Leave to remain (visa) application process (for in-country applicants)

Once a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship is issued to an applicant, they must apply for leave to remain in the UK visa within three months of the date that their Certificate of Sponsorship is issued, or before their existing visa expires, whichever is sooner. This applies to all in-country Tier 5 temporary worker applicants. After three months the certificate will lapse and can no longer be used to support a visa application.

With effect from 6 April 2015 those applying for a Tier 5 visa from within the UK, and their dependants, will have to pay the NHS Surcharge in addition to the relevant visa application fees when submitting their visa applications. The NHS Surcharge is based on the duration of the visa applied for and is charged as a seperate payment when submitting a visa application. If the NHS Surcharge is not paid the visa application will be refused. More information in relation to the NHS Surcharge can be found in the Cost and payment of applications page.

Those applying from within the UK are issued their visa in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (a credit card sized plastic visa card). Guidance in relation to BRPs for in-country applicants can be found on the Home Office website.

Leave to remain (visa) application process

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete the leave to remain application form, although the Staff Immigration Team can offer guidance on this. It is essential to ensure that the applicant has signed the declaration page.

The Staff Immigration Team will, where possible, check Tier 5 leave to remain visa applications from in-country applicants (and from their dependants, where applicable) and submit these to the Home Office on behalf of the applicant.

Please note that the Staff Immigration Team cannot guarantee the successful outcome of any leave to remain application since this decision is made by the Home Office and not by the University.

Where possible, departments and colleges are advised to submit leave to remain visa applications to the Staff Immigration Team no later than eight weeks before the applicant's current visa is due to expire to allow sufficient time for the application to be checked, issues resolved, and submitted to the Home Office.

The Staff Immigration Team cannot guarantee to be able to check any leave to remain applications received later than three working days before the applicant's current visa is due to expire. In such circumstances, the Staff Immigration Team will, where possible, submit the application to the Home Office as it is received.

Applicants are strongly advised not to make any travel plans until they have received their passport and visa back from the Home Office. Once a postal application is made, the Staff Immigration Team cannot request a progress update from the Home Office unless the application has been outstanding for more than six months (although applications rarely take longer than 8 weeks). Unfortunately, the date of return of an applicant's documents cannot be guaranteed.

If the applicant has a spouse or children who also need to extend their leave to remain, their details will need to be completed on the main applicant's application form, but each dependant will also need to complete a separate application form.

Dependants will be required to sign their own application forms, except children, in which case the parent can sign. Dependant applications can be submitted along with the main applicant's application.

If maintenance is not certified by the host department/ college applicants will be required to show that they have held sufficient funds for themself and each dependant to meet the maintenance requirements.

Please see Tier 5 leave to remain (visa) application guidance (in-country) (176kb) for details of the supporting documents that will be needed for this application. The relevant guidance document will be sent to the applicant by the Staff Immigration Team by email together with their Certificate of Sponsorship.

Please note that those applying under this category will be subject to a "genuineness test".

Applying in person

Applicants may make an application for a Tier 5 Leave to Remain visa from within the UK in person at one of the Home Office's Visa Premium Service Centres although this does cost considerably more. The fee for an application made in person is the relevant standard fee plus £590 per person (this includes a £100 appointment fee paid at the time of booking which may be retained if the applicant fails to attend their appointment without good reason, the appointment is cancelled without good reason and not rebooked, or the application is withdrawn before the appointment).

Please note that where the applicant has booked the appointment themselves the fee in respect of all applications to be submitted on the day must be paid in full online prior to the appointment, however, this does not apply if the Staff Immigration Team have secured the appointment as in this case the fees can still be paid in full on the day.

Where an applicant is paying the application fee(s) on the day of the appointment payment can only be made via Credit or Debit card. If payment is being made on the day using a credit or debit card that is not in the applicant's own name the person named on the card must be present to authorise the transaction, and the card must be 'chip and pin' enabled. We would recommend that applicants contact their bank before attending the appointment in person to make them aware that a large payment will be taken in order to avoid the payment being queried or refused.

The nearest Public Enquiry Offices to Oxford are in Croydon, London and Solihull, Birmingham.

Applicants can find more information about how to book an appointment at these offices on the Home Office website

When applying in person, the applicant should receive a decision on their application the same day. However, their Biometric Residence Permit (plastic visa) will not be available immediately, but will instead be sent to the applicant within ten working days after the appointment.

Biometric enrolment process

Applicants (and their dependants) applying for a Tier 5 grant of leave from within the UK will need to have their biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) taken before a decision is made on their application. They will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), rather than a work visa or vignette in their passport.

Once the Home Office receives a Tier 5 Grant of Leave application, the applicant (and any accompanying dependants) will be identified as needing to give their biometric details and will be sent a letter inviting them to do so within 15 working days of receiving the letter. Applicants can find more information about enrolling their biometric information on the Home Office's website.

Applicants who have submitted their application to extend their stay by post or online may enrol their biometric information at one of the Post Office branches offering this service across the UK, information about this process can be found in the Home Office's Biometric Residence Permits guidance. Please note that the Post Office charges a fee for each person enrolling their biometric information. There is no need to book an appointment at the Post Office as it is a walk-in service but you can only use the service after you have received a letter inviting you to do so. The Post Office is open from 09:00 - 17:30 Monday to Saturday.

Applicants who have made an appointment to submit their application in person will enrol their biometric information at the time of their appointment.

When enrolling their Biometric information applicants must ensure that they take the following information with them:

  • the complete original letter from the Home Office inviting the applicant to submit their biometric information (including the back page which contains a barcode and the applicant's case reference number, full name and date of birth), the Post Office will not be able to proceed with their enrolment if the complete letter is not presented.
  • sufficient payment for the service (when enrolling your biometric information through the Post Office fees can be paid by cash or debit card only).

Any applicant under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. If the responsible adult is the parent, they must bring either the letter they received from the Home Office inviting them to use the biometric enrolment service or photo identification such as a UK photocard driving licence, passport or national identity card. If the responsible adult is the child's legal guardian or someone else who is not a parent, they must bring one of the forms of photo identification listed above as well as a letter confirming that they are a responsible adult who has a close connection to the child and who has been authorised to accompany him or her to enrol their biometric information.