Tier 4 visa pilot
Cardiff University, along with a small number of other UK institutions, has been selected to take part in the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) pilot scheme.
The scheme has been extended for 2019 and provides some Master’s students (and their dependants, if they are applying at the same time) the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process along with several other important advantages.
Only students who meet the following criteria will be eligible for the scheme. You must be:
- applying for a Tier 4 visa (either overseas or in the UK)
- studying a Master's degree of 13 months or less
- starting the course at Cardiff University in September 2019.
This includes dependants of an eligible student if they are making their visa application at the same time as the main applicant.
Please note: students studying a Masters course with an integrated work placement/internship where the duration of the course will be over 13 months OR students studying a Post Graduate Diploma e.g. LPC or BPTC will NOT be eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot.
Benefits of the scheme
You will be granted an additional six months’ leave at the end of your course, during which time you may wish to remain in the UK to look for work.
Whilst you must still fully comply with the immigration rules in place at the time of your application you will not be required to submit documentary evidence, such as a bank statement/sponsor letter or academic qualifications.
Please note that the UKVI reserves the right to request to see these documents and may carry out spot checks, so, before submitting an application, you must ensure that you meet the requirements and can supply evidence if asked in the manner required.
Important information for Pre-sessional English students
If you have a combined CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies), that covers the pre-sessional and your Master’s programme your application will be considered under the pilot scheme, even though you will be applying in May 2019.
If you have a single CAS just for the pre-sessional course and will start your Master’s course in September 2019 you will benefit from the pilot once you have successfully completed your English course and make a visa application for your Master’s course in September.
If you will be studying a pre-sessional course before your Masters programme you will need to enter the start date of the Masters course into the on-line application form when applying for your visa. This will alert the Home Office that you are applying under the Pilot Scheme. For example, if your pre-sessional course will start on 24 June and your Masters will start on 23 September, enter 23/09/2019 into the visa application form. This date will be included in the evidence area of your CAS statement.
Further information about the scheme
Submitting supporting documents
As part of the pilot scheme, you are not required to include your academic qualifications or financial documents with your visa application. If these documents are submitted as part of your visa application, they will be assessed in the usual way. If they do not meet the Tier 4 requirements your application will be refused.
Although academic qualifications and financial documents are not required as part of the application, please keep the original versions of these documents in a safe place in case the Home Office asks to see them.
Faster application processing
It is anticipated that applications will be processed more quickly, but faster times cannot be guaranteed and you should consider priority schemes available in your country of application if you need your visa urgently.
Incorrect extra time to stay in the UK
If a decision on your visa has been made and the letter you have been provided with states an incorrect amount of extra time to remain in the UK, you should contact the centre where you made your visa application straight away and ask that this document be corrected before you travel to the UK. If this is not possible, once you have collected your BRP, please contact ISS@cardiff.ac.uk and we will help you apply to have the mistake corrected.
ATAS and TB certificates
It is not possible to opt out of the scheme. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study a Master’s level course of 13 months or less your application will automatically be considered under the pilot.
Visa application advice
Further information about how to apply for your visa can be found on our new student pages.
If you have any questions about the Tier 4 visa scheme or require visa advice, please contact:
International Student Support enquiries
- Telephone:+44 (0)29 22518888
Information on this page is correct as of May 2019. For the most up to date information, please visit the gov.uk website.