Doctorate Extension Scheme Applications
How do you qualify for the DES scheme?
• Hold a valid Tier 4 (General) visa for a course that leads to the award of a PhD, and
• Not have completed your PhD course, and
• Be applying no more than 60 days before the PhD expected end date as stated on your new CAS, and
• Apply from within the UK.
What documents are required for your application?
Documents not in English must be translated by a fully certified translator/translation company and the translations must meet specific requirements. Please see the Translation webpage for guidance.
• Completed Student online application form. Please see ‘How to make a Student visa application in the UK’ below. You must tick ‘yes’ to the question ‘Are you applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme?’.
• Current passport or travel document.
• Current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card.
• Assigned CAS number (you will get a new CAS to support a DES application via the Doctoral Research Office).
• Police Registration Certificate if you were required to register with the police. Make sure this is up-to-date.
• Letter from your financial sponsor confirming that they have no objection to your application to remain in the UK (if you were financially sponsored during your course).
• You and any dependants need to meet the maintenance requirements.
• If dependants will be applying with you, please see the Requirements for Dependant Applications for guidance on the required documents.
Fees and biometric enrolment
Time for a decision
Cost per person
Within 8 weeks of submitting
Within 5 working days
The next working day after
* Plus an additional £19.20 biometric enrolment fee
At times Priority and Super Priority applications may not be available.
Immigration Health Surcharge
As part of the application process, you and any dependants will each be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to cover the duration of your stay in the UK. You will then be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and will not 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). That is a requirement for everybody, including British nationals.
If you pay the surcharge twice for the same period, you will be entitled to a refund of the surcharge for this overlapping period of time.
The cost of this charge will be £470 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 £235. Periods between 6 and 12 months are charged at the full year rate.
Biometric enrolment appointment
You will need to book an appointment to attend a UKVCAS service point to enrol your biometrics (facial photograph and to provide your fingerprints) and to provide your required documents (if you have not uploaded the documents yourself online).
There are three different types of service points:
Core – offering both free and chargeable appointments. The closest core service point to Reading is in Croydon. You will either need to upload the documents yourself online before your appointment or pay extra for the Document Scanning Service.
Enhanced – offering chargeable appointments only, but document scanning is included. The closest service point is Reading Central Library in the town centre.
Premium lounge – offers a personalised customer experience for a higher fee.
How to make a Student 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’s UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) website and click ‘Start now’
- Follow the instructions on the form.
- If you would like an International Student Adviser to check your visa application, stop when you get to stage ‘3: Documents' (pictured below) of the application, click ‘return to this application later’, ‘Download your part-completed application (PDF)’ and email the form and your documents to email@example.com. If you go beyond this point it may not be possible to make any changes or corrections to the form. DO NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENTS or finish the application.
- You will receive an email with a link, which allows you to return to the form using the password you set up.
- After you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge and the visa application fee, you will be redirected to the UKVCAS/Sopra Steria website to book your biometric appointment at a service point. You can upload copies of your supporting documents to this website. The closest centre is Reading library, which is an Enhanced service point.
- 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. If you do, UK Visas and Immigration will treat your application as being withdrawn. If you must leave the UK due to an emergency, please contact the International Student Advisory Team.
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 Student 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 BRP card is delivered to you directly you will need to provide a copy of your BRP to the University by sending a colour photo/copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should check the details on the BRP card are correct and update the police records (if applicable).
If your visa application is refused, make sure you contact the International Student Advisory Team and supply a copy of the visa 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.