How to complete the Tier 4 application

How to complete the Tier 4 application

If you wish to renew your student visa in the UK you need to complete the UKVI's Tier 4 Online application form. This form needs to be completed and submitted online and then a cover sheet must be printed out and posted to the UKVI along with your supporting documents. The cover sheet and supporting documents must be sent within 15 working days of the date the online application was submitted.

Your application form will also need to be checked by Compliance staff prior to submission. So once you have all your supporting documents and the form is completed, but before you complete the declaration, make an appointment with Amity staff.

When you attend the appointment, bring your papers, passport, photographs and photocopies of all documents to be submitted.

If your visa application is successful, you will receive your visa in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP is a plastic card, similar in size to a credit card, on which will be displayed your visa expiry date, as well as restrictions/prohibitions on work. Your visa will allow you to enter and leave the UK for the duration of its validity. It is important that you check the details on your BRP as soon as you receive it. If you notice an error on your BRP you need to inform Amity as soon as possible.

Types of appointment and the cost of renewing your Tier 4 visa inside the UK
Postal applications

The Home Office charges the following application fees for renewing your visa by post (i.e. submitting the online form and then posting the cover sheet and supporting documents) inside the UK:

  *   £448 for a main applicant postal application

In most cases, applications submitted will be returned by the Home Office within approximately 3 months, assuming that the application is complete and straightforward.

During the busiest months (October-December), it may take longer for passports and ID cards to come back. Students are therefore strongly advised not to make firm travel arrangements before receiving their documents back from the Home Office.

In person applications

Applications may also be made in person at one of the Home Office's Premium Service Centres around the country. If you would like to submit your application in-person you still need to submit your application online but you will then take your cover sheet and supporting documents to an in-person appointment at one of the Home Office's Premium Service Centres. The costs associated with this are as follows:

  *   £948 for a main applicant Premium Service Appointment made in person at one of the Home Office's Premium Service Centres

In order to make an in-person appointment at one of the Premium Service Centres you need to select this option once you have completed the Tier 4 online form. It is only at this point that you will be able to find out when and where there are appointments available. If you make an appointment at a Premium Service Centre make sure the appointment date is before your current visa expires.

If you do apply in person and your application is approved, please note that you will not be issued with your new visa on the same day, as your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (which will contain your visa) takes a few days to produce. However, you will usually be given your passport back the same day and your BRP card will be sent to you as soon as it is ready. Remember - your BRP card is your visa and so you will need this, together with your passport to travel in and out of the UK.

Documents you will need in support of your application

It is your responsibility to collect the documents you need for your visa application. Your application form will confirm which documents you need to submit from the following:

  1.  your current passport and any previous passports that you have, that include a UK visa
  2.  two new passport photos which meet the requirements of the Home Office
  3.  financial documents which prove you have the required funds available to you (unless you are a 'low risk' applicant):
     *   You will need to show that you have a minimum of £1,265 per month to cover the first nine months of your course (£11,385) plus any outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course.
     *   The funds detailed above need to be evidenced in a bank account for a minimum of 28 days (using the date of the closing balance and working backwards) and your bank statement must be no more than one calendar month old on the date you make your visa application.
     *   Bank statements, bank letters and savings books (for an account in your name) are all considered acceptable financial documents.
     *   If you are being officially financially sponsored you will need a letter from your sponsor confirming the sponsorship arrangements, including how much money you have been awarded, what the money is intended to be used for and the dates the sponsorship is valid for.
     *   A receipt from Amity confirming that you have paid some or all of your tuition fees, if this is not already included in your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
     *   If you are relying on money held in a parent/legal guardian's bank account you will need:

        *   your original birth certificate/certificate of adoption/court statement (showing the name of the parent/ legal guardian(s) providing the funds); and
        *   your parent/legal guardian's bank statement; and
        *   an original signed and dated letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming their relationship with you and that they give consent to making their funds available to you.

     *   If you are using overseas currency, the Home Office will expect you to show the closing balance in GBP sterling using the official exchange rate on the OANDA website. You should note on the statement next to the closing balance the amount in GBP and the date of conversion, and confirm that you used Oanda.com.

  1.  Evidence of previous qualifications mentioned in the 'evidence used to obtain' section of your CAS. If you are a 'low risk' applicant or if your CAS states that you are being sponsored on the basis of 'progression on programme to date' you do not need to provide qualification evidence.
  2.  Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)
  3.  ATAS Certificate (see below)
  4.  Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (if applicable)
  5.  birth and/ or marriage certificate if a dependant is/ dependants are applying at the same time as you
  6.  a medical certificate if applicable (please see the information on Health (tuberculosis) screening on the Home Office website).

All documents submitted must be original documents and any documents which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a full translation that can be checked by the Home Office.

The original translation must contain:

  *   confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  *   the date of the translation
  *   the translator's full name, contact details and signature
  *   the translator's qualification or credentials

'Low Risk' Applicants

From 4 July 2011, the UKVI introduced differentiation arrangements for students of certain nationalities that they deem to be 'low risk'. A Tier 4 student qualifies for the differentiation arrangements if he/she:

  1.  is sponsored by a Tier 4 Sponsor; and
  2.  is applying for entry clearance in his/her country of nationality or for leave to remain in the UK; and
  3.  is a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as low risk.

There are details of the countries considered ' Low risk' on the UKVI website. These will normally be reviewed on an annual basis.

If you are a national of one of the countries the Home Office classifies as low risk, there is no requirement to provide evidence of finances or qualifications with your Tier 4 application. However, you will need to provide an ATAS certificate, if appropriate (see below) and you will need to sign your application form to confirm you have sufficient funds and that you hold documentary evidence of any qualifications listed.  You may be asked by the Home Office to provide this at a later date.

ATAS Certificates

The British Government introduced the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) in order to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Non-EEA students studying on certain science, engineering and technology related postgraduate research and taught degrees will have to apply for an ATAS clearance certificate before obtaining a new visa.

Failure to provide a valid ATAS clearance certificate (if your course requires one) when you submit your Tier 4 online application form will result in your application being refused.

To apply for an ATAS certificate you first need to request an ATAS letter from Amity. Amity staff will then contact your supervisor and request a paragraph of text which outlines your area of research. Once the text has been received, Amity will incorporate it into an ATAS letter, which you can collect.

Once you have the ATAS letter you should go to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and using your ATAS letter, complete the online application form. The FCO get very busy at certain times of the year and so you are stongly advised to apply at least 8 weeks before you intend to renew your student visa.

For more information about ATAS certificates, including details of the courses that require an ATAS certificate, please see the FCO website.

Immigration Health Surcharge

As of 6 April 2015 there is also now an 'immigration health surcharge' if you are applying to remain in the UK for more than six months. The cost of this is based on the length of the visa that you are applying for, including the extra period of leave that you will be granted after the end of your course. Paying this charge as part of your application will mean that you are entitled to receive certain free health services from the National Health Services (NHS) while you are in the UK, but please note that this is not private medical insurance.

The surcharge is calculated as £150 per year for each year of leave that you are applying for. If this includes part of a year that is six months or less, you will be charged an additional £75 for this period. If it includes part of a year that is more than six months, you will have to pay £150 for this period.

For example, if your Tier 4 application is to allow you to do a further 12 months of study in the UK then you should be granted leave for an extra four months after your course end date and the immigration surcharge will therefore be £225.

You can use the Immigration Health Surcharge tool on the UKVI website to check how much you will have to pay.

As you complete the Tier 4 application form, you will be directed to the payment page for the surcharge.

Note: some people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge, including Australian and New Zealand nationals and British Overseas Territory citizens who live in the Falkland Islands. However, these people must still complete the IHS portal and obtain a reference number.

Making an appointment with an Compliance Staff

We encourage you to make an appointment with Compliance staff who can check your application and supporting documents once you have done the following:

  *   completed as much of the Tier 4 Online online application form as possible, but not submitted payment
  *   have all your supporting documents and have made copies of each of these
  *   have two new passport photos (with your name on the back)
  *   have a debit/credit card to pay the appropriate fee, which you will need to bring to the appointment with you.

Immigration clinics run once a week (and more frequently at peak times) on Thursday mornings between 11am and 1pm. Each clinic is split into a series of individual 30 minute appointments which can be booked by current or prospective Amity London students.

Only one person can attend an appointment, unless you are accompanied by your dependant. We cannot answer questions brought along on behalf of other students.

Immigration appointments can be made by telephone on +44 (0)2076310190 or in person at 24 Bedford Square, London.