From 6 April 2013 the UKBA are encouraging applicants who are applying for a Tier 4 visa from within the UK to use the 'Print and send' method of applying. As the name suggests, this involves completing a 'print and send' application form online, printing it out, and then submitting it and the necessary supporting documents to the UKBA either by post or in person.
However, the UKBA have informed us that the 'print and send' application will not be available from 7:00pm on Friday 5 April until 6:00am on Monday 8 April due to a system upgrade. Therefore if you wish to submit a Tier 4 application during this period you will have to print out a Tier 4 paper application form and then submit this to the UKBA either by post or in person.
It is important to be aware that the Tier 4 application fee will increase on 6 April 2013 to £406 for applications made by post and £781 for applications made in person. We are expecting the Tier 4 application form to be updated on 6 April to reflect these changes (the current form is dated 1 October 2012). The current application form (showing the lower fee) can be used for applications submitted up until 26 April 2013, however you must pay the higher fee if you apply on or after 6 April 2013, otherwise your application will be rejected as invalid.
It is important that you apply before your current leave expires. If you apply by post then the date of application is the date that you send your application to the UKBA. If you apply in person at one of the UKBA's Public Enquiry Offices then the date of application is the date of your appointment. This is the same if you are using the paper application or the 'print and send' application form.