Making a Tier 4 visa application inside the UK

Find out when and how to apply for a Tier 4 visa within the UK and what application documents you need.

Your eligibility

You might be able to apply for a Tier 4 visa inside the UK if you’re:

  • currently studying at Sussex and need to extend your visa (such as starting a new course), or
  • repeating a year, adding a work placement or year abroad, getting an extension to your course, or
  • planning to study at Sussex and are yet to start your course.

However, you can’t apply inside the UK if you have:

In any of these cases, you must return to your home country to get a new visa.

Email for advice.

Important: Tier 4 visas are only valid for use on the course of study at the institution they were issued for. If you have a Tier 4 visa that was issued for study at another institution (such as another university or the International Study Centre), you must apply to extend your visa before you can enrol at Sussex.

How to apply

To make a Tier 4 application inside the UK, you’ll need:

  • current immigration permission as a Tier 4 (General) student,Tier 4 (Child) student or Tier 2 migrant
  • your existing visa sponsored by an institution on the Tier 4 Sponsor Register, with the status ‘Tier 4 Sponsor – Track Record’, or by an overseas institution while studying a short-term programme in the UK
  • your new course of studies to start no more than 28 days after your current visa ends (as stated on your CAS)
  • to have been awarded the qualification you have been studying, and for which your current Tier 4 visa was issued in the first place.

Tip: Apply as soon as you’re eligible to. If you’re starting a course at Sussex, the earliest you can apply is three months before your course start date. If you’re continuing at Sussex as a result of extending your current course, you can start the process of getting a new visa by asking for a CAS when you are within six months of your current visa expiry date.

Apply online

You must apply online for your visa.

Your application date is when you submit the application online. You must apply on or before your current visa expiry date.


The standard cost is £475, plus £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

You should receive a decision (by email) within eight weeks from the date you attend your document and biometric appointment. Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) should follow within 10 days.

Important: You cannot leave the UK or Common Travel Area while your application is being processed. Don’t make any travel plans until you get your new visa.

Priority service

If you need your visa quickly, you can pay more money to get it sooner.

The cost is an extra £500. You should receive an email decision within five working days of attending your document and biometric appointment.

You can pay even more money for “super priority service”. This costs an extra £800 and gets you an email decision the next working day after attending your appointment.

In both priority cases, you can’t check the availability of appointments until you have paid for the service. You may have to wait or travel to a centre that’s farther away.

Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) should follow within 10 days.

You can choose:

  • a free appointment during normal hours at one of six service centres (located in Croydon, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester), or
  • to pay for an appointment outside normal hours at the above locations, or
  • to pay for an “enhanced service” appointment at locations around the UK (including at Brighton Library).

Appointment times can vary.

You’ll get deadlines for submitting documents and attending appointments after you submit the online application. Stick to them to make sure your application is valid.

Your application will be invalid if you do not attend an appointment within the required timeframe, and you will become an overstayer if your current visa has expired.

Documents you need

You need to supply several documents when making an application.

See what you need to provide.

Proof of funds

Check what documents you need to supply to prove you have the money to do your course.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Find out how you get a CAS and why you need one.

Submitting proof of your application to us

You must show us a photocopy of your current visa and the cover sheet from your online visa application as proof that you have applied in time (on or before your visa expiry date).

We cannot register you for a new course, or keep you on your current course, without this.

Email if you think you have applied after your visa expiry date.

Credibility interview

You may need to do a credibility interview with UKVI (using a video link) as part of your visa application.

If you don’t attend your interview, your visa application may be refused.

Find out how to prepare for your credibility interview.

Collecting your biometric residence permit (BRP)

Find out how to collect your BRP as part of the Sussex registration process.


Your partner and children may be able to apply to extend their stay with you as dependants.

See immigration issues for families.

See more from Applying for a student visa