Adult students - Tier 4 (General)
When to apply from inside the UK
This page explains when you should apply for permission to remain in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student, if you are currently in the UK.
If you are making a Tier 4 application from inside the UK, you can apply when your sponsor has assigned a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) to you.
We suggest that, if possible, you apply during the last 3 months of your current permission to stay. When we approve your application, your new Tier 4 sponsor (which has assigned your new CAS to you) will immediately become responsible for you.
You must apply no later than 6 months after your CAS has been assigned, or it will become invalid.
If your existing permission to stay has expired
Changes to applications from overstayers
Applications for further leave to remain under the points based system decided on or after 1 October 2012 will fall for refusal if you have overstayed for more than 28 days, unless there were exceptional circumstances which prevented you from applying within the 28 day period. The 28 day period of overstaying is calculated from the latest of:
- the end of the last period of leave to enter or remain granted;
- the end of any extension of leave under sections 3C or 3D of the Immigration Act 1971; or
- the point a written notice of invalidity is deemed to have been received, in accordance with paragraph 34C or 34CA of the Immigration Rules, in relation to an in-time application for further leave to remain.
If there are exceptional circumstances which prevented you from applying in time you must submit evidence of the exceptional circumstances with your application. The threshold for what constitutes 'exceptional circumstances' is high and will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, but for example may include delays resulting from unexpected or unforeseeable circumstances such as the following:
- serious illness which meant that you or your representative were unable to submit the application in time (where supported by appropriate medical documentation);
- travel or postal delays which meant that you or your representative were unable to submit the application in time;
- inability to provide necessary documents. This would only apply to exceptional or unavoidable circumstances beyond your control, such as the Home Office being at fault in the loss of, or delay in returning, travel documents, or delay in obtaining replacement documents following loss as a result of theft, fire or flood (where supported by evidence of the date of loss and the date replacement documents were sought).
What is the date of your application? (Applying by post or courier from inside the UK)
If you send your application form and application fee by post, the date of application is the date of posting. This is decided by the postmark. If the postmark is illegible or missing, the date of postage is taken as being at least 1 day before it is received by us.
If you send your application form and application fee by courier, the date of application is the date when it is delivered to our payment handling service.
What is the date of your application? (Applying in person inside the UK)
If you are applying in person using a paper application form at one of our public enquiry offices, your application date will be the date when you attend the public enquiry office to make your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the date of your application? (submitting your application online) If you apply and submit your application form online, your application date will be the date when you submit your online application form.