Length of visa granted and time limits - Visas and immigration - University of Derby

Length of visa granted and time limits

Once your visa is granted the length of time it will be valid for will depend on the length of your course. The length of time you are granted is as follows:

Type of course

Length of course

Length of stay allowed

Main course of study

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

What if there is a mistake on the length of time I have been given?

Please visit the Visa Errors page for guidance on what to do when there is a mistake on your visa.

What are time limits?

There is a time limit (or ‘cap’) on how long you can be in the UK on a Tier 4 visa. You must provide the University with details of any previous courses you have studied in the UK and under what visa categories to ensure that you can study at Derby without worrying about the time limit. The time limit depends on what courses you have studied and/or will be studying in the UK.

How is the time limit calculated?

UKVI count in months and will include the total length of your visa when calculating the time limit. This includes the extra periods that are granted after the end of your course. Please use the above table for reference.

What is the time limit for study below degree level?

The time limit for any study undertaken below degree level (NQF level 5 or below) is two years. This includes courses such as the International Foundation Programme, HNDs and Foundation degrees. Any course that leads to a qualification at or below NQF level 5 is included in this time limit.

Are there any exceptions?

You will not be subject to the two year limit if you were studying a course in the UK:

  • Whilst under the Student visa rules that were in place before the 31st March 2009
  • As a Tier 4 (General) student when you were 16 or 17 years old
  • As a Tier 4 (Child) student when you were 17 or under
  • Under any other visa category that allows study

What is the time limit for study at or above degree level?

The time limit for any study undertaken at or above degree level (NQF level 6/7) is five years. Any course that leads to a qualification at NQF level 6 (Bachelors degrees) or level 7 (Masters degrees) is included in this time limit. As well as Tier 4 this also applies to any study that was undertaken whilst on the Student visa route that was in place before the launch of Tier 4 on the 31st March 2009.

Are there any exceptions?

Any time spent in the UK studying courses in the following subject areas will be exempt:

  • Architecture
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine and Science
  • Certain Music and professional Law courses

The only eligible courses at Derby are those within the Architecture subject area.

What if I need a visa extension and I am over the time limit?

If applying for a visa means you will be over the time limit then you may not be able to apply for another Tier 4 visa. You will need to speak to an advisor with regards to your options.

What about Research students?

Research students are exempt and do not have a time limit on their study. However, if you have already completed a research programme and wish to study another, you will be subject to an eight year time limit. This time limit will include all previous study, including your first research programme.