How to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Visa

Find out how you can apply for your Tier 4 visa

Before you apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa, we recommend you read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance document and prepare all your supporting documentation, such as:

Please use the tabs below to find out how you can apply for your Tier 4 student visa either from outside the UK, or within the UK. You can find up-to-date application fees for both options on the website.

If you have any questions about your application, please contact the International Student Adviser by emailing

Applying from Outside the UK

This is also known as applying for ‘Entry Clearance’.

You must apply online for a Tier 4 (General) visa unless you are applying from North Korea.

You will be able to apply for your visa up to 3 months before your course start date; we recommend you make your application as early as possible to avoid any delay in you enroling at AUB. You can use the UKVI’s Guide to visa Processing Times to find out how long your visa application should take.

As part of the application process, you will be required to enrol your biometric information; your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken. How this is arranged will depend on the country that you are applying from. Usually you will need to do this in person at your nearest Visa Application Centre.

As part of your visa application, you may be asked to attend a credibility interview.

Once your visa has been issued, you will be issued with a 30-day travel vignette in your passport and an accompanying letter confirming your visa conditions and information about how you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card on your arrival in the UK. You must travel to the UK within the duration of your 30-day travel vignette.

After you have arrived in the UK, you will need to collect your BRP card within 10 days. Your BRP will act as your visa and must be kept in a safe place – it will contain information such as the period and conditions of your leave and must be taken with you when you leave the UK so you are able to re-enter on your return.


Applying from Inside the UK

If you are currently in the UK, you may be able to ‘extend’ or ‘switch’ your leave; this means applying for a new period of leave (visa) from within the UK.

To find out whether you will be able to apply from inside the UK, we recommend you read UKCISA’s advice page, ‘Can you apply in the UK?’, which clearly explains who is eligible for this option.

If you are eligible to ‘extend’ your visa or ‘switch’ to Tier 4 in the UK, you should do so during the last 3 months of your current permission to stay. Please be aware of when your permission to be in the UK is due to expire and plan ahead to make sure you are able apply on-time.

To find out how you can apply from inside the UK, please download and read our How to Extend your Visa guide, which also contains information about the different stages of the process and how AUB can help you to submit your application.