Existing students

The information on this page is for students who are already registered on a programme at the RAU, and who need more time to complete this. If you've already completed your programme and are making a visa application to start a new course, the process may be different. Please visit our returning students’ pages for more information.

If you have made a change to your programme, taken resits, added a placement, or because it’s been agreed that you can defer some of your assessment then you may need to extend your Student visa. This will allow you more time in the UK to complete your programme.

When to apply

  • If you are applying for a visa extension from inside the UK, you need to make the application before your current visa expires. In some cases, we may advise you to make the Student  visa application earlier than this (max. three months prior to the end of your current visa)
  • If you are applying for a Student visa application from outside the UK, you need to plan the timing of your application to ensure you can arrive back in the UK in time to continue with your studies

We advise that you start preparing for your Student visa extension at least three months before you need to make the visa application.

Request a CAS

You can ask the university to issue you with a new CAS at any time. We strongly advise you do this as soon as you know that you will need to extend your Student visa.

It is important to note that a CAS statement can only be issued to you when the university is satisfied that you have met the requirements.

To ask for a CAS as an existing student please complete the CAS Request form.

Important - if you have started your studies from outside the UK

N.B. If, due to Covid-19, you have started your studies remotely (outside the UK) and you have not yet applied for a Student visa, please think carefully about the dates you consider travelling to the UK:

  • Do you think your travel to the UK may be delayed (change in circumstances)?
  • Do you think you might complete the current academic year remotely?

You should not request a CAS until you know you can travel to the UK.

We will be able to issue a CAS to you within a short time when you know when you travel to the UK. It should then take around three weeks to get your Student visa.

If you request a CAS and apply for a Student visa, and then you change your mind, you should be aware that:

  • You may need to apply for a new vignette to allow you to travel (this costs presently £189)
  • You will pay the cost for the Immigration Health Surcharge for time that you do not spend in the UK. If you choose not to come for this academic year, this could cost you up to £475
  • If you are an undergraduate student, there may be a limit on the amount of time you can hold a Student visa. Even if you are not in the UK, having a Student visa will count towards the time limits. It may be in your favour to keep that time in case of future unexpected changes to your studies

Conditions for a Student visa extension

If you have completed your previous programme, and are thinking about starting a new one, please refer to the Returning Students pages.

If you want to change your course and you applied for your current visa on or after 6 April 2016, you will need to meet all of the following conditions:

  • Your new programme is at the same or a higher academic level as the programme for which your visa was granted
  • Your new programme can be completed within the duration of your current visa

If you do not meet the above conditions, you will need to apply for a new visa from outside the UK before you can change your programme.

Please note that different immigration rules may apply to you, depending on when you applied for your current visa. We therefore strongly recommend that you contact the Assistant Registrar for Admissions and Compliance to advise you before you make any changes to your current programme of study.

Returning to study after a period of interruption (Intermitting)

If you interrupted your studies and returned to your home country and now need a new Student visa to return to study, you will need to make your new Student visa application from your home country or country of ordinary residence.

During this period of interruption, you will receive communication from the university’s Registry office, asking you to state if you intend to return to complete your course. If you indicate yes, you will be sent instructions about how to get a new CAS statement. If you have interrupted your studies and you want to discuss your case please contact the Assistant Registrar for Admissions & Compliance.

Time limits on duration of study in the UK

There is a maximum time limit for study in the UK under the new Student route Visa.

  • If you are 18 and over and you study at a Foundation degree programme (RQF5) you can spend up to two years. The two-year cap is extended to two years 11 months if:
  • you have never studied in the UK as a Student before; and
  • you are applying for leave to study a two-year course
  • If you study at a degree level programme(RQF6) (BSc Honours/ BSc Honours with Foundation Year/ BSc Honours with Placement Year) the limit is five years. However, the limit may increase to 5 years 11 months if you study with a HEP sponsor who has a track record. RAU is a sponsor with a track record
  • From 5 October 2020, if you study at postgraduate level and above there is no limits on study

If you think you might not be able to complete your new course within the time limit, please contact the Assistant Registrar for Admissions & Compliance for more information.

Please note, you cannot apply for a Student visa to attend your graduation ceremony, neither can you extend your current Student visa for the same purpose. The Student visa is only granted to cover study periods. The graduation ceremony is not considered a study period. If your Student visa expires before the graduation ceremony and you are not switching into another type of UK Visa, then you need to return back home and apply for a Standard Visitor Visa.