Student Immigration Service

When to apply for a Tier 4 visa outside the UK

You can apply up to 3 months before your programme starts, and the process normally takes around 3 weeks.

When should I make my visa application?

You can make your application up to 3 months before your programme start date, which will be stated on your CAS

You should aim to make your Tier 4 visa application as early as possible, once you have gathered your supporting documents.

You should not make your Tier 4 application more than 3 months in advance of the start date of your programme or your application will be rejected and you will lose your application fee.

How long does the application process take?

The application process from outside the UK normally takes around 15 working days (3 weeks) from the date you attend your appointment at the visa application centre. 

Some countries offer a priority application service which takes 5 working days, and/or a super-priority service which takes 1 day.

Find out if you can make a priority application in your country:

Priority visa application centres

Application process