra time granted at the end of your course (and part years less than 6 months are charged at £235). It is expected to increase to £776 per year from 6 February 2024, or £388 for a 0-6 month period. For example, If you are applying for a further 12 month extension to your course then you should be granted permission for an extra four months after your course, so the immigration surcharge will therefore be £705 (or £1,164 after the 6 February increase).
Children born in the UK who are the dependants of student visa holder may not be eligible for NHS treatment after the age of three months unless a visa application has been made for them and the IHS paid.
For further information on the IHS, see the Home Office website.
- Before you apply: your application and timing, how to get a CAS and how to get an ATAS certificate for your course (if required)
- Requirements for your application: funding evidence, qualifications and documents
- Submitting your application: step-by-step guide and choosing a service
- After you have applied: enrolling biometrics, awaiting a decision, getting your documents and visa back and your responsibilities