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International Students


If you are a registered student, and you need more time to complete the PhD examination process or have had an extension to registration date approved. You can make the application from within the UK as long as you apply before your existing visa expires. We recommend that if you do need to extend your visa you contact the International Student Team a few months before your current visa expires.

You should follow the process for a Tier 4 application for further leave to remain in the UK taking the following into consideration:

  • You will require a new CAS from the International Student Team (IST)
  • If you are undertaking a course that is subject to ATAS clearance, you will require a new ATAS certificate before a CAS can be issued. The FCO advises that the process takes about 20 days. When you email the International Student Team to request your CAS, we will confirm whether you require ATAS. Your supervisor must issue the International Student Team with a new ATAS statement. On receipt of an ATAS letter from IST, you should complete your online application with the FCO.
  • Once you have received a CAS, you could make this Tier 4 application any time before your current visa expires, however, the date until which the University can provide sponsorship may change after your viva result is known, dependent on the time needed for corrections or otherwise.
  • You may need to consider time limits on study. This is not relevant to those extending to complete their first UK PhD.
  • Whilst your application is being considered, you will be without your passport and so you must not plan any travel. The Home Office advises that the process normally takes up to 8 weeks if you decide on a post your supporting documents following your online application.

Another option is to leave the UK after submission of thesis but before your current visa expires, and return as a short term student (rather than under Tier 4) for up to six months to complete your viva and corrections. The University is required to provide a letter of sponsorship so please do let us know if you intend to choose this route. We would not advise this option if you are considering seeking work in the UK after you complete your PhD as it would limit your options – for instance, you would not be eligible to apply for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Please note that you and any dependants will no longer be eligible for established presence if you submit an application after the 11 November 2015. Instead you will need to show up to 9 months worth of maintenance funds. After this date only doctorate extension scheme applicants can benefit from established presence.

The rate of monthly maintenance is also increasing for both main applicants and dependants for applications submitted after the 11 November 2015. You must show evidence of £1 015 per month for maintenance. Please see the Tier 4 Policy Guidance for further details.

Switching into Tier 4

If you were granted permission to start your studies on an alternative visa but need to switch to Tier 4 to complete your studies, please contact the International Student Team for further guidance and advice.