On 24 March, the government released new guidance for for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus:

Visa - Apply for your Tier 4 visa from OUTSIDE the UK (Entry Clearance)

If you are applying for your Tier 4 from your home country, please read our Guide to visa application outside the UK. Remember to email Visa Immigration Support and Advice (VISA) Team if you require any assistance with your application. or GCU London:‌

Applying for your Tier 4 visa from INSIDE the UK (Leave to Remain)

All applications for Tier 4 and Tier 4 dependants are now submitted online, using the UKVI online application form. The fee is £475 (and £475 for each dependant application). For Priority Service applications the total fee is the standard fee plus £500 per person and Super Priority applications the total fee is the standard fee plus £800 per person. 

You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you are already in the UK. In order to apply for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK your new course of studies must start no more than 28 days after the end of your current leave. If the gap between the end of your current leave and the start of your new course (as stated on your CAS) is longer than 28 days then you must leave the UK and apply from your home country.
If you are repeating one or more modules you can extend your existing Tier 4 visa to stay in the UK and attend class or repeat your dissertation. If you only have exams or coursework re-submission without attendance you must go home before your visa expires and apply for a Short-Term Study visa to return to the UK and complete your studies. You can find more information on the Short-Term Study page

If you are applying from inside the UK, it is mandatory to apply through VISA. We will advise you on your documents, check your form, upload your supporting documents and book your biometric appointment. Our leaflet provides general information on the service and contact details Visa Immigration Support and Advice.

Our handy guide to Tier 4 online applications will provide support on how to fill out each section of the online form. Please stop when instructed to do so in the guide as your CAS details are provided once the VISA Advisor has checked your answers and all supporting documents are ready to submit.

The new process requires all applicants to attend an appointment with the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) to submit their supporting documents to the Home Office electronically. Documents will be uploaded prior to the appointment but all originals should be taken in case of issues.

You will pay for your Biometric Enrolment  (£19.20) as part of the online application fee and you will complete the biometric enrolment at your appointment.  If you wish a priority appointment with this service an additional fee of £100 per person is charged.

Please note: NO travel outside the UK before you receive a decision

Applicants under the new system keep their passport throughout the application process. If you leave the Common Travel Area (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and travel on the passport you used in your application before the Home Office makes a decision, you are automatically treated as having withdrawn your application. Your Immigration Health Surcharge should be refunded, but your application fee will not be refunded. You will usually have to make another immigration application before returning to the UK.

It is important that you speak to an advisor before you withdraw your application as doing so is likely to have consequences both for your current immigration status and for any future immigration you may make.

Tier 4 Licence

GCU is required to have a Tier 4 licence to sponsor students to come to the UK on Tier 4 visas. We have many obligations and duties as a Tier 4 Sponsor, and you as our student also have certain responsibilities.

Immigration Health Surcharge

You may need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’) as part of your immigration application.

This amount is a single payment and applicants will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave which could be granted under the immigration rules. If the period of leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount is payable i.e. £300 for students and dependants per year. If this period of leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that part of a year is half the specified amount, i.e. £150 for students and dependants.

Note that the Order refers to length of leave, not length of course, so the additional periods at the start and end of a course are taken into account when calculating the immigration health charge.

You will be required to make the payment during the VISA appointment during your submission of your application.

Visa Refusal

Any Tier 4 visa refusal with a CAS from GCU is counted against the University's sponsor licence. To this end, VISA provides all current and prospective students at GCU with up-to-date and accurate visa advice, and is the only department at GCU that can offer this.

If you are applying from your home country, please ensure that you read our guide on applying for your visa from overseas, and please email us: or advice@GCU if you have any questions about your form or documents.

If you are applying from inside the UK, it is mandatory to apply through VISA We will advise you on your documents, check your form, and send your application for you.


It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes/lectures/tutorials/lab sessions and other timetabled parts of your programme. If you cannot attend due to illness or personal reasons, then you must inform your School immediately, advising on when you expect to return. You may be asked to produce medical certificates to explain any absence from class, so it is essential that you are registered with a GP (doctor).

One of GCU's duties as a sponsor is to notify the UKVI if your attendance becomes below acceptable University levels without explanation which will lead to your visa being curtailed (shortened) and you will have to leave the UK. If your illness will lead to you missing a larger part of your programme, your School may ask you to take some time out from your studies to recover and return at a later date. Please contact or for further advice on what you would need to do in this situation.

If you need to leave the UK for any reason (academic/personal) during your studies, then you must get this authorised by your School to request 'Permission to Leave'. Absence during term-time will only be authorised for a very short time, and in special situations. If agreed, then you must abide by whatever arrangement is made, and not return any later than the date agreed. Again, contact VISA for further advice on this. You will be required to provide flight evidence and entry stamp to the VISA team.

Further information on how to protect your student status can be found in our leaflet Protecting Your Student Visa Status 2019If you leave the UK our leaflet Leaving and Re-entering the UK gives advice and useful tips.

Changing Personal/Contact Details

Remember to keep us up to date with any changes in your personal circumstances. If your contact details (email address, postal address, phone number) change, please update these at the Registry at the Campus Life Desk, Level 1 George Moore Building. GCU London students can update these at the Student Desk.

If your postal address in the UK changes while you have a visa application in progress, please speak to VISA for advice on notifying the Home Office. Important visa information will be sent to you via University email account, so please ensure that you check your university email every day.

Protecting Your Tier 4 Status

For further reading on the conditions of Tier 4, please read UKCISA's information on Protecting Your Tier 4 Student Immigration Status, and our VISA's leaflet Protecting Your Student Visa Status 2019