Length of visa granted

When will my visa be valid from?

For Tier 4 visa applications made outside the UK, if you are undertaking a course of study that is 6 months or longer, your visa will be valid up to 1 month before the start date of your course, or, 7 days before your “intended travel date” (this is the date you put on your visa application form), whichever is later.  If your visa is granted very close to your course start date, it will be valid from the date the decision is made on your application.

If you are undertaking a course that is less than 6 months, your visa will be valid from up to 7 days before the start date of your course.

For Tier 4 visa applications made within the UK, it will be valid from the date a decision is made on your visa application.


Length of visa granted

The table below explains how much time a Tier 4 (General) student can come to the UK for:

Type of course  Length of course Length of stay allowed
Main course of Study (including Sabbatical Officers) 12 months or more The full length of the course plus four months after the end of the course
Six months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course plus two months after the end of the course
Less than six months The full length of the course plus seven days after the end of the course
Pre-sessional courses 12 months or more The full length of the course plus four months after the end of the course
Six months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course plus two months after the end of the course
Less than six months The full length of the course plus one month after the end of the course
Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised Foundation programme The full length of the course (up to a maximum of three years) plus one month after the end of the course


If your course is 6 months or longer, you will receive a 30 day vignette (sticker called Entry Clearance) in your passport and a decision letter confirming how to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card once you arrive in the UK.  You should check all details are correct in your Entry Clearance, your offer letter and then your BRP once you have received these.

What if there is an error on my Entry Clearance visa?

When you receive your visa, you should check that everything is correct on the Entry Clearance and also in the accompanying letter you receive (for example, your name and date of birth, it states Tier 4 Student, duration of leave etc).

If any of your details are incorrect, ask for it to be changed immediately, preferably before you travel to the UK.  However, if there is no time for the error to be corrected before you travel please contact International Support who should be able to provide you with information on how to correct this on arrival to the UK. 

What if there is an error on my BRP?

If there is an error on your BRP card please contact international support and advise them of the error and they should then be able to provide you with information on how to correct this.