Doctorate extension scheme

This scheme is provided by the UKVI to give students who have almost finished their UK PhD or other doctorate qualification an additional 12 months of Tier 4 (General) immigration permission in which to look for and start work in the UK after they have qualified.

The university can sponsor you on the doctorate extension scheme under its Tier 4 licence and will continue to monitor contact with you whilst on the scheme. We will contact you twice during the 12-month period by email (as per the Doctoral Extension Scheme requirement) and you must respond within 10 days each time you are contacted, otherwise our sponsorship will be withdrawn. You may read more information regarding eligibility for the scheme, and the method of application below:

It is important that you take responsibility for the timing of your application to the Doctoral Extension Scheme. It is vital that you submit an application to the Home Office before your PhD is conferred and before your current Tier 4 leave expires.

Eligibility for the Doctoral Extension Scheme:

  • You can only make an application for this scheme from the UK, prior to the award of your doctorate.
  • You must have Tier 4 immigration permission in order to be eligible to apply to the scheme.
  • If your immigration permission does not allow you to apply in the UK under Tier 4, you cannot apply under this scheme
  • You cannot have a CAS (a Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance for studies) to enable you to apply for the scheme until you are within 60 days of the expected award for your doctorate course.
  • You cannot have a CAS if your doctorate has been awarded. Therefore, it is crucial you make it known to the University that you wish to apply for the Scheme 3 months before the expected award of your doctorate. The “expected end date” is defined as the date the PhD is expected to be formally confirmed, by the sponsor, as completed to the standard required for the award of a PhD. This date is often difficult to know in advance but should be confirmed when you have had your viva. At this time it will become clearer to you how much further work and time is required before your doctorate will be awarded. Once you have attended your viva, you will need to ensure that you keep the Immigration Compliance Manager and the International Student Advisor informed about the outcome. If you are required to make major corrections and resubmit your thesis you may need to defer applying under this scheme.
  • This expected end date may turn out to be different from the date which was included in your original CAS for study for a doctorate.
  • You must have held your funds for 28 days or longer before the date of your application so you must plan ahead and make sure that the level of your funds does not go below the minimum required level at any time during the 28-day period. You are required to hold two months of maintenance. Please consult with the International Student Advisor who can help with the calculation. It is extremely important that you check that you complete the application fully and provide all the relevant documents including the correct fee, attend your biometrics appointment and provide photographs in the specified format. If you fail to meet the requirements, your application will be rejected as invalid. If this happens and your current immigration permission has expired, you will no longer have current leave. This then means you will not be able to apply under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.
  • You should contact the International Student Advisor as soon as you have submitted your thesis or 3 months before your visa expiry date – whichever happens to be sooner. They will discuss your options and the application process with you.
  • If you have been financially supported by a government or international scholarship organisation during your studies, you must provide the unconditional written consent of your financial sponsor for this application under the doctorate extension scheme. This requirement only applies if the sponsorship covers all your tuition fees and living costs.   

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Last edited: 15/12/2018 20:19:00