Applying for Tier 4 - current students

Using LSE guidance

We have used all the information available from the Home Office, the UK Council for International Student Affairs and Registry to write specific detailed guidance for LSE students and we advise you to start here.

Step 1: Read the  Comprehensive ISIS Tier 4 (General) Application Guide  

This explains everything you need to know to apply for Tier 4:

  • Can you apply?
  • Documents to get a CAS
  • Completing the forms
  • Financial Requirements
  • Supporting Documents
  • How and when to apply
  • What to do after you apply
  • What to do when you obtain your Tier 4 visa
  • How ISIS can help you
  • Checklist 

We have listed a clear contents page which guides you through which sections you need to read.

Please take your time and read it carefully! if you pay attention to the detail, you will avoid having any problems which might delay your application or lead to your application being refused. We advise you not to read it on your phone. Take your time, read it on a larger screen or print it out.   Even if you have applied for a Tier 4 visa recently, it's important to read our guide as the rules and procedures change frequently.

A guide to applying for the Tier 4 (General) Student visa for current LSE students| [pdf]

Step 2: Use our guide to help you complete the application forms

Detailed step by step guides to completing the application form.

Applying inside UK. 

How to complete the application forms in the UK (pdf)|

Applying outside UK. You will need to open this file in Internet Explorer to access the information included in the guide.

How to complete the Tier 4 application form overseas| [pdf]

As part of your application, you must enrol your biometric information (scan of fingerprints and digital photo of your face).  See the link on the right hand side of this page for detailed information.  If you apply in the UK, you will be able to enrol your information at the Post Office. For details of the process go to:

Post Office - biometric enrolment|

Using Home Office website

If you are applying outside the UK, the page below has a summary of the process and you can check if you can apply online (most countries).  If you apply online, you will still need to submit paper documents and your passport.  

Home Office website - applying outside the UK |

Choose the link "Apply".

If you are applying inside the UK, the page below has links to the Tier 4 policy guidance and you can click "Extend your Visa" to find the application form:

Home Office website - applying inside the UK|

Other useful sources of advice

In addition the UK Council for International Affairs (UKCISA) provides free impartial advice and guidance on their website and over the phone. Many students use online forums and blogs but we advise you to always check with official sources as it is very easy to get the wrong advice from someone whose situation may seem similar to you.  The rules are detailed and they change regularly.


When can you apply?

If you are in the UK and continuing on your programme, you must apply before your current visa expires.  If you need to extend your stay in the UK, you can apply up to a maximum of six months before your visa expires (LSE cannot issue a CAS any earlier than this).  Straightforward applications take up to 8 weeks to be processed.

If you have had a break in your studies and are applying for a Tier 4 visa to return, you can apply up to three months before the return date of your programme (the date will be listed on your CAS) and you can return to the UK up to one week or one month before your return date.  Applications outside the UK usually take around 4 weeks but check on the webpages for your country to check the processing times where you apply

Questions or Problems

Please use our guidance to answer your questions - see the link to the detailed ISIS guidance on the right hand side of this page.  If you can't find the answers you are looking for, please come to our drop in service or e-mail us.

If you have a problem with your application or your application has been refused please contact ISIS immediately and we will do everything we can to help.  

You must also inform Registry if your Tier 4 application is refused as your record needs to be updated with this information and LSE is required to inform the Home Office - you can e-mail them at: |