Requirements for Tier 4 (General) Applications made in the UK
You MUST apply to extend your visa BEFORE your current visa expires.
Documents not in English must be translated by a fully certified translator/translation company and the translation(s) must meet specific requirements. Please see the Translations page for more information.
Make and keep copies of all documents.
You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa up to 3 months before the start of your course as stated on your CAS.
The Home Office MAY invite you for an interview or call you to check you are a genuine student. Failure to attend the interview will likely lead to your application being refused. Please refer to our Credibility Interviews page for more information.
Who can apply in the UK?
It is important to check if you are eligible to apply in the UK as there are a number of requirements that you will need to meet.
To be eligible to apply in the UK you must:
- Ensure the gap between the end of your current immigration permission and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is not more than 28 days. If the gap is longer than 28 days you must apply for your visa from outside of the UK.
- Be sponsored as a Tier 4 (General) student by either:
- a higher education provider with a track record of compliance*; or
- an overseas HEI and you have been doing a short-term study abroad programme in the UK; or
- an embedded college offering pathway courses; or
- an independent school
*The University of Reading meets this definition.
- Be switching into Tier 4 (General) and you were last granted leave as a Tier 4 (Child) student or as a Tier 2 migrant.
- Demonstrate that you meet the academic progression requirement or are exempt if you were last granted leave as a Tier 4 (General) student. To meet the academic progression requirement you need to:
- have successfully completed the course for which you were last granted immigration permission; and
- be applying for a visa to study a course that is normally above the level of the previous course.
Please note that ONCAMPUS Reading Undergraduate Foundation Programme students must apply from outside of the UK.
If you would like clarification on whether you meet the academic progression requirement or if you are exempt, please contact the International Student Advisory Team.
The following documents are required for Tier 4 (General) visa applications:
- Completed Tier 4 online application form. For guidance on how to complete the application, please see ‘How to make an online Tier 4 (General) application in the UK’ below.
- Current passport or travel document.
- Current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if applicable
- Police Registration Certificate (PRC) if you were required to register with the police. Ensure your PRC is up to date. Further information on Police Registration can be found here.
- Assigned Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University of Reading.
- Any qualifications listed on your CAS in the 'Evidence used to obtain offer' field. You must send the original certificate or transcript and a translation if not in English.
- Evidence of English language proficiency as stated on your CAS.
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if you are applying for postgraduate study or research in one of the subjects listed in appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules.
- Evidence of successfully completing the previous course studied in the UK in the form of a formal award or formal written confirmation for courses at degree level or above (this does not apply to continuing PhD students).
- Letter from your financial sponsor confirming that they have no objection to your application to remain in the UK (if you were financially sponsored to study in the UK within the past 12 months).
- For under 18 years old only: letter of parental consent confirming the relationship between you and your parent(s), and that they consent to you living independently in the UK and your application
- Your birth certificate if you are under the age of 18 and/or submitting evidence of funds in your parent(s) name(s).
- Evidence that you have £9135 (£1015 per month up to a maximum of 9 months) or the length of your course, whichever is shorter. Plus, evidence that you have enough money to pay your first year's tuition fees. Please see the Tier 4 Maintenance Requirements page for guidance on acceptable formats and further information.
- More information about the policy on Tier 4 can be found here.
Time for a decision
Cost per person
Within 8 weeks
Within 5 working days
The next working day
* Plus an additional £19.20 biometric enrolment fee
As part of the application process you and any dependants will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge to cover the duration of your stay in the UK. You’ll then be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and won’t require private medical insurance. Please note that you will still need to pay for certain types of services (e.g. prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests).
Students already present in the UK who make applications for leave to remain (extensions) are subject to the charge, even if a period of under 6 months' leave is applied for, but this means that entitlement to free NHS treatment will continue. The cost of this charge will be £300 for each applicant and dependent per year of the actual visa to be granted, including any final extra period. Periods less than six months are charged at £150. Periods between 6 and 12 months are charged at the full year rate.
How to make an online Tier 4 (general) visa application in the uk
The form is only available online and can be completed by following the steps listed below:
- Go to the Home Office UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) website at:
- Follow the instructions on the form.
- When you reach 'stage 3: Documents' of the application, stop, log out and book an appointment to see an adviser. If you go beyond this point it may not be possible to make any changes or corrections to the form. DO NOT PAY or finish the application.
- You will receive an email with a link, which allows you to return to the form if you have not completed it. Ensure that you can access your email and the link easily when you come and see an adviser.
- Bring ALL of the required original documents with you to a Visa Application and Supporting Documents check appointment. To view how to book an appointment click here. If you are unable to access the RISIS portal, please contact the International Student Advisory Team to arrange an appointment.
- If you do not have your online application completed to stage 3 above or you do not have all the required documents with you, the adviser will not be able to see you and you will be asked to return later.
- After you have submitted the application, you will need to book an appointment to visit a Service Point to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and your supporting documents. The closest Service Point is Reading library.
- You will retain your documents (including your passport) whilst your application is being processed, but you must NOT leave the UK before a decision has been made on your application. Otherwise UK Visas and Immigration will treat your application as being withdrawn.
What happens next?
You should provide the University with evidence that you have made a visa application to ensure that your student record is updated. This is important, because as your Tier 4 sponsor the University needs to have up-to-date records of your immigration status.
After you have attended your appointment to provide your biometrics and supporting documents the next correspondence you receive should be from UK Visas and Immigration with your visa application decision. Your BRP will arrive shortly after.
If your visa application is refused, make sure you contact the International Student Advisory Team and supply a copy of the refusal notice.
Need more help?
If clarification is needed on any aspect of the Rules or you have questions about your visa application, please email the International Student Advisory Team at email@example.com where we will respond to you as soon as possible, alternatively telephone +44(0)118 378 8038 or you can book an appointment to speak to an International Student Adviser.