How to renew your visa while you're in the UK
To renew your Student Visa there are two stages, filling in the application and uploading supporting documents.
Apply to renew your visa on the Gov.uk website - whether you're renewing an existing visa, or applying in the UK to switch to the Student Visa from another type of visa, you should select ‘Extend your visa’.
You will be required to upload your supporting documents, including your passport details page. This can be done in two different ways: when completing the Student Visa application you will be invited either to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app using your smartphone, or to make an appointment to visit a UKVCAS centre to bring your documents in person.
- If you are invited to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you will need to download it from the Google Play Store or the Apple App store. You can scan your supporting documents to this app once you have created your Student Visa application account and started filling it in.
- All students who are classed as ‘non-visa nationals’ will be invited to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
- Non-visa nationals are students from the EEA and Switzerland, and anyone whose nationality is not on the visa national list.
- Students who are on the visa national list may also be invited to use the app provided they have already submitted biometric data in a previous Student Visa application.
- If you have been invited to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app but you do not have a smartphone, you can create an account and make an appointment with a UKVCAS Centre instead.
- If you are invited to attend a UKVCAS centre appointment, you should create an account on the UKVCAS website and then select the location, date and time for the appointment. You will be invited to do this after paying for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and Student Visa application fee.
What will happen once your visa application is approved?
- Students using the UK Immigration: ID Check app will receive an eVisa, which is a digital visa, rather than a physical Biometric Residence Permit card.
- Students who have used the UK Immigration: ID Check app who are also 'visa nationals' will also receive a BRP card by courier to their home address.
- Non-visa nationals will receive an eVisa and will not be sent a BRP card. Non-visa nationals are all students not listed on the visa national list including those from the EEA and Switzerland.
- Students who are required to attend a UKVCAS centre will receive a BRP card by courier to their home address.
If you are accompanied by dependants and they want to remain in the UK with you, they must also renew their Dependant Visas.
Help and advice
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.
If you have previously studied on a Student visa in the UK, then you will need to show 'academic progression' to apply to renew or switch to a Student visa in the UK, unless you meet one of the exception criteria as stated in paragraph 5.21 of the Home Office's Student Sponsor Guidance.
The simplest way to meet the academic progression requirement is by completing one course and moving to a new course at a higher level. For example completing a Bachelors course and then applying for a new visa to study a Masters course.
It may be possible to meet the academic progression requirement when applying for a new course at the same academic level, but only if you have have completed the previous course and one of the following is true;
- The new course is related to the previous course (meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation); or
- The previous and the new course combined support your genuine career aspirations.
It is not possible to meet the academic progression requirement when moving to a new course at a lower level than your previous course.
If you meet the academic progression requirement, you do not need to provide evidence of academic progression in your visa application. Academic progression information will be included in your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
You are exempt from having to demonstrate academic progression if you are applying to renew your Student visa for any of the following reasons;
- To repeat a year of study or resit examinations.
- If you are a PhD student requiring more time to complete your course in the UK at the same University.
- If you are a medical student needing to extend your visa for a period of intercalation or needing to extend your visa after a period of intercalation so you can complete your studies.
- When adding a placement or study abroad year to your studies or needing to apply to extend your visa after a placement or study abroad year.
If you do not meet the academic progression requirements, or are not exempt from meeting it, then you will have to apply for your Student visa from outside the UK.
Your application form will confirm which documents you need to upload from the following:
- Passport - your current passport and any previous passports that you have that include a current UK visa.
- Financial documents which prove you have the required funds available to you (unless you are a 'low risk' applicant):
- You will need to show that you have a minimum of £1,023 per month to cover the first nine months of your course (£9,207 plus any outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course, unless you have been studying in the UK on a current Student Visa for at least 12 months on the date you pay for your new visa application.
- If you are to be accompanied by a dependant(s) (eg spouse and/or children) you will, in addition, need to show you have £6,120 per dependant, unless your Dependants have been in the UK with you for at least 12 months while you have been studying. Please ensure you read the section on Dependants, to ensure that your dependant(s) is/are allowed to join you in York while 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)
- your parent/legal guardian's bank statement
- 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.
- ATAS Certificate (if applicable - see below)
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if applicable). You will have a BRP if you applied for your current Student Visa in the UK.
- Birth and/ or marriage certificate - To supply if one or more dependents are applying at the same time as you and you have not supplied them in a previous application.
- 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
A student applying for the Student Visa qualifies for the differentiation arrangements (is 'low risk') 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 Student Visa 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.
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 Student visa online application form, will result in your application being refused.
To apply for an ATAS certificate, you first need to request an ATAS statement through your e:Vision account. This request will be sent to the Visa Compliance team who will discuss your request with your academic department before issuing you with the ATAS statement.
As part of the application, you will be asked to provide a supervisor name. If your supervisor has not been confirmed by the time you make your ATAS application, then you should insert the name of the Head of Department in the appropriate box.
After the Visa Compliance team have sent you an ATAS statement you will need to use this to apply for an ATAS certificate, more information on how to do this can be found below.
Once you have the ATAS statement 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.
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: find out more about healthcare for international students.
Use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool to check how much you will have to pay.
The Student Visa 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.
EU or Swiss Student? You may be able to receive a full or partial refund on your IHS fees. See our healthcare for international students web page for further eligibility information and guidance on how to apply for a refund.
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 the main Applying from inside the UK page for more details about changing courses.
If you submit an application for a Student Visa 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 for a Student Visa
- 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.
- You may start filling out your application before your CAS or ATAS certificate (if applicable) is issued, but ensure that you do not submit your application until you have entered your CAS and ATAS (if applicable) numbers, or else you may receive a refusal.
- Do not use an old CAS number from a previous course or visa application. A new CAS is needed for every new Student visa application.
- You can save the form and return to it whenever you wish. The UKVI will email you a link to access your form once you register. The form will expire if you don’t access it for 56 days.
- Always select 'Save and Continue' when you complete each page of the form.
- The University of York’s sponsor licence number is MKPTG0EMX and our sponsor address is: University of York, Heslington, York, North Yorkshire, YO10 5DD.
- The University of York is a Higher Education Provider with a Track Record of Compliance.
- When providing information on your course:
- Qualification you will get - this is stated on your CAS but for a Bachelor's Degree it should be RQF 6, for a Masters Degree RQF 7 and for a PhD RQF 8.
- Course name - use the course name as it is stated on your CAS.
- Course start/end date - use the dates that are stated on your CAS
- You will have the opportunity to go back through the form and check the answers you have given. You are strongly advised to do this as many applicants who, having submitted the form, suddenly realise they have provided incorrect information. Once the final declaration has been completed it is not possible to change the answers given. If you need to change anything, after the declaration is completed, you will have to start a brand new application.
- Answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. If you want to further explain why you answered a question in the way you did there should be a space, normally at the end of the application, for you to provide additional information on your application. Alternatively you can write a covering letter and upload it with your application when providing your other mandatory documents. Be aware, however, that any information you provide will be looked at and considered by the UKVI decision maker assessing your application.
If your visa application is successful, you will receive your visa in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or as an eVisa. The visa will display 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 or eVisa as soon as you receive it. If you notice an error, you need to inform an Immigration Adviser as soon as possible using the self-referral form.