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How to renew your visa

Benches and trees in Heslington East.

Already on a Tier 4 visa?

If you wish to renew your Tier 4 student visa in the UK you need to:

  1. Apply on the Gov.uk website - select 'Extend your visa'
  2. Take supporting documents to a UKVCAS centre to be scanned.  The nearest centres are in Leeds, Hull, Wakefield and Manchester, each will offer differing appointment availability. You will be given the opportunity to book the appointment at the end of the Tier 4 application, after paying the Immigration Health Surcharge and Tier 4 application fee.    

If you are accompanied by dependants and they want to remain in the UK with you, they must also renew their dependant visas.

If you are a PhD student who is soon to complete your course you may wish to apply for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Help and advice

Use our Tier 4 application guidance

Your application form can be checked by an Immigration Adviser prior to submission. Complete the form but before you complete the declaration, make an appointment with an Adviser -  please see Immigration advice for contact details. You'll need to book a double appointment if you have dependants who are applying at the same time as you.  Please bring any supporting documents to the appointment.  

Documents you will need

Your application form will confirm which documents you need to upload from the following:

  1. Passport -Your current passport and any previous passports that you have that include a current UK visa.
  2. Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)
  3. ATAS Certificate (if applicable - see below)
  4. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if applicable). You will have a BRP if you applied for your current Tier 4 visa in the UK.
  5. Birth and/ or marriage certificate - To supply if a dependant is/ dependants are applying at the same time as you.
  6. Medical certificate (if applicable) See information on Health (tuberculosis) screening on the Home Office website.

Any documents which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a full translation that can be checked by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator's full name, contact details and signature
  • the translator's qualification or credentials

Students not taking a taught masters / Students not from a low-risk country

Financial documents - Financial documents which prove you have the required funds available to you (unless you are a 'low risk' applicant or any nationality applying for a taught masters programme).

  • You will need to show that you have a minimum of £1,015 per month to cover the first nine months of your course (£9,135) plus any outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course.
  • If you are to be accompanied by a dependant(s) (e.g. spouse and/or children) you will, in addition, need to show you have £6,120 per dependant. Please ensure you read the section on Dependants, to ensure that your dependant(s) is/are allowed to join you in York whilst you study.
  • The funds detailed above need to be evidenced in a bank account for a minimum of 28 consecutive days (using the date of the closing balance and working backwards) and your bank statement must be no more than one calendar month old on the date you make your visa application.
  • If you are being officially financially sponsored you will need a letter from your sponsor confirming the sponsorship arrangements, including how much money you have been awarded, what the money is intended to be used for and the dates the sponsorship is valid for.
  • A receipt from the Fees Office (Market Square) confirming that you have paid some or all of your tuition fees/University accommodation fees, if this is not already included in your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). 
  • If you are relying on money held in a parent/legal guardian's bank account you will need:
    • your original birth certificate/certificate of adoption/court statement (showing the name of the parent/ legal guardian(s) providing the funds); and
    • your parent/legal guardian's bank statement; and
    • an original signed and dated letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship with you and that they give consent to making their funds available to you.
  • If you are using overseas currency, the Home Office will expect you to show the closing balance in GBP sterling using the official exchange rate on the OANDA website. You should note on the statement next to the closing balance the amount in GBP and the date of conversion, and confirm that you used Oanda.com.

Qualifications - Evidence of previous qualifications mentioned in the 'evidence used to obtain' section of your CAS. If you are a 'low risk' applicant, if you are applying for a taught masters programme or if your CAS states that you are being sponsored on the basis of 'progression on programme to date’, you do not need to provide qualification evidence.

Any documents which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a full translation that can be checked by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The original translation must contain:

  • confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator's full name, contact details and signature
  • the translator's qualification or credentials

'Low risk' applicants

A Tier 4 student qualifies for the differentiation arrangements if he/she is a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as 'Low risk' .

If you are a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as 'low risk', there is no requirement to provide evidence of finances or qualifications with your Tier 4 application. However, you will need to provide an ATAS certificate (if appropriate) and sign your application form to confirm you have sufficient funds and that you hold documentary evidence of any qualifications listed.  The Home Office reserves the right to ask you to provide these documents at a later date. Failure to provide the evidence if requested by the Home Office will result in your application being refused.

ATAS Certificates

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced in order to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Non-EEA students studying on certain science, engineering and technology degrees will have to apply for an ATAS clearance certificate before obtaining a new visa.  

Failure to provide a valid ATAS clearance certificate (if your course requires one) when you submit your Tier 4 online application form, will result in your application being refused.

To apply for an ATAS certificate, you first need to request an ATAS letter through your e:Vision account.

Once you have the ATAS letter you should go to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and complete the online application form. The FCO gets very busy at certain times of the year and so you are strongly advised to apply at least eight weeks before you intend to renew your student visa.

For more information about ATAS certificates, including details of the courses that require an ATAS certificate, see the FCO website.

Immigration Health Surcharge

Visas for more than six months include an Immigration Health Surcharge. Paying this will mean that you are entitled to receive certain free health services from the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK, but please note that this is not private medical insurance. See healthcare for international students.

Use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool to check how much you will have to pay.

The Tier 4 application form will direct you to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) portal where you can pay the required charge.  

Note: some people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge, including Australian and New Zealand nationals and British Overseas Territory citizens who live in the Falkland Islands.  However, these applicants must still complete the IHS portal and obtain a reference number.

Changing courses

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has introduced changes that may affect students changing, transferring or starting a new course, or those who fail their course and are offered a lower award. See renewing your visa for more details about changing courses.

Consent if you're under 18 years old

If you submit an application as a Tier 4 (General) student when you are 16 or 17 years old, you must include a letter from a parent or legal guardian. This is to show that they support your application.

The letter of consent must confirm all of the following:

  • Their relationship to you
  • Their consent to your application as a Tier 4 (General) student
  • Their consent to your living arrangements in the UK

If one parent or legal guardian has legal custody or sole responsibility for you, the letter must confirm this and be signed by that parent or legal guardian. If not, then both parents or legal guardians must give their consent and the letter must be signed by both parents or legal guardians.

If your visa application is successful, you will receive your visa in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP is a plastic card, similar in size to a credit card, on which will be displayed your visa expiry date, as well as any restrictions or prohibitions on work. Your visa will allow you to enter and leave the UK for the duration of its validity. It is important that you check the details on your BRP as soon as you receive it. If you notice an error on your BRP, you need to inform an Immigration Adviser as soon as possible.