Extending your Visa
This page provides advice about how to extend your sponsored Student visa (previously Tier 4) (Leave to Remain) whilst you are in the UK. It may be possible for you to submit an application to extend your Student visa 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.
Preparing in advance is extremely important. You must apply to extend your sponsored Student visa (previously Tier 4) (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) by emailing the University's Visa Compliance team. You will receive a draft CAS statement from us by email so that you have the necessary information to begin to complete your sponsored Student visa 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
People who need immigration permission to come to or stay in the UK for longer than six months will now be charged an additional sum as part of their immigration application. This will entitle them to receive free health services under the National Health Service.
The Student visa online application form will automatically calculate how much of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) applicants have to pay and they will be able to make the IHS payment as part of their Student visa application. Please note, applicants who enter the IHS portal will have 30 minutes to complete the payment and return to the visa application. If applicants fail to complete within 30 minutes, they will have to re-start the visa application and will need to make another IHS payment.
How much will this cost?
The Health Charge for a Student visa holder is £470 per year. Each Student visa holders Dependant will also be charged £470 per year.
If this period of leave includes part of a year that is less than six months, the amount payable for that part of a year is half the specified amount, ie £235 for students and their dependents. If the period of leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full £470 annual amount is payable. You can check how much do you need to pay for IHS in the Gov.uk webiste .
If you are going to study on a 12 month course, then you are likely to receive leave that starts one month before the start of your course and ends four months after the end of your course.
If you include the period of leave allowed before the course starts and after the course ends (1 month and 4 months respectively), then that adds up to a total of 17 months of leave. This means that you will have to pay £470 (12 months) + £235 (additional 5 months, so less than six months) = £705.
Who is exempt from the Health Charge?
- Nationals of Australia, New Zealand, or British Overseas Territories Citizens who are resident in the Falkland Islands
- Those making an application for Entry Clearance of six months or less
The Gov.UK website provides further information about the Immigration Health Surcharge and links to the payment service.
If your healthcare is paid for by an EU country you may get a full or partial IHS refund if you have an S1 certificate registered with the NHS Business Services Authority.
You can also apply for a full or partial IHS refund if all of the following are true:
- you’re a full-time student in UK higher education
- your visa started on or after 1 January 2021
- you have a European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country
- you do not work
If you’re claiming as a full-time student with an EHIC, you can apply for a refund of the IHS you paid to cover any period starting on or after 1 January 2021. Applications open from 1 January 2022. The amount you’re refunded will depend on the date your S1 certificate or EHIC runs out. Find out more about applying for a refund.
For further information, please contact our International Student Advisers.
Interviews - Credibility Testing
It is possible that the UK Visas and Immigration 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 the information on your School'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 you are taking.
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||
|Your previous study history, current study and post study plans||
The requirements for making a Student visa (previously Tier 4) 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 Student visa refusals is incorrect financial documents.
How much money do you need to show?
To score the required 10 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 £1,334 for each month of your course for the first nine months or £1,334 for each month of the course if your course lasts less than nine months.
Exemption from providing financial documents:
For applications under the Student route, someone who has been living in the UK with Tier 4 or Student permission automatically meets the maintenance requirement and does not need to provide any evidence of their money. An applicant who does not meet the maintenance requirement this way will need to show evidence of the funds required for the route they are applying for. Please visit our International news section for more information.
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 institution.
Extending your leave as a Current PhD student
If you are a registered student currently sponsored under the Student route (previously Tier 4) and you need more time to complete the PhD examination process or have had an RD3 extension approved, you would normally be eligible to apply for a new student visa. We advise that you contact the International Advice Team three to four months before your current visa expires if you believe you will need more time in the UK.
The usual route is to extend your permission to stay in the UK on a student visa.
If you are undertaking a course that is subject to ATAS clearance, you will require a new ATAS certificate before a CAS can be issued - this is required for any new visa application. The FCO advises that the process could take about 20 - 30 working days. The research office must provide a new ATAS summary displaying the correct CAH code of your course. On receipt of your summary, you should complete your online application on the Gov.uk website after you have read the guidance on how to apply. Your CAS will be issued after you have obtained a new ATAS certificate.
DES (Doctorate Extension Scheme) students only
You must show that you have enough money (£1,334 per month) to cover your living costs for a maximum of two months (or the length of your course, if this is less than two months).
From summer 2021, the Doctorate Extension Scheme will merge into the new Graduate route under which PhD graduates can apply for 3 years' permission in the UK to work.
In order to be eligible for the ten maintenance points, you will need to provide very specific financial documents as outlined in the Student and Child Student 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 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.
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 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.
Applying for a student visa extension inside the UK
If at the time of applying you have a valid Student visa, you will be able to extend your permission to stay from inside the UK. You will need to take the following into consideration:
- The earliest you can apply is 3 months prior to your current visa expiring.
- You will require a new CAS from the university
- After making your application, you will not be able to travel overseas outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) until you have received your new BRP.
- The advertised decision timeframe for a student visa application in the UK using the standard service is 8 weeks. Priority and Super Priority services are available at additional cost and may not currently be available owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Once a decision has been made, your BRP can take up to 10 days to be delivered.
- You will need to provide the visa compliance team with proof of your application if your new visa is not granted before your current permission expires.
Completing your application online
- The application process is a fully online system which costs £475 for a standard application - please visit the UK Visas and Immigration section of the Home Office website for more information.
- Carefully read Student and Child Student 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 appointment to use the Premium Service which costs £800 plus the visa application fee 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.
To make an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments by request
Telephone or video chats
236–250 Holloway Road
London N7 6PP