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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesVisa and immigration

Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) aims to help PhD students to smoothly progress to Tier 1 and Tier 2 status in the United Kingdom (UK).

The DES permits PhD students an additional 12 months of Tier 4 status
The DES permits PhD students an additional 12 months of Tier 4 status

What is it?

The DES is aimed at Tier 4 students who are about to be awarded their UK PhD or other doctorate level qualification. Successful applicants are provided with an additional 12 months of Tier 4 (General) immigration permission to provide them with more time to find and start employment.

Am I eligible to apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)?  If so, how do I do this?

Applications for DES must be made through the VISAS Team. There is a very tight time-frame for applying for a visa under the Doctorate Extension Scheme. You must apply after your award date has officially been confirmed, but before your award date has passed. You must also have valid Tier 4 leave at the point at which you apply. More information about the DES is available in the Tier 4 policy guidance document, which is available on the UKVI website.

There is a small administrative charge payable to the University for the DES application. If you are interested in applying for the DES then please consult a Visa Advisor at one of our drop-in sessions around the time of your viva.

I am applying for leave to remain under the Doctorate Extension Scheme. Can I apply for my dependants to stay with me?

Yes. When you make an appointment to see one of our Visa Advisors then please make sure that you mention that you have dependants as your appointment slot will need to be longer.

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Working After Studies (UKCISA)

Useful Internal Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are uncertain about anything or you have a query, then our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page may have the answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are uncertain about anything or you have a query then our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page may have the answer.

Enquiry Form

Enquiry Form

If you are unable to attend a visa drop-in, please contact us using our online enquiry form.

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