First, check that the start date of your new course of studies (as stated on your CAS) is no more than 28 days after the end of your current visa. If the start date is later, you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
The next step depends on your current immigration status and when you make your application (submit the online form and pay the fee).
Applications on or after 9 am on Monday 5 October 2020
You can apply in the UK if you are not in the UK on immigration bail, and if you currently have any type of immigration permission except:
- short-term student
- parent of a child student
- seasonal worker
- domestic worker in a private household
- permission outside the Immigration Rules
It is extremely important that you do not apply in the UK if you hold one of the types of immigration permission listed above because the Home Office will treat your application as invalid. This means that they will not consider your application and you will have no right of appeal or administrative review against their decision. If you have been affected by Coronavirus, however, you should check whether one of the concessions might help you - see Coronavirus (Covid-19): info for international students.
Applications before 9 am on Monday 5 October 2020
You must currently have Tier 4 (General) student leave for a course sponsored by or previously sponsored by one of these types of Tier 4 sponsor (see how your sponsor is described on the Register of Student sponsors):
- a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
- an overseas higher education institution and you have been doing 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 your Tier 4 sponsor does not meet one of these definitions you must return to your home country and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from there. If you are unsure, or if your Tier 4 visa has now expired, ask your Tier 4 sponsor for advice.
Alternatively, you must have Tier 2 or Tier 4 (Child) student leave.
Other requirements including academic progress
Students who have previously been granted Tier 4 (General) student leave or permission under the Student route, must also meet the academic progress requirement, or be exempt from it, in order to apply in the UK. For
information about how the Home Office defines 'academic progress', see the Student guidance.
Your status before you receive a decision
As long as you apply to extend your Student permission in the UK prior to the expiry of your current visa, you will be lawfully resident in the UK regardless of the length of time it takes for the Home Office to make a decision on your application.