Frequently asked questions

How do I extend my visa?

If you are applying in the UK, please use our Check and Send Service to minimise the risk of refusal.

What if my documents aren't in English?

You have to send a fully certified translation by a professional translator. This must include the translator's qualifications, contact details and signature, confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document, and the date.

Be careful with translations obtained overseas and used for visa applications overseas, as the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements are different when applying overseas.

When should I apply to extend my student visa?

You should always apply to extend your visa in good time – do not leave it until just before your visa expires.

If you are applying in the UK, please use our Check and Send service to minimise the risk of refusal. You should apply as soon as you have all your documents ready. You can apply (Monday to Friday) up until the day before the last date of your visa or leave to remain. Your visa will remain valid once posted. However, it's a good idea to send your application to UKVI around 3 months before your visa is due to expire in case your application is rejected.

If you apply late you will be classed as an 'overstayer' and you won't be given the right to appeal if you are refused. Also, you may not be able to apply for entry clearance overseas for 12 months. You will be automatically refused if you apply more than 28 days after your visa has expired.

If you don't have all your documents ready before the expiry date, it's still very important to send the application (you may be able to send the documents at a later date - please discuss with an adviser). It's very important that you send your application on time before your visa expires.

If you are applying overseas, you will need to do this during one of the University vacation periods. You will need to make sure that you travel home before your current visa expires and then make your application. You will also need to make sure that you have enough time to travel home, make your application and receive your new visa before you are expected to be back at University. Find out about overseas processing times.

What is a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

All students extending their visa in the UK will be given a Biometric Residence Permit, which will contain personal data and your immigration details. If you're applying overseas, you will need to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. You can collect from the University of Bath by selecting this on your visa application form. For students applying in the UK:

  1. The Student Immigration Service will check and send your application.
  2. The Student Immigration Service will print out your biometric enrolment letter, which is generated online once the visa application is submitted.
  3. Enrol you biometrics: take the biometric enrolment letter to a post office offering biometric enrolment within 15 working days (the nearest to Bath are in Bristol (The Galleries, Broadmead) and Keynsham (44 The High Street). You can also watch a video about how your biometric information is recorded.) It's essential that you do this quickly - your application will not be looked at until your biometrics are recorded, and it may be returned invalid if it's not completed within the specified timeframe.

Your visa will now be recorded on your biometric identity card and not in your passport.

How long will it take to get my passport back?

Processing time for postal applications can take up to 8 weeks, but it can take longer if extra checks are required or during busy periods. Consider this if you're planning to travel and make your application early. We advise you to wait until your visa and passport are returned before you book any tickets.

Your passport and Biometric Residence Permit will be sent to the Student Immigration Service - we'll email you when they have both been received.

Find out more about the process of what happens after you have handed in your Check and Send Tier 4 postal application.

I need to extend urgently - can I apply in person?

Yes, we have a Check and Send Service for in-person applications. Universities carry out this process with the Cardiff Public Enquiry Office.

  1. We check and send your application.
  2. We book you an appointment in Cardiff once we have seen your application (for biometric recording).
  3. We stay in touch with the caseworker to monitor your application.

The fee for this process is £1047 and it takes 10 days in total, sometimes fewer. Please note: this process can only be done through a university. There is a super premium service available but you are strongly advised to talk to an adviser if you're considering this UKVI service, as it may not be necessary.

What about my family?

You may be able to bring your family to live with you. Please refer to the Bringing your family page to find out more about the process. 

Further policy guidance on dependants can be found on the UKVI website

Can I extend my visa at home over the holidays?

Yes. You'll need to follow the application process in your home country.

What do I do if my visa is refused?

We'll let you know if your application has been refused and we'll make an appointment to discuss your options.