Requirements for applying for a Tier 4 General visa

Applying for your Tier 4 visa inside the UK

Tier 4 General is subject to strict rules about when an application can be made in the UK.

Before making an application you need to consider the following:

  • You must already be in the UK in an immigration category which allows you to make a Tier 4 application. This should be Tier 4 General, Tier 4 Child or Tier 2.
  • If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 4 General visa, it should be sponsored by a Higher Education Institution or an Independent School. You can find the current status of your Tier 4 Sponsor on the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors
    You should be aware that the above list is subject to change at short notice.
  • If you are already in the UK on a Tier 4 General visa, you must be able to meet the current academic progression rules as outlined in the current Tier 4 policy guidance.
  • You should ensure that you are able to demonstrate that you meet English language requirements for Tier 4.
  • You should be aware that Tier 4 General visas are subject to strict time limits for degree-level and below degree level study. These are set out in the Tier 4 policy guidance.
    If you think that you may be approaching the maximum time allowed in the UK under Tier 4 General, you may wish to calculate your total time spent in the UK on Tier 4 General or in the pre-2009 student category using the online date calculator.
  • If your programme is subject to clearance from the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), you must ensure that you apply for ATAS clearance at least 8 weeks before you need to apply for your Tier 4 visa, as there can be delays in processing applications at busy times of year.
  • If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa for a new programme and your current visa expires more than 28 days before the start of that programme, you will not be able to make your Tier 4 application in the UK. You must return to your home country to do so.

Applying for your Tier 4 visa outside of the UK

If you do not meet the requirements for making a Tier 4 application in the UK, you may have to return to your home country to make a Tier 4 visa application.

Contact the Visa Support Team for advice if you are unsure whether you meet the requirements.

You should then take the following steps:

You will need to collect your new Biometric Residence Permit Card (BRP) on arrival at a local Post Office on arrival in Newcastle.

When you have your new visa, you should bring it in to Level 2, King’s Gate so that it can be scanned for our records.


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