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Cardiff University to join student visa pilot

20 December 2017

Visa CU

Cardiff University is one of two Welsh universities to join a pilot scheme which is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK.

Currently in its second year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the pilot will streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK. It also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.

Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications. Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.

Cardiff University is one of 23 additional universities to benefit from the pilot, along with The University of Wales Trinity St. David, two in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and universities from across England.

“Home to over 7,000 international students”

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.

“The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.

“This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.”

Cardiff University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “We welcome the opportunity to take part in the expanded Tier 4 visa pilot. Cardiff University is home to over 7,000 international students from over 100 countries, and we have seen first-hand the positive impact they have, both on our community and on the economy of Cardiff and Wales...”

“We look forward to participating in the Tier 4 visa pilot and its evaluation to give our international students the opportunities they deserve and to strengthen our global partnerships.”

Professor Colin Riordan Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.

The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.

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