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 fully sponsored by a government or an international scholarship agency in the previous 12 months, you will also need their consent to extend your stay.

If you are switching or extending 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 may be requested from the Student Office or the Doctoral College Office as appropriate. Pre-sessional students will be issued with a CAS at the end of their pre-sessional course.

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.  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 are made on-line via the UK Visas and Immigration website.  Towards the end of the on-line process you should choose one of the different UKVI service standards for processing times which includes standard, priority or super priority services.

If you want us to fully advise on your application using our ‘Visa Extension Service’ you should stop and save your application at the ‘documents’ stage of the on-line application.  Book an appointment with us so that we can check your on-line form and documents. We will then help you decide which service to use and your biometric/appointment options.

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

All applicants should register for an account with UKVCAS, however, you may not need to book an appointment

If UKVI can reuse fingerprints you have previously given, you will be emailed with instructions on how to send them an image of your face and your supporting documents. This will mean you do not have to attend a UKVCAS service point appointment to provide biometric information.  If you cannot send the information through the instructions given, you will be able to book an appointment.

If UKVI cannot reuse fingerprints you have previously given you will be given instructions on booking an appointment.

If you have to book an appointment there are numerous UKVCAS service points around the UK. A limited number of free aappointments are available at all service points except ‘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 e.g. 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.

 

How long does it take to receive the new visa?

This depends on when you attend your UKVCAS appointment or if an appointment is not required when you provide evidence direct to UKVI and 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 your UKVCAS appointment.  You will also have to wait for your new BRP to be subsequently 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 your BRP.

How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

Visa fees (including a biometric enrolment fee of £19.20) are paid by debit or credit card towards the end of the on-line application process. 

Visa fees:

  • Standard: £494.20
  • Priority: £994.20
  • Super priority: £1,294.20

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.

You may also have to pay for any UKVCAS appointment 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

 

£23,200

 

£23,200 + (9 x £1,023) = £32,407

 

MSc Digital Creative Media at

Loughborough University London

 

£25,500

 

£25,500 + (9 x £1,334) = £37,506

 

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 UKVCAS procedures you will be able to scan and upload evidence on-line or at an appointment, UKVI will not necessarily require your originals.  You must take your passport to any UKVCAS appointment.  The required documents will depend on your circumstances 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.
  • Police Registration Certificate – if your current visa required police registration, make sure all the details on it are up to date.
  • 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 BRP 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.  Most decision are issued by email from ‘Home Office Atlas home.office.atlas@notifications.service.gov.uk’.  If you are a certain nationality, UKVI may request evidence by email from ‘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.

Your Biometric Residence Permit will be delivered by courier to the postal address given in your on-line application.

You must ensure the Student Office/London Student Services or Doctoral College Office is informed of any new BRP details.  If you have to register with the police you must update them as well.

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.

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 but your 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 you have leave to stay longer.
UKVI will update their information on how to update your BRP in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected.
 

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 to use our Visa Extension Service

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

Start the on-line application

Within the application you should confirm:

  • you are currently in the UK (select ‘yes’)
  • you do not have an immigration adviser – we assist as your visa sponsor (select ‘no’)

Create an account using an email address and a password. Use an email you can easily access and a password you will remember or save it by keeping a record.

Your Student visa sponsor is Loughborough University (sponsor licence number G9M4TDXV1).  The University is a ‘Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance’.

Complete the ‘application’ stage only, the ‘documents’ section onwards can be completed with assistance from one of our advisers later.

At any point you can save your application by sending it as an email link so that it can be resumed later from your email.

Gather your supporting documents including your CAS details.

Arrange an appointment with an adviser.  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 pay the IHS and visa fee on-line.  We can help with checking and uploading scans of your supporting evidence and assist you with booking your UKVCAS appointment (if required).

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 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.