Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

International Student Advice and Support

Visa Advice

Extending your visa in the UK

Due to the impact of Covid-19, UKVI have introduced a number of concessions summarised on our Covid-19 webpage. You should consult these as well as the information below.

The Student Advice and Support Service (SASS) provides advice and support to all prospective and current international students who need to apply for Student permission inside the UK. Our information covers the most common issues but if you need specific advice about your circumstances our advisers can guide you on your options before you complete your online application.

UKVI give an overview of the Student route including specific information on extending or switching visas in the UK; more detailed information is given in the caseworker guidance. We recommend you read the parts relevant to your circumstances and use the links in our guide which provide more detail on specific issues. UKCISA also produce good guides to the Student route and the application process.

If you have dependants who also need to apply for further permission to remain in the UK, please also see our separate guide.

Can I apply in the UK?

It is possible to switch into the Student route from most immigration categories provided you are not subject to immigration bail or do not hold any of the following types of immigration permission:

  • visitor
  • short-term student
  • parent of a child student
  • seasonal worker
  • domestic worker in a private household
  • permission outside the Immigration Rules

If you are not eligible to switch to the Student route you would have to return to where you normally reside outside the UK and make your visa application from there.

If you already hold Tier 4 or Student permission it can generally be extended in the UK for further study at a higher level, adding a placement year, repeat study and to continue research study.  Your application must satisfy the ‘academic progression’ requirements set out in the caseworker guidance

If your studies have been sponsored by a government or an international scholarship agency to cover both tuition fees and living expenses to any extent in the previous 12 months you will need their letter of consent to extend your stay.

If you are switching or extending your visa any new course cannot start later than 28 days beyond your current visa’s expiry date. 

When can I apply?

Visa extension applications should be made before your current visa expires.  You should not apply more than three months before the start of a new course.  

You will need a new Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) before you will be able to complete a visa application.  Prospective students’ CAS are issued by the relevant admissions office.  CAS for continuing students should be requested from the Academic Registry online. Pre-sessional students will be issued with a CAS at the end of their pre-sessional course when necessary.

Your offer and any CAS should confirm if your studies require ATAS clearance. If so, you should apply for this at least one month but no more than 6 months in advance of any visa application.  When ATAS clearance is granted you should use it to apply for your visa within 6 months (otherwise you will have to apply to ATAS again).

It is generally advisable to start preparing for your application several months in advance.

How do I apply for a visa

Applications to extend or switch to Student visa are made on-line.  To prove your identity you will either be able to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app or book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) ‘service point’ run by Sopra Steria

If you want us to fully advise on your application you should complete as much as possible and stop and save your application prior to the declaration stage.  If you then book an appointment with us to call you back on MS Teams we can check your on-line form and documents before you commit to paying and submitting your application.

Using the ‘ID Check’ app

You can use the ‘ID Check’ app if:

  • You have an EU, EEA or Swiss passport with a biometric chip, or
  • You have a BRP, and
  • You can access an iPhone 7 or newer model or Android phone with near-field communication (NFC), and
  • Your application does not include any children under 18

The ‘ID Check’ app is used to check your biometric documents (passport or BRP) and facial image.  You make your application and upload any required evidence on-line.  Any new visa permission will be issued as an eVisa ie your immigration permission is confirmed on-line within the account you have created in order to apply.  You can later view your status online and use the same account to prove your rights in the UK eg to study, work, rent accommodation by generating a share code   If you are a visa national you are also issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and you must rely on the BRP to prove your immigration status whenever re-entering the UK.

If you cannot use the ‘ID Check’ app

You apply on-line but after paying for your visa (including biometric fee) and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) the portal directs you to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) ‘service point’ run by Sopra Steria.

There are numerous UKVCAS service points around the UK. A limited number of free appointments are available at all service points except at ‘premium lounge’ services.  There is a standard charge for all other appointments.  Free appointments are generally available 9:00 – 14:00 and are more likely to be booked up first.  You will often have to wait longer for a free appointment, deciding to pay for an earlier appointment can allow your application to be decided quicker.  If you cannot see a suitable appointment immediately you may need to consider alternative locations and keep checking daily.  UKVCAS publish new appointments daily up to 28 days in advance, currently free appointment availability is updated at 9am and chargeable appointments are added at midnight.

The nearest UKVCAS service points to Loughborough campus include Nottingham, Birmingham and Sheffield, there are numerous service points across London.

You will have the option to upload your supporting evidence on-line prior to visiting the service point or pay extra to take your documents to be scanned at your appointment.

To your appointment you will need to take:

  • Appointment confirmation print out including scannable QR code
  • Passport
  • Any supporting evidence that has not already been scanned and uploaded, eg when you have paid UKVCAS for document scanning

Even if you have uploaded all of your documents in advance it would be wise to take them to the UKVCAS appointment in case a scanning error is identified.

At your UKVCAS appointment you will have to scan your application QR code, passport, any outstanding documents and ‘enrol your biometrics’ by having a digital photograph, scans of your fingerprints and a signature taken.

If you apply giving your biometrics through UKVCAS any immigration permission will be issued as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and you rely on the BRP to prove your immigration status eg for study, travel, work purposes.

How long does it take to receive the new visa?

Applications using the ‘ID Check’ app can be quicker than other applications which depend on when you attend your UKVCAS appointment.  Timescales can also depend upon the UKVI service standard you have paid for.  The target time for ‘standard’ applications is 8 weeks, ‘priority’ applications have a target time of 5 working days, ‘super priority’ applications should be decided within a day after any UKVCAS appointment.  Depending on how you apply or your nationality you may also have to wait for your new BRP to be delivered by courier which should be within 10 working days of the decision.  We advise against making any firm travel plans until after the new visa is granted and you have received any expected BRP.

How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

Visa fees are paid by debit or credit card towards the end of the on-line application process. 

Visa fees:

  • Standard: £490
  • Priority: £990
  • Super priority: £1,290 (available via UKVCAS but not via the ‘ID check’ app at the time of writing)

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is also paid online towards the end of the application.

The amount of IHS depends on the maximum length of visa that could be granted as follows:

  • For each year and each part year between 6 - 12 months - £470
  • For each part year less than 6 months - £235

The on-line portal calculates the amount from the details in your application.  If the wrong amount is charged UKVI may later contact you directly to make further payment or provide a refund after a decision has been made.

If you do not use the ‘ID Check’ app you may also have to pay an additional £19.20 biometric enrolment fee as well as any charge for a UKVCAS appointment (unless a free appointment is booked) and travel costs to attend it.

How much money do I need to prepare for my application?

If you have lived in the UK for at least 12 months immediately prior to your application and held immigration permission (or exceptional assurance) throughout this time, you will automatically meet the Student financial requirement without needing to provide evidence.  UKVI guidance explains that holidays and short absences from the UK do not break the 12 month period. However, if an applicant has not been based in the UK for a significant part of the 12 months, for example for at least 3 months, they will not meet the requirement.

If the above does not apply (unless you are of a certain nationality please see below) you will have to show you have enough money for any outstanding tuition fees as stated on your CAS plus living expenses as explained in UKVI’s guidance on financial evidence. If you are self-funding you should keep at least the required amount in an account throughout a 28-day period which ends no earlier than 31 days before your visa application.

You will likely need to plan to have your money ready for at least one month in advance of your application.

Certain nationalities may not have to provide evidence of finances.  Although the online application will not request the evidence, it is recommended to have it prepared and available in case it is later requested by the decision maker.

A CAS only needs to state the tuition fees for one year of your studies; if your course is longer than one year you do not need to show you have the funds for all years.

If you have been awarded a tuition fee scholarship or bursary this can be deducted from the tuition fees before they are specified on your CAS.  Otherwise a sponsor note can be added to the CAS to confirm the details.  A sponsor note can also confirm the value of any university studentship paid for your living expenses.

If you have already paid some or all of your tuition fees (including a CAS deposit), this can be noted on your CAS. If you pay some or all of your tuition fees after your CAS is sent to you, please let the office that issued your CAS know and ask for the CAS to be updated. You will not need a new CAS.

The amount of money you need for your living expenses depends on where you are studying and the length of your course, but you never need to show more than 9 months living expenses. Most students studying at the main Loughborough campus will need £1,023 per month for up to 9 months (£9,207).  If your main degree is to be taken at Loughborough University London you will need £1,334 per month for up to 9 months (£12,006).

If you have paid the University for some or all of your accommodation charges, this can reduce the amount you need for your living expenses. UKVI rules only allow up to £1,334 to be recorded on your CAS and taken into account, even if you have paid more.

Some examples of how to calculate the Student ‘maintenance’ requirement:

Your course

Tuition fee

You will need

 

MSc Management

 

£26,000

 

£26,000 + (9 x £1,023) = £35,207

 

MSc Digital Creative Media at

Loughborough University London

 

£26,500

 

£26,500 + (9 x £1,334) = £38,506

 

How do I demonstrate I have the required funds

Most self–funding students will rely on providing a bank statement which includes the following information:

  • The name of the account holder
  • The date of the statement
  • The bank’s name
  • The required balance throughout at least a 28-day period

If you are relying on funds in your parents’ bank account(s), you must supply your birth certificate or other acceptable evidence that you are related, plus a letter from your parent(s) to confirm your relationship and that the money can be used to fund your studies.

If you are funded through an educational loan, UKVI will only take into account the following types of provider:

  • a government
  • a government sponsored student loan company
  • an academic or educational loans scheme which is provided by a financial institution regulated for the purpose of issuing student loans by either the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or, in the case of an overseas loan, the official regulatory body for purpose of issuing student loans in the country in which the financial institution is located and where the money is held

 Further details on educational loans are given in the financial requirement caseworker guidance and the guidance on financial evidence.

You can rely on funds held in the name of a partner (e.g. spouse, civil partner or someone you have lived with for at least 2 years) provided your partner is also applying with you as your dependant or they already hold immigration permission to be in the UK.

You can rely on funds held overseas and in other currencies.  UKVI check the sterling value of other currencies using the exchange rate at the date of the application on the OANDA website.

If you are funded by an ‘official financial sponsor’ as explained in the caseworker guidance you will need to provide a letter from your sponsor in the expected format. However, any official financial sponsorship from the University should be recorded on your CAS. If your sponsor is only paying for part of your costs, you may still need to prepare bank statements to show you have the necessary funds for any outstanding fees and/or living expenses.

What documents do I need to include with my visa application?

As part of the ‘ID Check’ app or UKVCAS procedures you will be able to scan and upload any required evidence, UKVI will not necessarily require your originals.  You must take your passport to any UKVCAS appointment.  The required documents will depend on your circumstances and application route but could include:

  • Passport.
  • Biometric Residence Permit
  • Evidence of academic progression (if relevant and required) e.g. proof that you successfully completed the studies for which your last permission was granted.
  • Financial evidence, if required e.g. a bank statement showing the correct amount of money
  • English language evidence, if required e.g. A degree taught in English*
  • Certified professional translations of any documents that are not in English.
  • ATAS clearance certificate if required for certain engineering and technology subjects.
  • Consent for the Home Office to verify application information, most applicants only need to complete Part 1.

Where relevant there is information on the expected format of evidence in the caseworker guidance,  guidance on financial evidencefinancial requirement caseworker guidance and English language assessment guidance

*If you meet the English language requirement by any of the following routes you should not need to include additional evidence of this within your visa application;

  • National of a majority English-speaking country
  • Previously satisfying the requirement (at CEFR B2) in an earlier visa application e.g. Tier 4
  • UKVI Secure English Language Test (SELT) as detailed on your CAS
  • Your CAS confirms assessment by the University e.g.’English language ability assessed and confirmed at CEFR Level B2 or higher in each of the four components of language learning ….  no documents are required to be submitted as evidence of this.’

For more details see the UKVI English language assessment guidance

As the University is a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance if your CAS is for study at bachelor’s degree level or above there should be no need for you to provide the academic evidence used to secure your offer and recorded on your CAS.

If you are aged under 18 at the time you submit your application you will need to provide a parental letter of consent in support of the application and proof of relationship, details are provided in the caseworker guidance.

Certain nationalities who may not have to provide evidence of finances also do not need to provide evidence of ‘academic progression’ that has been confirmed on a CAS unless it is requested later by the decision maker.

 

While your application is pending

Travel outside the UK

We strongly advise you not to leave the UK while your application is pending. An application for an extension of stay is treated as withdrawn if the applicant leaves the ‘Common Travel Area’ (i.e. UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).  If your application is withdrawn the application fee will not be refunded.

We recommend you do not book any overseas travel tickets until your application is decided and your decision and any BRP (if relevant) is received.

Your immigration status

If an application for an extension of stay is accepted as validly made by UKVI before your current permission expires you are allowed to lawfully remain in the UK while you await a decision.  Your current permission is automatically extended on the same conditions you previously held, this can include the continued right to work (for employment within the University to continue you must liaise with Human Resources Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk).   If you apply at a time when you no longer hold immigration permission this does not automatically regularise your status unless and until UKVI grants new permission.

Credibility interviews

Credibility interviews to check your study intentions are now very rare.  If you are invited to interview, please let us know so that we can advise.

Contact from UKVI

UKVI generally contact applicants by e-mail, please ensure you check your email including junk/spam folders every day.  Contact by phone or letter is rare.  If the IHS payment portal has not calculated the correct health charge you may be emailed with a link to make an additional payment on the IHS portal to correct this before your application can be decided.  If UKVI require additional information or evidence they may email to request this, often using the account ‘Sheffield Student Team Doc Requests Sheffieldstudentteam.docrequests@homeoffice.gov.uk’.  If you need advice on anything received from UKVI please let us know - please use your student email and/or quote your ID number. 

Changes of circumstances

If there are any significant changes to your circumstances, please seek our advice on whether this will have an impact on your application.

Right to rent

If a landlord needs to check your right to rent while your application is pending they can apply for confirmation direct from the Home Office on-line: https://eforms.homeoffice.gov.uk/outreach/lcs-application.ofml

Receiving your decision and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

UKVI usually send decisions by email, check your email frequently including spam/junk folders.  Using one email contact throughout your application will make checking progress easier.  Check the details of your decision and keep a copy safe for future reference.

Depending on your nationality and how you apply (see the section on ‘How do I apply’ above), you may be issued an eVisa and/or a BRP.

If you used the ‘ID Check’ app and have been granted an eVisa you will use the online account you created for your application to prove your permission to stay in UK eg for study, work and accommodation purposes, by generating a share code.  

If you are a visa national or used the UKVCAS biometric service you will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit.  Any BRP will be delivered by courier to the postal address given in your on-line application.  If you are based at the Loughborough campus and wish to do so you can use the Student Office on Loughborough campus for BRP delivery and collect from the Student Enquiries desk:

Student Office
Rutland Building
Loughborough University
Loughborough LE11 3TU

 

You must ensure the Student Office/London Student Services or Doctoral College Office is informed of any new eVisa or BRP details.

The decision email should record the studies and place of study (Loughborough University, sponsor licence number G9M4TDXV1) for which you have been given permission.

If you already have a BRP the decision letter/email will require you to return it to UKVI as the old BRP will no longer be valid. We recommend you return your old BRP using recorded/special delivery and keep proof of postage including tracking details. You may be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to return a BRP as required.

If you used your previous BRP as ID for the ‘ID Check’ app/creating your online account you should update your online account with a new form of ID that will continue to be valid eg new BRP or passport.

BRPs valid to 31 December 2024

Current BRP technology will only be valid to 31 December 2024. If your immigration permission is granted beyond this date the full duration will be recorded in the UKVI decision e-mail (and eVisa if you used the ‘ID Check’ app) but any BRP will expire on 31 December 2024. UKVI explain:

If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024

You do not need to tell UKVI if your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but your immigration status (for example, your visa) allows you to stay longer.

You will not need a BRP from 1 January 2025. You’ll be able to prove your immigration status online, without a BRP.

UKVI will update their information on how to prove your immigration status in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected.

If you do not have an eVisa we recommend you retain the UKVI decision e-mail as a record of the full length of your permission and that you provide a copy of it to Student Enquiries, the Doctoral College Office, or London Student Services as appropriate so that the immigration permission on your student record is accurate. We expect UKVI will provide further information in 2024.

How we can help check and advise on your application

It is important that you prepare things to the best of your ability in advance.

Please complete as much of the application as you are able and stop prior to the declaration stage as this will enable us to review and make any necessary changes.  If you are unsure about a question you can provide a temporary answer to be able to proceed and see other sections of the application, prior to completing the declaration stage any answer can be corrected or changed if needed.

Within the application you should confirm:

  • you are not applying to stay in the UK’s Crown dependencies
  • you do not require an immigration adviser – we assist as your visa sponsor (select ‘no’)

Your Student visa sponsor is Loughborough University (sponsor licence number G9M4TDXV1).  The University is a ‘Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance’.  Refer to your CAS details to answer the questions about your studies

Gather your supporting documents including your CAS details.

Arrange an appointment with an adviser, booking a time for us to call you back on MS Teams will allow best access to your online application.  Please let us know if your application includes dependants as extra time will be required.

At the appointment an adviser can check your CAS, draft application and documents to ensure everything is correct before you complete the declaration and pay the IHS and visa fee on-line.

Please be aware that at times near the start of the academic year the advice service is extremely busy and availability may have to be limited to a single appointment per student.

For specific advice about your visa application you can also contact: advice@lboro.ac.uk

The Student Advice and Support Service is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under section 84(4)(d) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Educational Institutions and Health Sector Bodies) Order 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1403)). Should you have a complaint about the service you can use the Student Advice and Support Service's complaints procedure or you can use the OISC Complaints Scheme.