Making a Tier 4 Visa Application
Applying inside the UK
You can make a Tier 4 leave to remain (visa) application inside the UK if you currently have valid immigration permission in one of the categories listed on the UKVI website . You can apply for your visa online using the UKVI website.
Although you will submit your application online, you will need to post your documents to UKVI (we always recommend using Recorded Delivery or Special Delivery at the Post Office). Alternatively, you may prefer to make an in-person (Premium) Appointment at a UKVI Public Enquiry Office. This is the fastest way to apply but is a lot more expensive. Please be aware that during the busiest months of August and September, it may be very difficult to book a Premium Appointment. It is very important that you allow enough time to apply for your visa to enable you to register for your course in time.
You must submit your Tier 4 application before your current visa expires. If your visa expires more than 28 days before the start date of any new course, you must return to your home country and apply from there.
Please also note that, following changes to the Immigration Rules in November 2015, you can only apply to extend your Tier 4 visa inside the UK if you have successfully completed the course for which your current Tier 4 visa was issued for. If not, you will have to leave the UK and submit your application in your home country. Please bear this in mind if you have needed to change courses during your time studying in the UK and need to extend your Tier 4 visa.
Applying outside the UK
If you are applying from outside the UK, the UKVI website has a list of where and how to apply, and the cost of application. When you apply you should also be sure to take the relevant documentation. If you need help with your visa application, British Council offices and the British High Commission can provide assistance. You cannot apply for your visa more than three months before the start of your course.
A useful video that gives an overview of the visa application process can be found at the website www.weareinternational.org.uk.
Please visit the UKVI website for details of how much a visa application will cost.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
If you have made your Tier 4 visa application from outside of the UK to enter for more than six months, you will not receive your Tier 4 visa for your course before leaving for the UK. Instead, you will be given a 30 day temporary entry clearance visa, which will be placed in your passport. Within 10 days of arriving in the UK, you will then need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This is a plastic card that acts as the visa for the length of your course. UKVI will inform you if you need to collect a BRP in the UK. You will need to present this to Brunel University London in order to enrol, as you will not be allowed to enrol using just the temporary entry clearance visa.
Please note that you will not need to collect a BRP if you are coming to the UK for less than six months, for example to undertake a short Pre-sessional English course. The visa placed in your passport will cover your period of study in the UK.
Where can I collect my BRP?
If you are required to collect a BRP after arriving in the UK, there will be two possible places where you can collect it. This will depend on the option you select when you complete your Tier 4 (General) visa application form. The form will ask you to a question about where you would like to collect your BRP:
1. Collect your BRP at a Post Office: The form will ask you to input the UK postcode of the address you will be living at when you come to the UK. If your Tier 4 visa application is successful, you will then be given instructions of which Post Office you need to go to in order to collect your BRP. This will be a Post Office close to where you will be living as indicated on your Tier 4 application form. Please note that it will be your responsibility to ensure that you collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. You will need to collect it before you can enrol for your course.
If you choose this option, please be aware that there may be significant waiting times at the post office during busy times of the year.
2. Collect your BRP at Brunel University London: If you wish, UKVI will send your BRP to Brunel University London for you to collect here. In order to do this, when completing your Tier 4 application form you will need to enter our Alternative Collection Code (ACL), which we will give you on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email. You will then collect your BRP from the Student Centre within 10 days of arriving in the UK. You will need to bring your Passport and the letter that UKVI will give you to confirm your BRP collection.
We would recommend that you select this option, particularly if you intend to stay in our on-campus accommodation or live near to the University, as you will need your BRP to enrol on your course.