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Length of visa granted


When will my visa be valid from?


For a Tier 4 visa application made outside of the UK:

If you are undertaking a course that is 6 months or longer:, or for a pre-sessional course that is less than six months:

leave will be granted up to 1 month before the start date of your course, or, 7 days before your 'intended travel date', this is the date you put on the visa application form, whichever is later.

Tier 4 students coming to the UK for more than 6 months will be issued a 1 month temporary travel visa vignette sticker inside their passport which should be used to enter the UK. Please note, from June 2020 until the end of the year, Tier 4 temporary travel visas will be issued for a period of 90 days rather than 30. This is in response to travel disruption caused as a result the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UKVI decision letter will confirm the full duration of the visa and give instructions for when and where to collect a BRP card upon arrival in the UK.

If you have been issued a Tier 4 visa inside your passport which is longer than 6 months, instead of a temporary travel visa, you must contact the visa application centre to have this corrected before coming to the UK.

If you are undertaking a course that is less than six months long and is not a pre-sessional course, your visa will be valid from up to seven days before the start date of the course.

For a Tier 4 visa application made within the UK:

It will be valid from the date a decision is made on your visa application.


Length of visa granted


The length of your visa is calculated as follows:

    • Your Course Start Date to your Course End Date (as listed on your CAS)

+

    • The UKVI Wrap up period

Its purpose is to give you time to:

    • Settle your affairs permanently before you leave the UK for good
    • To switch to another visa category that allows you to remain in the UK.

Please see the following table to see how much time a Tier 4 (General) student can come to the UK for:

Type of course Length of course Length of stay allowed *
Main course of Study (including Sabbatical Officers) 12 months or more The full length of the course Plus 4 months after the end of the course*
  6 months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course Plus 2 months after the end of the course
  Less than 6 months The full length of the course Plus 7 days after the end of the course
Pre-sessional courses 12 months or more The full length of the course Plus 4 months after the end of the course
  6 months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course Plus 2 months after the end of the course
  Less than 6 months The full length of the course Plus 1 month after the end of the course
Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised Foundation programme   The full length of the course (up to a maximum of 3 years) Plus 1 month after the end of the course
* Please note:

If you are going to study a postgraduate Master's degree which is 13 months or less in length, including if you are attending a Pre-sessional course immediately before that, your CAS will state that it is assigned under the 'Tier 4 Pilot' Scheme.

This means that your visa length will be the full length of your course plus 6 months after the end date of the course.


If your course end date is beyond 31 August 2024:


Your new BRP card will be valid until 31 December 2024 only.

This is because the UKVI is required to review its encryption technology no later than 31 December 2024.

You should not worry however, since, by 30 June 2024, the UKVI will have issued guidance on how to obtain a new BRP card - we understand that the new BRP card will be issued free of charge too.

If your course is 6 months or longer, you will receive a Temporary Travel Vignette - This is a sticker in your passport.

This is a multi entry visa, that allows you to enter the UK and collect your Biometric Residence Permit.

You will also receive a decision letter, usually by email, confirming how to collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) card once you arrive in the UK.

Your study conditions, work permission, police registration, length of visa etc. are endorsed in your temporary travel visa and / or decision letter and so you should check all the details carefully and keep them safe.


What if I am applying to resume studies after taking a break, for example, temporary withdrawal or resit without residence?


You should still be entitled to the same additional months after the end of the course as outlined above, even if the period of study after resumption is shorter.

For example:

If you are on a 3-year course and took a temporary withdrawal after 2.5 years of study, and are returning to the UK to complete the last 3 months of your studies using a Tier 4 visa, you should still be entitled to 4 additional months of leave after the official 'course end date' as stated in your CAS.


What if there is an error on my entry clearance visa?


If you believe there is an error on your entry clearance visa, this is the visa sticker in your passport, for example:

If the decision letter indicates that you have not been granted the correct amount of leave as outlined above.

There is a chance a mistake may have been made.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your Visa Application Centre to have the error corrected.

If it is not possible to correct the error before you travel, for example:

You only just got your TTV, you note an error, but you have to fly to the UK immediately.

Once you arrive in the UK, click on the following link to see how to correct this in the UK:

Correcting an error on your TTV or BRP.