Academic Progression 

UK VISA & Immigration (UKVI) made changes to the academic progression rule for Tier 4 students in April 2016. This webpage includes important information for Tier 4 (General) visa holders who may be affected the changes.

It is particularly important if you:

  • are on a placement or considering going on placement in future
  • are considering transferring or required to transfer to another programme
  • are a Postgraduate students who have recently applied for, or intend to apply for an extension to the submission date for final dissertation
  • have or are due to sit or retake a module

The academic progression rule is in place to ensure that you are progressing academically if you wish to study a further course in the UK, and are not merely seeking to extend your stay in the UK. The Home Office require Tier 4 sponsors to include a statement in a student's Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) confirming that the student will be making academic progress on the course they have applied for, from any study previously undertaken in the UK.

To demonstrate academic progression, your new course must normally be above the level of the previous course for which you were given Tier 4 leave. For example, if your previous course was at Bachelor Degree level or equivalent your next course should be at least Masters or above. In order to demonstrate academic progression you must have successfully completed the previous course for which you were last granted Tier 4 leave. This means you must have achieved the qualification for which you were previously granted a Tier 4 visa.

Failure to evidence the academic progression requirement would result in a visa refusal.

Further Guidance

As a result of the changes, some students who need additional time on their visa may not be able to extend their visa in the UK and may need to leave the UK in order to make their Tier 4 (General) visa application. 

Please refer to the FAQs below for more information.

FAQs on academic progression


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