International Student Team
Visa Advice Service: Making a Tier 4 (General) Student immigration application in the UK
Online T4 applications
The UKBA has introduced an online application form for Tier 4 applications made in the UK but you must still print, sign and send your application - you cannot submit it online.
Application forms and guidance
Before you try to apply from within the UK, you must check that it is possible to switch into Tier 4 from your current immigration category. For example, if you currently hold a dependant visa, you will not be able to apply for Tier 4 within the UK.
New application forms are regularly published and the latest forms should be used for all T4 applications made from inside the UK on or after that date. Guidance can also be updated so please make sure you are using the latest versions of the application forms, guidelines and help text.
If you are applying from inside the United Kingdom, you should use the Tier 4 General application form, which you can find using the links below, along with guidance on completing the form:
- UK Border Agency: Adult Students - Tier 4 (General) - Applying from inside the UK
- Tier 4 of the Points Based System - Policy Guidance
- APPLICATION FORM (Application for a Grant of Leave and Biometric Immigration Document under Tier 4 (General) Student - Main Applicant)
- UKBA Help Text leaflet for form TIER 4 (General)
- UKCISA worksheet: Making a student immigration application in the UK
Those making applications for student extensions under the Points-Based System (and their dependants) will be required to attend centres where their fingerprints and an image of their face will be taken, as part of the extension application process. For those making applications in person, this will be done when they attend to make their application, so they will not need to make a separate journey. A student's extension will not be granted that day (i.e. the day that they give their fingerprints and facial image), but later, when an 'identity card' (generated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) is posted out to them. Those who have applied by post will already at that stage have received their other documents (passport, etc) back from the Home Office, through the post.
Please be aware that there has been some impact on processing times since the new system came into effect.
For information about identity cards and biometrics (fingerprints and photographs), go to the UKBA website:
- Biometrics and United Kingdom identity cards
- UKBA photographic guidance
- Replacement identity card for foreign nationals because of changed personal details or because the card has been damaged, lost or stolen.
From 1 February, an email service has replaced UKBA biometric residence permit helplines (0300 123 2412 and 0300 123 4699). You will need to email:
- BRPDelivery@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk if there is an issue with the delivery of your biometric residence permit;
- BRPError@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk if there is an error on your biometric residence permit;
- BRPLost@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk to report the loss or theft of a biometric residence permit; and
- employerBRPverification@ukba.gsi.gov.uk if you are an employer or sponsor and you want to confirm that a biometric residence permit is valid.
Additional Biometric Enrolment Centres
The UK Border Agency has announced that new biometric enrolment facilities are available at selected post offices nationwide.
You do not need to book an appointment at one of the 17 post offices offering biometric enrolment. However, you must have been sent an invitation from UKBA to attend one of these centres. Applicants using the service will need to pay an additional fee of £8.00 to Post Office Ltd.
If you decide to post your application, you should send your application form with all the required documents* to the postal address shown on the front of your application form.
It is highly recommended that you send your application(s) by Special Delivery from the Post Office. This will ensure the safety of any important documents you send and will allow you to track the delivery of your application form (via a bar code) online. It will also allow you to prove to your sponsor that the application was delivered to a UKBA address.
If you apply by post, we recommend that you post your application with plenty of time to spare before the date your visa expires.
Once you have posted your application(s) you may receive a letter confirming that your application has been received (though this is not always provided by UKBA). Please take this letter to your College and they will keep a copy. Please contact us if you do not receive any communication from the UKBA within one month of posting the application (using our enquiry form below).
* together with any application forms for dependents applying at the same time as you.
Online Visa Advice Enquiry Form
If you cannot find an answer to your query, or you have completed your visa application and would like an appointment to check some details, please send your enquiry to us using our Online Visa Advice Enquiry Form:
Please do not come to the International Student Team office to discuss your visa queries unless you have an appointment.
The International Student Team of the University of Cambridge makes every possible effort to ensure that the information and advice it provides is up-to-date and accurate, but accepts no legal liability for errors or omissions, and reserves the right to make changes without notice. Furthermore, the International Student Team accepts no legal liability for the outcome of any action you may take after seeking our advice.