Doctorate Extension Scheme Visa

Doctorate Extension Scheme Visa

When do I Qualify for Tier 4 (DES)?

The premise of Tier 4 (DES) is that it is designed to allow doctorate (PhD or equivalent) students a longer period after they have finished their studies (one year) to find work with a Tier 2 employer.

What is the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme?

You qualify to make a Tier 4 (DES) application with a CAS issued by Queen's if:

  • you have permission to stay as a Tier 4 (General) student, or as a student under the old rules, to study a course that leads to the award of a PhD (or equivalent) qualification ;
  • you are studying at Queen's; 
  • you apply before your existing Tier 4 leave expires;
  • you apply before you complete your course (submit your hard bound thesis); and
  • you apply in the 60 days before the course end date specified on the CAS.

What conditions will be granted with my new Tier 4 (DES) visa?

You will be granted one year’s Leave to Remain in the UK from the date of course completion that is state on the CAS. Course completion date will be considered to be the day that you submit your hard-bound thesis and the University confirms that you have met the required standard for the award.  

You will be allowed to work on a full time basis from the date that you complete your course, although you will not be permitted to work as a Doctor or Dentist in training, or as a professional sportsperson (including as a coach).

You will be subject to continued monitoring by Queen's. We will contact you every three months to check that you are ok and still in the UK. You will be expected to come to Queen's to meet with a member of the ISS team twice during the year's duration of the visa. If you do not respond to Tthe email from ISS, we will assume that you are no longer in the UK and will make a report to UKVI to inform them that you are no longer here.  

You will not be permitted to undertake any further full time courses at Queen's whilst holding your Tier 4 (DES) visa.

Where do I get more Information?

If you need further information on Tier 4 (DES) or would like to apply for this type of visa, please contact International Student Support at

Visas & Immigration

V&I Webpage

International Student Support

ISS Webpage