Swansea University

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

As of April 2013, any PhD student with a valid Tier 4 visa and nearing successful completion of their degree is eligible to apply to extend their leave to remain in the UK for a further 12 months. The intention of this scheme is to enable students to find skilled employment, to undertake work experience or to set up as an entrepreneur.

An application to this scheme must be made before your current Tier 4 student visa expires and up to 60 days before your degree is awarded. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is also a requirement, which means the University will continue to act as your sponsor and maintaining regular contact with us will be a condition of your visa once admitted to the scheme.  

If you believe you may be eligible for this scheme, please contact our International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) to discuss making an application. We strongly advise you register your interest or intention to apply prior to submitting your thesis to ensure a timely application can be made.

Your obligations while on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)

  • To keep your contact details (residential address, telephone number and email address) up to date with Academic Services at all times;
  • To adhere to the working conditions attached to your visa;
    • Standard Tier 4 conditions apply (e.g. limited work permissions) until your Doctorate award has been confirmed;
    • Once you have submitted your DES application and your Doctorate award has been confirmed you may work without restrictions (however you still cannot work as a Doctor or Dentist in training or as a sportsperson, including coaches);
    • To adhere to the University’s DES monitoring policy and respond promptly to any correspondence (this is likely to be via email) from the University during your sponsorship on the scheme. Your contact points will be in October, January, April and July. If you do not respond to contact from the University it will be obliged to inform the Home Office and your visa may be cancelled;
    • To inform the University if you are no longer participating in the scheme or if you leave the UK permanently;
    • To leave the UK or to switch into a different immigration category (e.g. Tier 2) before your visa expires.

Swansea University’s obligations:

During your sponsorship under the DES scheme, the University is required to inform the Home Office of the following circumstances:

  • Confirm whether you have completed, failed or been awarded a lower qualification than a doctorate (e.g. MPhil);
  • Vouch that you understand your obligation to abide by the conditions of your leave
  • Maintain contact with you, at least quarterly and probably by e-mail
  • Notify the UKVI of some specified events, for example:
    • If you fail your course or are awarded a lower qualification;
    • If you miss an agreed contact;
    • If you permanently leave the UK or you switch into another immigration category;
    • If you are no longer participating in the scheme.

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