Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

When to extend your visa

If you need to extend your student visa to complete your studies, it's important to be aware of when to prepare and submit your application.

When to make a student visa extension in the UK

Extending your student visa should be straightforward if you prepare well in advance.

If making an application in the UK to extend your student visa, you need to be ready to make the application before your current visa expires. If your visa application is valid and made in-time before your existing leave expires, you can continue to remain in the UK legally whilst the new application is being processed by UKVI (this is known as 3C leave).

An application for permission to stay must be made no more than 3 months before the start date given in your new CAS statement. Your CAS start date is usually either:

  1. The day after your visa expiry date, if you are extending your visa to carry on the same programme
  2. The date your work placement starts if you are adding a work placement to your programme (see below for important guidance on this)
  3. The start date of your new programme of study if you are starting a new programme

Check your eligibility

The university is only able to issue a CAS in certain circumstances, as outlined in our Sponsorship of International Students for Visa Purposes policy.

You will NOT be eligible for a new CAS if:

  1. You have already submitted your final piece of assessment and are awaiting your results. A new CAS cannot be issued for Graduate Route purposes only
  2. You require a new CAS because you feel you may have failed, but have not yet received a progress decision to confirm this (we must be able to see an updated results letter for you)
  3. You have already received your results and need leave to attend a graduation ceremony
  4. You are currently on a sandwich placement (undergraduate students only)
  5. Your programme requires ATAS clearance and you have not yet received your new certificate
  6. You are required to take resits, but these are online submissions only and do not require in-person attendance
  7. Your attendance falls significantly below an acceptable level to demonstrate full-time study in the UK
  8. You have an ongoing application for another type of visa in the UK
  9. In some circumstances, we may also be unable to issue a new CAS if you have debt on your tuition fees, in particular if this will impact you being able to re-register with the university

Applying outside the UK

If making a visa application outside of the UK, the start date on your CAS will be the date that you are expected to be back in the UK and engaging with your studies again. Your application will not be an 'extension' of leave as such, but rather a new grant of leave.

When to start preparing

The process of gathering necessary documents and evidence for your visa application sometimes takes longer than you expect. We advise that you start preparing for this a few months before you need to make the application.

Getting documents in time

You will need to make sure that you will have all of the documents and evidence ready in time to apply. Some documents take longer than others to get. Your situation and circumstances will determine which documents you need for your application. See our guidance on this here.

Please make sure you start preparing early. The university will send you reminders from 3 months before your current visa expires however, if you need a new CAS, it is your responsibility to make sure you have requested this from us in plenty of time to review.

When to request a CAS

You can request for the university to issue you with a new CAS when you know that you will need to extend your student visa. Please see our guidance about CAS for extending your visa for links and instructions on how to request the CAS.

You should note that the Visa Compliance Team may only be able to process your CAS request in line with the timelines given at the top of this page.

Adding a work placement

If you need to extend your student visa because you are adding an official work placement to your programme of study, i.e. you have changed your mode of study from full-time to sandwich, there are specific rules on when you should make your application. Currently, UKVI allow you to make a visa application either before the work placement starts, or after it finishes. You cannot apply during your placement.

Please also see our guidance on changing your programme of study.

Students coming back to study after interruption

If you interrupted your studies and now need to apply for a new student visa to return to study, you will need to make your new student visa application from your home country or country of ordinary residence.

Please note: the Visa Compliance Team will be required to see evidence of your departure from the UK before being able to consider a new CAS to return.

You will receive an email from the university in June/July to start the return to study process *this is applicable to those returning to study in September*. This will include instructions on how to apply for a CAS.

If you are an interrupted student and you want to discuss your individual circumstances and get advice, contact the International Student Advice Service to discuss.