How to apply for a Tier 4 visa

We know that international students will be worried by the Covid-19 situation and what it means for their immigration status and their studies in the UK. UK Visa Application Centres are currently closed, as are English language testing centres and the ATAS application service, and travel is severely restricted.

The Home Office has introduced a number of immigration concessions for students, outlined here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students.

UKCISA regularly updates their advice for students here: Coronavirus (Covid-19): info for international students.

Students will also want to keep up-to-date with the University’s response to Covid-19 on our FAQ pages here: University of Exeter – Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Advice.

Finally, the trained immigration advisers in International Student Support are here to help with any questions or concerns you have during this difficult time. Please email us at and one of our advisers will respond as soon as possible.

1. All students should complete a CAS Contact & Data Check in order to receive a CAS Statement. Continuing Exeter students must contact us to request a new CAS number.

2. Prepare your supporting documents: The Money page describes the financial requirements and how to evidence this as part of your visa application.  The CAS & Qualifications page explains how you evidence your unconditional offer.  You can then read our document list as a final checklist.

3. Prepare your an online application form: Read through our application form guide to help you answer the questions. 

The process thereafter differs slightly if you are applying from outside the UK or applying to extend your visa from inside the UK.

Now that you have prepared your application form and supporting documents including TB testing (check if you need a new test certificate), you are ready to submit your visa application.

1. Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and application fee online.

2. Book a biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Centre

3. Scan and upload supporting documents to your VFS Global or TLS Contact account.

4. Attend your biometrics appointment.

5. Some students may be asked to attend a short credibility interview.

6. Once your application is complete, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will email you with a decision and instructions on what to do next. Your Tier 4 visa will initially be granted on a 30-day sticker and you will need to travel to the UK during this time.

7. Collect your BRP card from the University or delivery location noted on your grant letter (email). The BRP card will cover the full length of your Tier 4 visa.

8. If you are required to register with the police, you must take your new BRP and UKVI decision email (or letter) to the Police station. Please see Police Registration for more information.

Now you know you want to apply for your next Tier 4 visa in the UK, follow these steps. It is important that you contact us early for advice and guidance.

1. Book an appointment with us to use our visa application service.

2. During your appointment:
- We will check your application form and supporting documents.
- You will pay and submit your visa application online.
- We will help you book a biometrics appointment at a UKVCAS centre of your choice.
- We will help to upload scans of required documents.

If you choose to submit your own application you should follow the instructions listed on the online application form and contact us if you have any questions.

3. UK Visas & Immigration will send you multiple confirmation emails including payment receipts. You do not need to do anything with these emails, but keep them for your own reference.

IMPORTANT: Do not make any international travel bookings until you have both your passport and new visa as we cannot guarantee UKVI processing times.

4. Attend your biometrics appointment at a centre of your choice.  A full list of locations is available on:

5. When your application is complete, UK Visas & Immigration will email you with a decision and your new BRP card will be sent to our office within 10 days. We will send you an email when we receive your new BRP card which you will need to collect from the Student Information Desk in the Forum or the PIP Desk in Penryn.

6. If you are required to register with the police, you must take your new BRP and UK Visas & Immigration decision email (or letter) to the Police station. Please see Police Registration for more information.

» Application form

A guide to completing your Tier 4 application form.

» Money

Find out the amount of money required and how you can show this.

» CAS & Qualifications

Describes how you meet the visa conditions using your unconditional offer and previous qualifications.

» Document list

A comprehensive final checklist for your Tier 4 visa application.

» Dependants

This section provides guidance for your spouse and children to apply for visas as your dependants.

» Differentiation Arrangements

This section explains who qualifies for differentiation arrangements and how it impacts your visa application.