For Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows
in the United Kingdom

Scholarship tenure – PhD Scholars

Extension to maximum tenure

PhD Scholars: If you are a PhD Scholar, your scholarship will be awarded for 22 months in the first instance. Your Notification of Award will state:


  • The initial dates of your scholarship tenure.
  • Your eligibility to apply for an extension of tenure and the grounds on which you can do so.

It is your responsibility to apply for an extension well in advance of the end of your initial scholarship tenure, in order to ensure that there are no delays with the extension and continued stipend payments. If you anticipate any delays in applying for an extension, you must inform your Programme Officer as early as possible.

To apply for your scholarship to be extended to its maximum tenure, you must send the following documents to your Programme Officer:


  • An email request from yourself.
  • A letter from your university confirming that you have upgraded from MPhil to PhD/DPhil status or you have met the required progress reviews and are registered on full PhD/DPhil status.
  • A letter of support for the extension from your supervisor confirming that you are on track with your PhD progression.

It may be possible to obtain an interim extension of two months in exceptional circumstances. However, you will not be granted an extension beyond 24 months until you are registered for a full PhD/DPhil.


Deferment of homeward airfare

If you need to remain in the UK beyond your agreed scholarship tenure in order to complete your PhD, you may request a deferment of your return airfare.

To apply for a deferment, you and your supervisor must submit an email request to your Programme Officer at least eight weeks before the end of your scholarship.


Your request should include the following details:


  • The duration of deferment.
  • Your expected date of submission, viva date, and correction deadline.
  • Confirmation of whether you need to remain in the UK for corrections or not.

Your supervisor’s request should include the following details:


  • Confirmation of their support for the deferment of the airfare.
  • Confirmation that you are still working towards the degree for which your scholarship was originally awarded.
  • Your expected timetable for completion.

If you do not request a deferment of airfare with sufficient notice, your stipend may be suspended.


If a deferment of your homeward airfare is approved, you are eligible for a half-rate stipend allowance based on your current stipend rate for as long as you remain in the UK up to a maximum of six months after the end of your scholarship. You must notify your Programme Officer if you are likely to leave the UK before the approved end date of your deferment.


If you are eligible for child allowance as an unaccompanied parent, you will continue to receive this allowance for the six-month period only. If you are not an unaccompanied parent, you will not continue to receive family allowances. The CSC will determine your final entitlement to any family allowances.


A deferment for you to undertake further studies beyond the scope of your scholarship, or to stay in the UK to attend graduation ceremonies after the end of your award will not be approved. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid deferment in place if this is needed for you to complete the requirements of your course. If you do not have a valid deferment in place, you may forfeit your CSC-funded homeward airfare.


Please be aware that the CSC does not support Scholars remaining in the UK under the Graduate Immigration Route.


Visa extensions

If you are PhD Scholar, it may be necessary to obtain a visa extension if you need to remain in the UK in order to complete your course.


If you need to extend your visa, you must apply during the last three months of your current permission to stay. You should speak to your university’s International Office about how to arrange this. Your Programme Officer may be able to provide a letter of support for your visa extension application that confirms your current scholarship status or deferment end date.


Please be aware that it is your responsibility to apply for a visa extension and to do so in good time. If you fail to arrange a visa extension, you could jeopardise any extension of your scholarship that had been previously agreed and it may result in the suspension of your stipend and other allowances.


You will be eligible for reimbursement of the standard application fee for a visa extension (£490.00) and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) costs for one agreed period of deferment. However, application fees for dependants will not be reimbursed and any subsequent visa application fees to cover additional deferment periods will not be reimbursed by the CSC.


You should submit the receipts with a Claim for Reimbursement form to your Programme Officer within 3 months of making your application. You can find the Claim for Reimbursement form on the Policies and Forms page.