Immigration - Tier 4 Super Guide
Question 3: Where do I apply?
You will either apply for your visa from outside the UK (we call this applying for ‘entry clearance’) or from inside the UK (we call this applying for a ‘visa extension’). The processes are different for each.
Applying from outside the UK
You will submit your Tier 4 (General) entry clearance application to your nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission with a visa section. You are usually required to submit your application from your home country or a country where you have permanent residence.
Although the rules and documents will be the same in all countries, the process for submitting your application will be different. You can find information about the process for submitting an application in your country on the UK Border Agency website.
Applying from inside the UK
You will apply to the UK Border Agency officials at the Home Office in the UK. You can only do this if you are already in the UK and have a valid visa to be here. Your current visa needs to be one that allows you to switch or extend as a Tier 4 (General) Student. If you currently have a ‘student’ visa of any kind you should be fine to extend in the UK, although ‘Student visitor visas’ cannot extend their visas in the UK.
Submitting your application through the University
If you are applying from within the UK, we strongly recommend that you submit your application through the University’s International Student Support Office. Our expert advisers will thoroughly check your application and submit it to the Student Batch Scheme, a dedicated team at the UK Border Agency that deals only with universities. Follow the information in this guide and then book an appointment to see us. We submit applications for both University of Exeter and INTO University of Exeter students, but INTO students should book their appointment with the INTO Student Services Co-ordinator (Visas and Activities). Note that during busy periods, particularly October, we will operate a different system for seeing students. Information will be posted on our website and outside our offices.
Submitting your application in person
It is also possible to apply for your visa extension in person at a UK Border Agency Public Enquiry Office (PEO). This is a quicker but more expensive and riskier process.