As well as the time limits UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) place on your student visa, there are also rules about making progress as you complete one course and start another.
Academic progression means that your next course is at a higher level than the one you have just passed. For example, doing a Masters after finishing your Undergraduate Degree.
If you would like to apply for your tier 4 visa from within the UK, you need to show academic progression or that one of the following is true. If not, you can apply for a tier 4 visa from your home country, as long as you are within the time limits of your student visas.
You do not need to show academic progression if any of the following apply to you:
- You are applying outside of the UK.
- You are repeating a year or module, or are returning from a period of interrupting your studies.
- You are doing a PhD and are extending visa to continue your research.
- You are applying to extend your visa because you are or have just been a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.
- You are applying to extend your visa because you have added a year in industry or a period of studying abroad.
- You are applying to move to an Integrated Masters, from a Bachelor’s Degree or an Integrated PhD from a Master’s Degree
- You are applying under the Doctoral Extension Scheme
- You are applying for, or returning from, an intercalating course as part of your medical, dental or veterinary science degree.
There are some circumstances where you can apply for a new course at the same level that you have just completed, for example, studying a second Master’s Degree. If you would like to do this, you have to show that:
- The new course is related to the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 leave (meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation) or
- Your previous and new course combined, support your career aspirations.
Gov.UK Tier 4 guidance - see from page 77