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Check if you can apply in the UK

You can only apply for Student immigration permission in the UK if you meet all of the requirements detailed on this webpage.

Criteria to apply in the UK 

You can apply for Student immigration permission in the UK if you meet ALL of the following three requirements: 

1. You have valid UK immigration permission in any category except as a: 

  • Visitor 
  • Short-term Student 
  • Parent of a Child Student 
  • Seasonal Worker 
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household, or 
  • Outside the Immigration Rules  

You can apply to extend from within the UK if you are currently here with valid immigration permission as either: 

  • Tier 4 (general)/Tier 4 (child), or   
  • Student 

2. The course start date of your programme as stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must be before your current immigration permission expires, or no more than 28 days after

3. If you currently have, or previously had, Tier 4 general or Student immigration permission, the “Evidence Used” field of your CAS statement must confirm that your new studies show academic progression for you to make a Student visa application in the UK.

Academic progression

If you are currently studying, or have previously studied, in the UK you must have successfully completed the course for which you were last granted permission as a Student in order to make your new application in the UK.  

In addition, your new course must be one of the following: 

  • at a higher academic level than your current/previous course 
  • at the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations - it must be degree level or above at a Higher Education Provider (HEP) 
  • intercalated to a medicine, dentistry or medical science course you started studying under your Student visa  

You do not need to show your studies are at a higher level if you are doing one of the following: 

  • resitting exams or repeating modules 
  • applying for the first time to a new institution to complete a course you started at an institution that lost its student sponsorship licence 
  • applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last Student visa  
  • completing a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Student visa  
  • continuing your medical, dentistry or medical science degree after completing an intercalated course 
  • applying to extend your stay to complete your studies because you have done (or want to do) a work placement or study abroad programme 

If you are exempt from showing academic progression this will be detailed in your CAS.  

In all other cases, if you have not successfully completed the course for which your current Student immigration permission was issued, you will need to make your new Student visa application from your home country.  

To assess your academic progress, Queen Mary needs information about any previous studies in the UK. If your CAS is issued based on incorrect or incomplete information about your previous studies, your application could be refused. 

If you have any questions about the level of your programme at Queen Mary or any previous programmes you have taken, contact the admissions team responsible for your application to Queen Mary.

Not yet been awarded the qualification for your current programme? 

In order for Queen Mary to confirm academic progress on your CAS, normally you must show that you have successfully completed your previous course and received your result. 

If you do not yet have your result, the provider of your current course needs to write a letter on official headed paper to the Admissions Office at Queen Mary which confirms that, based on your performance throughout the course, they judge that you are highly likely to complete your course successfully. If you are already at Queen Mary and are moving from one course to another, for example from Masters to PhD, you need to ask theStudent Enquiry Centreto issue this letter. They will contact your academic school to confirm your situation before issuing the letter.  

If your university is not willing to do this, this means Queen Mary cannot confirm academic progress on your CAS, and you will need to make your Student visa application outside the UK. The only other option, if you are starting a postgraduate research qualification (e.g. a PhD) is if you can defer the start of your programme until after you are awarded your qualification, and then apply in the UK. Check with the Admissions team dealing with your application whether this would be an option for you. 

Warning: If the confirmation of academic progress in your CAS is based on a letter judging that you will pass, but in fact you fail, Queen Mary will withdraw your Student immigration permission sponsorship. This will happen even if your offer from Queen Mary is not based on the degree mentioned in the letter. 


Some Afghan nationals 

An Afghan national with valid immigration permission may be able to apply in the UK under a concession for Afghan nationals. 

Even if you can apply for the Student visa under the concession, we recommend that you get specialist immigration advice about whether switching to Student immigration permission is the best option for you. 

Some dependants of overseas diplomats 

This is only possible in certain compelling circumstances: please see theguidance written by UKCISA for further information. 

We recommend that you contact a Welfare Adviser for further advice if you think this concession applies to you. 

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