Visa Extensions

If you are a registered student, and you need more time to complete the PhD examination process or have had an Extension of Time approved, you may be eligible to apply for an extension to your current Tier 4 visa.

We recommend that you should contact the Doctoral College 3-4 months before your current visa expires if you believe you will need more time in the UK.

If you decide to apply for an extension to your visa you will need a new CAS number as evidence of the University's continued sponsorship of your visa.

To request a new CAS number you should complete the Visa Extension Request Form and submit it, along with the required supplementary documentation outlined in the form, to research@ulster.ac.uk.

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 Doctoral College will determine whether or not you require an ATAS certificate when you submit your Visa Extension Request Form.

What is a Tier 4 visa extension?

A Tier 4 visa extension is simply an extension to the Tier 4 student visa that you were granted when you began your studies.

Students usually require a visa extension if they will not be able to submit their thesis and sit their viva voce examination by the time their current Tier 4 visa expires.

Who can apply for a visa under the Scheme?

Any PhD student who has current leave to remain under a Tier 4 visa and who requires further leave to remain in order to submit their thesis and attend their viva voce examination.

Students cannot apply for visa extension for any period subsequent to their examination; however when a visa extension is granted the Home Office usually adds a period of three months to the specified course end date.

This three month period can be used for the purposes of making any required amendments to the thesis.

A Tier 4 visa extension will not be granted for the purposes of attending graduation.

When can I apply?

Applications must be made before your existing Tier 4 leave expires. As it can be a lengthy process, you are encouraged to begin making initial enquiries with the Doctoral College at least three months in advance of your visa expiration date.

What do I need to do before applying for the visa?

You should express their interest in applying for the visa by contacting Doctoral College and making an appointment to come in to discuss the process.  They will need to be able to provide the following information:

  • A Timeline chart showing anticipated progress to completion
  • Bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover both any fees and your maintenance for the remaining length of your course. This maintenance figure is currently £1,015/month for locations outside London.  You should read the Financial Requirements - Extensions for further information
  • A completed Visa Extension Request Form

Do I need ATAS clearance?

If your research falls under specific JACS codes then further ATAS clearance will be required.  If you had to get ATAS clearance when you applied for your initial Tier 4 visa then you will need  a new ATAS certificate for your visa extension.

Can an application be made outside the UK?

No – all applications must be made from within the UK

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