There are some situations that may need you to extend your existing Tier 4 visa as you need more time in the UK to complete your programme. You may also change programme in such a way that you are required to get a new visa before you can continue on your new degree.
How you approach getting a new visa will depend on your level of study, and more information can be found below for Postgraduate Research Students and those on a Taught Programme.
Our general guide gives you more details on how the Tier 4 application process works.
Postgraduate Research Students
If you require extra time in the UK to complete your research and write your thesis you must ensure that you have your studies extended academically before trying to get a visa extension. You should have your academic extension approved and confirmed at least 3 months before your visa is due to expire. You can get more information on extending your studies by speaking with your Supervisor or School office.
Once you have your study extension approved and this has been confirmed by Registry you can look at extending your Tier 4 visa.
For some students you may need ATAS clearance to study in the UK. You must obtain a new ATAS clearance if you are extending your studies for more than 3 months, of if your area of study changed. More details on ATAS can be found on the Gov.UK website.
If you make a change to your studies, or a change is made due to academic issues, you may need to get a new visa before you can study on your new path of study. This could happen if:
Where a situation like this arises you should contact the Tier 4 Team to assess if a new visa is required as soon as possible. If it is you will have to leave the UK, return home, and submit a new visa application before returning to the UK. This means you will be restricted as to when such changes can be made.
Once you have your change approved by the Tier 4 team, and this has been confirmed by Registry, you can look at extending or altering your Tier 4 visa.