Our International Student Advisors are here to help you with any aspect of applying for a student visa or your queries around student immigration.

On these pages you will find detailed information on applying for a variety of visas and help with visa and passport issues.

Please find below guidance relating to UKVI rule changes specific to your programme level, as well as UKVI rule changes applicable to all.

UKVI Changes 11 January 2018

  • Students can now extend their visa from inside the UK if they need to extend the visa in order to undertake a study abroad programme or work placement or have previously done so (conditions apply).
  • Further guidance regarding calculating the maintenance requirement for Tier 4 Dependants has been included. Please refer to Tier 4 Dependants guidance.
  • Students on Short Term Study visas must leave the UK within 30 days of their course ending. 
  • Students on Distance Learning programmes are still eligible to apply for Short Term Study visas, however periods of stay are limited to 56 days in any six month period. 

UKVI Changes 06 April 2017

  • Any visa application made on or after 06 April 2017 will be subject to new visa application fees. The new fee has been detailed in the relevant pages within our website.
  • The UKVI have now defined 'week' for the purpose of working whilst holding a Tier 4 visa. Please refer to our 'Working in the UK' page for further details. Students must ensure that their working patterns and hours fit the new definition by 06 April 2017.
  • Students under the age of 18 that apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa will now be required to provide evidence of the relationship between them and the parent/legal guardian that writes the consent letter.
  • A couple of changes have been made to the list of acceptable banks in India. Please refer to Appendix P.

UKVI Changes 24 November 2016

These changes will apply to any application made on or after 24th November 2016. The key changes are:

Changes to Maintenance for Dependants

The Home Office has changed its guidance on how to calculate how much money a dependant needs to show when they make their immigration application. It used to say that it depended on the length of a student's course. Now it says that it depends on the length of the student's immigration permission, up to a maximum of nine months. If the student has already got their immigration permission, you can look at that to calculate how much you need. If the student does not have their immigration permission yet, you will need to look at the Tier 4 policy guidance (page 29 and 30) to see how long they can expect to be given, so that you can make your calculation.

Academic Progression

Students successfully progressing from BEng to MEng programmes requiring additional time to complete the new programme may be able to apply to extend their visa from inside the UK. 

If you have had to repeat a course or year, and now need additional time to complete your programme you may be able to apply for a visa extension from inside the UK.

English Language

Students relying on evidence of an award which is equivalent to a Bachelors, Masters or PhD from a majority English speaking country (excluding the UK) as evidence of their language ability will also need to include an original ‘Statement of Comparability' from UK NARIC confirming the assessment. For students providing evidence of a qualification obtained in the UK instead of a Secure English Language Test, the award must be for either a Bachelors, Masters or PhD.

Visa Refusals

The time window within which a student may potentially submit a new visa application following a refusal in the UK will be reduced to 14 days.

Important changes for Tier 4 Undergraduate students

Starting an undergraduate programme

  • If you have already been studying in the UK, you must have successfully completed the qualification for which you were last granted a Tier 4 visa (or if you changed programme, the programme that you changed to). This means that you must have received the award or have formal written confirmation of the award from your institution. Please note that other conditions still apply as per previous rules. 

Changing from BEng to MEng

  • If you change from BEng to MEng you may be able to extend your Tier 4 visa from inside the UK. However the timing for doing so may differ. If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa before 06 April 2016 you can transfer to the MEng and then apply for your current visa extension at any stage before your current permission expires. If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa on or after 06 April 2016 then you must apply for and receive a new visa before you can continue on the MEng programme. You are strongly encouraged to discuss this with ISA.

Changing programme

  • You will no longer be permitted to change programme if the new programme cannot be completed within the length of your current visa. If however you changed programme (within the length of your current visa) and subsequently require additional time to repeat part of that new programme, you may be able to extend your visa from inside the UK.  Other conditions in regard to course changes still apply. 

Changing from MEng to BEng

  • From November 2016 rules regarding who can change from MEng to BEng have been applied. If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa before 06 April 2016 you can transfer to the BEng and continue to complete the programme with your MEng visa. If you applied for your current Tier 4 visa on or after 06 April 2016 then you must obtain a new visa permission from outside of the UK before you can proceed with the BEng programme. You are strongly encouraged to discuss this with ISA.

Extending visa for current programme

  • If you have transferred from another campus and decide to increase the amount of time spent studying in the UK, you must apply for your visa extension from outside the UK unless you will be progressing from BEng to MEng - please discuss such cases with ISA.

Addition time needed due to re-sits/repeat year

  • If you have had to repeat an course or undertake a resit and now need additional time to complete your programme, you may now be able to apply for your visa extension from inside the UK.  Please seek advice from ISA if you need additional time following a repeat year. 
Important changes for Tier 4 Postgraduate students

Starting an MSc

  • If you have already been studying in the UK, you must have successfully completed the qualification for which you were last granted a Tier 4 visa (or if you changed programme, the programme that you changed to). This means that you must have received the award or have formal written confirmation of the award from your institution.
  • If you had a visa for MEng and were granted a BEng award prior to undertaking your MSc, you will need to apply for your visa extension from outside the UK.

Changing from PGDip to MSc

  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa before 06 April 2016 you can transfer from the PGDip to MSc, however if you need to extend your visa to do this, you will need to apply from outside of the UK.
  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa on or after 06 April 2016 you will not be permitted to transfer from PGDip to MSc. It may be possible to leave the UK and then apply for a new visa for the MSc, however you are strongly encouraged to discuss the implications of this with ISA.

Extending your visa for the same programme

  • If you have transferred from another campus and decide to increase the amount of time spent studying in the UK, you must apply for your visa extension from outside the UK.

Changing programme

  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa before 06 April 2016 you can change programme even if we know it will take longer to complete than your current visa allows, however you will need to apply for the visa extension from outside of the UK.
  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa on or after 06 April 2016 we can no longer allow you to change programme if the new programme cannot be completed within the length of your current visa. It may be possible to leave the UK and then apply for a new visa for your new programme, however you are strongly encouraged to discuss the implications of this with ISA.

Addition time needed due to re-sits/repeat year

  • If you have had to repeat an course or undertake a resit and now need additional time to complete your programme, you may now be able to apply for your visa extension from inside the UK.  Please seek advice from ISA if you need additional time following a repeat year. 
Important changes for Tier 4 Postgraduate Research students

Starting a PhD

  • If you have already been studying in the UK, you must have successfully completed the qualification for which you were last granted a Tier 4 visa (or if you changed programme, the programme that you changed to). This means that you must have received the award or have formal written confirmation of the award from your institution
  • If your visa was issued for the Postgraduate Diploma and you then went on to be awarded the MSc, you can apply for your PhD visa from within the UK, provided that the course change had been reported to the UKVI by your institution.

Changing programme

  • If you applied for your Tier 4 visa on or after 06 April 2016 and then wish to change programme, this will only be permitted if you can complete the new course within the length of your visa. If you subsequently need more time to complete, you must apply for your visa extension from outside of the UK.  Other conditions apply. 

Recent UKVI updates for all students up to November 2016

Changes to Immigration Rules from 03 August 2015

  • The additional periods of leave before the course start date and after the course end date will be included, and no longer disregarded, when calculating whether a student exceeds the limits on periods of Tier 4 (General) and Student leave.

Changes to Immigration Rules from 12 November 2015

  • The maintenance requirement increases to £1015 per month for main applicants and £680 per month for dependants.
  • ''Established presence in the UK' is abolished so anyone applying on or after 12 November 2015 must have the full amount required. The exception to this is for DES applicants who are still required to show only two months' worth of funds. '
  • The maximum amount that can be deducted for accommodation from maintenance increases to £1,265.
  • The time cap on below degree level courses will be reduced from 3 years to 2.
  • Those who wish to apply for Tier 4 (General) leave to remain (in the UK) must have or have last been sponsored by a UK recognised body or body in receipt of public funding as an HEI, or by an overseas HEI to take a short-term study abroad programme in the UK or by an embedded college offering pathway courses (not including not pre-sessional courses). This means that a student who most recently studied at a publicly-funded FE college, cannot apply in the UK to move from an FE college to a university. Instead they will need to leave the UK in order to apply for entry clearance to return.

Changes to Immigration Rules from 24 November 2016

  • Maintenance requirements for dependants will now be calculated differently. This used to be calculated based on the main applicants course length, and will now be calculated based on the visa length that the dependant will be issued, up to a maximum of 9 months.
  • Students relying on evidence of an award which is equivalent to a Bachelors, Masters or PhD from a majority English speaking country as evidence of their language ability will also need to include an original ‘Statement of Comparability' from UK NARIC confirming the assessment. For students providing evidence of a qualification obtained in the UK instead of a Secure English Language Test, the award must be for either a Bachelors, Masters or PhD.
  • The time window within which a student may potentially submit a new visa application following a refusal in the UK has been reduced to 14 days.