Doctorate Extension Scheme
The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) is intended to enable students gaining a doctorate to remain in the UK for an additional 12-month period (after being awarded the PhD) in which to seek work with a Tier 2 employer, to set up as an entrepreneur or to undertake some form of employment.
You can undertake any type of work but you are not permitted to work as a doctor or dentist in training, or as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
You can only apply for the DES up to 60 days before your expected completion date, i.e. the date you will be awarded your doctorate. You must apply after all corrections have been approved but before your current Tier 4 visa expires and before your award is confirmed at the final Research Degree Award Board (RDAB).
Before making an DES application
Before making an application under the Scheme, you should:
- Read our information regarding visas and immigration to ensure you are eligible to apply. In particular, you should ensure you are able to demonstrate that you hold maintenance funds for you and any dependants (£2,030 for you and £1,360 for each dependant) plus £300 per person for the Immigration Health Surcharge. Your financial evidence should show that you have the correct amount of money for the Tier 4 DES Visa application, available for 28 days prior to the application date, in a format acceptable to the UK Home Office. If you have any questions concerning eligibility under the scheme, please contact the Immigration Advice Service; and
- Familiarise yourself with the DES eligibility details; and
- Complete an expression of interest form and return to the Visa Hub in Room 2P04 (Frenchay Campus) or via email to the Immigration Advice Service at email@example.com
- Discuss your plans with the Immigration Advice Service. You can attend the drop-in service or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: Unless you have completed the above steps, UWE Bristol cannot issue you a CAS which you will need to make an application under this scheme.
Applications for DES under the university’s sponsorship are required to be made under supervision of the Immigration Advice team.
If you are granted a visa under this Scheme, it will have a duration of 12 months from the expected PhD completion date. This period cannot be extended.
UWE Bristol DES sponsorship
If UWE Bristol sponsors you under the Scheme, the following will apply:
- you agree to comply with the conditions of the Scheme and with all conditions of your visa as set by the Home Office, including leaving the UK when the visa expires (unless you have obtained a different visa eg you are applying for a Tier 2 visa)
- you agree to maintain contact with the Graduate School as required while your visa is valid
- you agree to notify the University if you are no longer participating in the Scheme or intend to permanently leave the UK
- you understand that you are not a registered student at the UWE Bristol once the award has been made and that you will not have access to student facilities under this Scheme.
In submitting an expression of interest form, you are agreeing to these conditions; if you have any questions concerning them, you should email the Immigration Advice Service at email@example.com before doing so.
If you do not comply with these conditions throughout the 12-month period under this scheme, the Points Based System Team will withdraw sponsorship and inform the Home Office in accordance with its responsibilities.