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Frequently asked questions

We have a large variety of individual scenarios, questions and cases regarding Tier 4 visas. We therefore receive a lot of queries, some of which are quite similar.

We have therefore created some ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ to help you with your query.  Along with our other webpages, Home Office guidance and UKCISA, these should be used as your first source of information and should make it easier and faster for you to access the information you require.

You may find the answer to your query on our webpages or the frequently asked questions below.  However if you cannot find the answer to your query, please contact the Home Office Compliance team via email or telephone.

Alternatively, see here for information on how to make a same day appointment with the Home Office Compliance team.

Q.  Why am I required to attend International check-in, and then again the following year?

One of our responsibilities as a Tier 4 sponsor is that we must keep records of the following immigration documents for all students whose nationality is from a  country outside of the EU/EAA (this could include students who have been fee assessed as ‘Home EU’):

  • current visa
  • current passport
  • ATAS Certificate (if applicable)
  • documents used to assess the student credibility  for the course

All of the above documents are checked at International Check-in when you first register for your course and are stored on your student record.  To allow you to register for each year of your course, we need to check your original visa and passport again to complete the process.  Please see here for more information about registration.

Q. Can I register from outside the UK if I am unable to physically attend the University?

In order to formally join the University you need to attend International Check-In in person with your original documents and then complete online registration. This is a strict requirement for the majority of programmes. If you cannot attend the registration event we will discuss other options with you which may involve deferring your studies or taking an interruption of study.

In a very small number of cases where there is no attendance requirement at the University at the point of registration, we can review your individual circumstances and complete registration in your absence.  This facility is strictly controlled and is limited to split-site programmes, distance learning programmes or Postgraduate Research programmes for students on confirmed periods of data collection.  Please see here for more information about registration.

Q.  What is the attendance monitoring policy?


The University is required under Home Office Regulations to monitor and record all Tier 4 students’ attendance at the University.  The University of Salford therefore monitors your attendance at lectures or meetings with your academic supervisor.

The University of Salford’s attendance monitoring policy requires you to have your attendance monitoring form/postgraduate research form signed and dated by your lecturer or supervisor and to submit this to Salford Advantage.  How often you do this and the deadlines for submitting your forms will depend on your level of study.  You can find information about what to do, depending on your situation, here.  

Q. What do I need to do for the attendance monitoring process? 

You must complete and submit attendance monitoring forms on a weekly basis if you are on a taught programme or research supervision record forms on a monthly basis if you are on a research programme.  You must get your lecturer or Academic Supervisor to sign your form and you must then upload this to Salford Advantage. You must submit your attendance form on time each week/month. Late submissions will not be accepted.  You can find more information about the attendance monitoring process here.  

Q. Are there any situations where I do not need to submit my attendance monitoring form? 

You are not required to submit an attendance monitoring form during designated holiday periods or exam periods on your course.  During University exam periods your attendance will be monitored at the exam and during holiday periods your attendance is not required.

Q. My lecturer/supervisor is away and I am not able to have my attendance form signed.  What should I do?

You must submit an attendance form each week (for Taught programmes) or month (for Research programmes).

If your lecturer is away, you should be able to have your form signed at another teaching event during the same week.  If your supervisor is away, you should meet with your co-supervisor or personal tutor instead and they should sign this form for you.  

Q. I am ill and have therefore not been able to attend classes.  What should I do?

If you are ill for a few days, you may still be able to attend lectures at the beginning or end of the teaching week or be able to re-arrange your dissertation/research supervision session.  If this is the case, make sure you submit your attendance monitoring form/ postgraduate research form to Salford Advantage on time.


If you are unwell for up to 7 days and miss a full weeks’ worth of teaching, you must fill out a self-certificate form and submit this to Salford Advantage on time.

Applying for a CAS for the same course

If you are a current student and your programme end date has changed, you may wish to extend your visa.  If this is the case you will require a new CAS number.  You apply for this here.

Q. I have extended my programme, can I definitely get a new CAS to cover the extension?

If you get a study extension this does not automatically mean you can have a visa extension.  There are Home Office regulations surrounding Tier 4 visa extensions that are subject to frequent change and are different from the University’s academic extension policy.

In addition, your academic supervisor will have to confirm whether you require academic support during the extension period. If academic support is not required, a new CAS cannot be issued. We will look at each individual situation on its own basis to determine whether a CAS can be issued and the outcome will then be communicated to you.

Please note: If you are eligible for a new CAS, it is likely you will not be able to extend your visa from inside the UK.  Please see here for more information.

Applying for a CAS for a new course

If you are a new student or are applying for a new course, please contact the admissions CAS team via Salford-CAS@salford.ac.uk.

Q. How do I make a Tier 4 visa application from inside the UK?

If you are eligible to make an in-country Tier 4 visa application, you can apply online here.  

You must complete and submit the online form and pay all relevant fees for the application to be accepted. You must then send your original supporting documents to UKVI within 15 working days for your application to be processed. 

Once you have received your visa, we will need to see it and update your student record.  Please make a same day appointment to see the team.

Q. Can I go home and make my new or extended visa application from there?

You can return to your home country to make your visa application if you wish. However, you will need to use a different application system – as you did when you first entered the UK. You can access the system here.

Q. Can the University help me to make my new visa application? 

If you are an international student already registered at the University and are applying for your Tier 4 visa from within the UK you can use the ‘Check and Send’ scheme.  This scheme ensures your Tier 4 visa application and supporting documents are correct before being submitted to the Home Office. 

We can advise you on filling-in the application form, correct any mistakes that might delay or create problems with your application and manage the flow of documents that the Home Office will send to you. This scheme is designed to reduce the risk of your application being refused and to take the stress out of the application process for you. 

Q. How long will it take to receive my new visa?

Whether you apply for your new visa individually or via the University’s ‘Check and Send’ scheme, the average processing time to receive your new visa is six - eight weeks (if you use the standard service). Please note, this timeframe can increase significantly during August, September and October.

Q. Can I extend my Tier 4 visa to attend Graduation?

You cannot extend your Tier 4 visa purely for Graduation purposes. If your visa expires before your Graduation ceremony then you must return home and apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to return.

You will need a Graduation letter, which you can request here.  If you would like to bring family members, please see here for information on what you do need to.  

For more information about Graduation, please see here.

Q. How do I apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to attend the Graduation Ceremony? 

You can make an application for a Standard Visitor Visa though the Home Office website.

There are no strict financial requirements you need to meet for the Standard Visitor Visa but you must be able to show that you have sufficient personal funds to be able to support yourself for your trip. It is advisable to use the Home Office Tier 4 maintenance requirement(s) as a guide and where possible meet this level of funds.

Please note: You must be outside of the UK to apply for this visa or your application will be refused.
For more information about Graduation, please see here.

Q. Do I need a sponsor letter?

If you have received financial sponsorship from a government or international scholarship agency within the last 12 months, you will be required to provide a letter of consent from your financial sponsor with your Tier 4 application which must  confirm that they have no objection to your remaining  in  the UK under the DES.

Q. When do I apply?

You can only apply 60 days prior to your expected end date.  This must also be before your current Tier 4 visa expires.

Q. How much does it cost to apply for a CAS for the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

The cost of obtaining a CAS from the University for the Doctorate Extension Scheme is £100 (non-refundable) and this must be paid before a CAS will be issued by the University.  

Q. Can the Home Office Compliance Team send my application to the Home Office on my behalf?

Yes, we will submit the application for you through the Check and Send scheme.  You should make an appointment to meet an adviser when you have your CAS and your application is ready for checking.

Q.  What happens once my application has been submitted to the Home Office?

Once your visa application has been submitted online and you have paid your fee, you have 15 days in which to submit your supporting documents to the Home Office and we will arrange this for you.  You will receive a letter from the Home Office asking you  to  provide  your  biometric  details (fingerprints and facial image) at a designated Post Office.  Once you have done this, your application will be processed by a caseworker who will decide the outcome of your application.

Your documents and new visa (Biometric Residence Permit) will be posted back to the Home Office Compliance team, who will contact you to come and collect your documents from us.

Q. How long will my new visa be valid for?

Your new visa will be issued for 12 months from the expected course end date on your CAS.

Q. I completed my PhD whilst on a short term visa.  Can I apply under this provision?

No, you can only apply if you have valid Tier 4 leave and have not yet completed your PhD/doctorate.

Q.  My visa expires between my thesis submission and course completion date.  Can I apply?

No, you can only apply if you have current Tier 4 leave when you complete your course.  If your leave expires before you complete your course, you must apply for further leave as a Tier 4 student if you wish to make a subsequent application for the DES.

Q. What type of work can I do under this provision?

Once you have applied under this scheme and your PhD has been granted, you have no restriction on the type of work you can do or the number of hours you can work, except to be employed as a doctor/dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson (including coaches). You are able  to  be self-employed.

Q. Can I bring dependents with me under the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

Yes, if you wish to be joined by dependents who are currently overseas your family members can apply for entry clearance under the established rules for Tier 4 dependants.  Dependants who are already in the UK can stay, providing they meet the rules.

Q. Can I leave and re-enter the UK once I have my Doctorate Extension Scheme visa?

Yes, you are permitted to re-enter the UK at any time during the validity of your leave.

Q.  What if I was required to apply to extend my Tier 4 student visa to complete my PhD before applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and my application is still being considered, but I am now in a position to apply under the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

You can apply to vary your Tier 4 (General) application to a DES application.  If you are in this situation, we advise you to make an appointment to meet with a visa adviser who will be able to assist you. You will be required to submit a new DES application with supporting documents  and  enclose a covering letter stating you are requesting to vary your application. We will be able to submit this new application to the Home Office on your behalf.

Q. Do I have to pay council tax under the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

Yes, as council tax regulations are not linked to immigration status. One of the criteria for exemption from council tax is attendance on a course which involves at least 21 hours study each week, so if you have DES immigration permission you will have to pay it as you are no longer studying.

Q. My application has not been approved, what should I do?

If you have not fulfilled the criteria for admittance on to the scheme you will not be able to remain in the UK. If you require further advice, contact the Home Office Compliance Team.

Q. What about an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)?

If you were required to obtain ATAS clearance for your PhD studies, your ATAS certificate should still be valid.  If your ATAS certificate is not valid, please seek advice from the Home Office Compliance Team.

This might have happened for a number of reasons.  There might be missing documents (for example bank statements), you might have submitted copies of certain documents instead of original versions or you may not have met all the Tier 4 rules (for example the lack of necessary funds in your bank account for a period of 28 consecutive days).

If this happens, let us know and we will advise you on what you should do next.  It might be possible to ask for an administrative review on the decision, so please get in touch with us without delay.