In order to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK your new course of studies must start no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave, if the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is longer than 28 days then you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
In addition to this the Immigration Rules only allow people who were last granted leave in certain immigration categories to make a Tier 4 application in the UK. If you currently have a Tier 4 (General) student visa then you must currently be sponsored by:
- a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as an HEI (higher education institution); or
- an overseas higher education institution and you have been undertaking a short-term study abroad programme in the UK; or
- an embedded college offering pathway courses (this does not include pre-sessional courses); or
- an independent school
If you do not know if this applies to you then ask your Tier 4 sponsor.
You can also apply in the UK if you currently have leave in one of the following categories:
- Tier 4 (Child) student
- Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant
- Tier 2 migrant
You can also make a Tier 4 application in the UK if you were last granted leave as a student under the old Immigration Rules that were in place before the Tier 4 student Rules were introduced in March 2009.
If your last grant of leave was not one of the categories listed above then you must return to your home country and apply for a Tier 4 visa from there. There are currently two exceptions to this (see the boxes on the right). If you wish to apply under one of these exceptions, we
advise that you speak to an immigration adviser before you apply and that you
include a letter with your application explaining your situation.
Note: if you have previously been granted immigration
permission to study in the UK, either under Tier 4 or under the student
rules that were in place before Tier 4 was introduced on 31 March 2009,
you will not be able to apply for your new visa in the UK unless your
CAS confirms that you are making academic progress in your studies. For
information about this see the section called 'Academic progression' in
the Home Office's Tier 4 policy guidance.