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  2. Tier 4 Doctorate Scheme
International students

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

PhD students will be able to apply for a further leave of 12 months under the Doctorate Extension Scheme (Tier 4).

About the scheme

An application for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) must be made from within the UK - you cannot apply for it from overseas. You can only apply if you have valid Tier 4 student immigration permission at the time you make this application. The fee for this application is the same as a Tier 4 student extension application, and you would apply as though you are applying for a Tier 4 visa, but make sure you tick the box on the form to confirm you are applying for the DES.

The visa will be granted for a period of 12 months from your expected course end date as stated on the new CAS. You will not be able to make a further application under this scheme but you may extend your stay under Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the point based immigration system if you meet the requirements. More information can be found on the Tier 4 DES FAQs. Unlike Tier 4, the DES will allow you to be self-employed or work as an entertainer, but you still cannot work as a professional sportsperson or coach or as a doctor or dentist in training.

Before you apply

  • Applications must be made in the UK and within 60 days prior to your expected PhD award date
  • The application needs to be made under Tier 4 and to be sponsored by City, University of London.
  • You will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Please note that a CAS cannot be assigned more than 60 days before your expected PhD award date. You will be advised of the expected award date once your have completed your viva - the expected award date will depend on whether you have corrections, and how long you have been assigned to complete these. You can then contact us to request a CAS. We will need to see evidence that you meet the financial requirements in order to request this

How to apply

You need to complete an online Tier 4 Student form and pay your fee before printing off your application and sending it to the Home Office with your supporting documents.

Required supporting documents for your application

  • Application fees
    £457 (from 6 April 2017) by post or £1,047 (from 6 April 2017) in person, plus £150 per year for health surcharge. We encourage you to read our Immigration Health Surcharge FAQs.
  • Passport(s)
    You should submit any passports that you have ever used to enter the UK
  • 2 Photographs
    Make sure that you check the Home Office photo guidance before taking them in the UK within one month of your application
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement
    CAS can only be assigned within 60 days prior your expected PhD award date (2 months from your correction deadline). Please email the International Student Advice team to request a CAS for your Doctorate Extension Scheme application.
  • Maintenance
    You need to demonstrate that you have held at least £2,530 in your bank account for a minimum of 28 days before making your application. More information about Tier 4 and funds can be found under the Tier 4 student visa pages.
  • Police Registration Certificate
    If you are required to register with the police, you must submit an up-to-date police registration certificate including your current visa status and address.
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate
    The government has confirmed that ATAS is not required for DES applicants.