The earliest you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa is 3 months before the course start date stated on your CAS.
Ready to make your visa application?
To apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa you must complete an online application form (unless you are applying from North Korea, where you must complete a paper application form).
If you apply before this date your visa application will be refused.
Processing times vary so you should check the Home Office website for the latest times. Please note that during the summer months (June, July, and August) processing times may be longer due to the volume of applications received by the Home Office.
Do not leave it to the last minute to apply for your visa. Most countries have a minimum 15 working day processing time. Students will not be permitted to register after the given University deadline for registration, which is stated on your CAS.
If you are eligible to apply from within the UK, you must submit your new Tier 4 visa application before you register at the University, even if you have time left on your current visa. Please contact the International Student Support team if you need any help with your application.
Where do I apply?
You can find your nearest visa application centre on the Home Office website.
If you are overseas, you must apply for an entry clearance visa in your home country (or the country in which you are permanently resident) at your nearest British Embassy, British High Commission or British Consulate. You can find your nearest visa application centre on the Home Office website.
If you are in the UK and are eligible to apply in country please contact the International Student Support team if you need any help with your application. The team run regular workshops to help you complete the on-line application.
How long can I study in the UK?
There is a time limit on how long you can study in the UK with a Tier 4 visa.
For courses under degree level e.g. foundation course, the limit is two years.
For courses at degree level or above the limit is five years (six years if you are studying a four year undergraduate sandwich programme or a four year undergraduate programme that leads to a Masters).
As part of your application to the University, the International Admissions team will ask you complete an Immigration History Questionnaire (IHQ). This is to enable us to check any previous Tier 4 leave you may have had for other institutions, to ensure that you do not exceed your study limit.