Tier 4 Pilot scheme

The University of Manchester has been selected to join a pilot scheme for Tier 4 students applying for a Masters course which of 13 months or less in duration.  This pilot allows students to benefit from a more streamlined visa application process and permits them to remain in the UK for longer at the end of their studies.  

Students applying for a Tier 4 visa to study a Masters (MA, MSc, MRES) degree of 13 months or less from September 2018 onwards. 

Students studying postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas (including PGCE) and MPhil programmes are not eligible for the pilot scheme.

You can apply for your visa overseas (entry clearance) or from the UK if you are making a new application following the successful completion of an Undergraduate or Postgraduate course.

If you are eligible to apply for the Tier 4 pilot, you cannot opt out.  You will automatically be considered under the Tier 4 pilot scheme.

Additional leave - You will be granted an additional six months leave after the course end date specified on your CAS.  This is will be helpful if you wish to stay on in the UK to look for work or gain work experience after you have completed your course.

A more streamlined application process - Although you are still required to meet the Tier 4 Immigration Rules, you do not need to include some documentation with your visa application such as financial evidence or academic qualifications. 

Eligibility of students attending a Pre-sessional course before their Masters - If you are issued with a joint CAS for both your Pre-sessional and Masters course, the University will state in the offer documents section of your CAS that you are studying a Masters course of 13 months or less and are eligible to be considered under the Pilot.

If your CAS is for the pre-sessional course only, you will receive a visa for the pre-sessional course duration. You will then benefit from the pilot scheme when you make your visa application for the main Master’s course.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can request that you submit this evidence during the visa application process and will be undertaking some spot-checks on applications submitted under this pilot. You must make sure that you satisfy all the Tier 4 requirements before making your visa application even though you do not have to submit the evidence.  For example if you are self-funded you must make sure that you have maintained the required amount of money for the 28 days required before you make your Tier 4 application. A guide to financial requirements can be found here.

Do not submit documents as a precaution.

If you choose to submit academic and or financial documents when they have not been requested then the caseworker at UKVI will consider your application based on the evidence submitted. If you do not meet the requirements then your application will be refused.

If you are required to submit an ATAS certificate as part of your application then they must be included with your application. For further information about ATAS please click here.

Dependants of an eligible student who make a Tier 4 student dependant visa application at the same time as the main applicant can be considered under the Tier 4 pilot scheme.  Dependents that do not make their application at the same time will not be eligible and must include the usual documentary evidence.  

If the additional 6 months increases the total duration of your visa to more than 18 months, then you will be expected to pay Immigration Health Surcharge for 2 years.  Further information about the Immigration Health Surcharge can be found here.

Please use the standard online form

The Tier 4 online application form has not been changed to reflect the pilot scheme. It might indicate that you need to include your financial and academic documents with your visa application. Remember if you are applying for a visa to undertake a Masters course of 13 months or less you are not required to include your qualifications or financial documents with your visa application as you are exempt due to the pilot scheme. 

If your question has not been answered above please contact The Student Immigration Team.