Tier 4 visa pilot scheme


student brainstorming

A small number of UK Universities have been selected to take part in the pilot scheme in conjunction with the Home Office which provides one-year Master's students (and their dependents) the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process. The scheme offers several important advantages for students.

Goldsmiths, University of London is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of 23 UK universities to join part of the extended pilot scheme on the basis of our consistently low visa refusal rate.

The pilot scheme will take affect for students joining Goldsmiths from 2018/9 on a Master’s programme of 13 months or less. This means students joining us this year, from June 2019 onwards, would also benefit from the sceheme.

You will be granted 6 months of extra time after the end of your course ends which gives you more time to find employment in the UK, if that’s what you would like to do.


What documents will I need?

You will not need to submit any additional documents initially as part of your visa application because Goldsmiths will check those documents for you as part of the normal CAS process. Once Goldsmiths has ‘approved’ your documents, you can make your visa application and you do not need to send your financial documents or academic qualifications, unless the visa processing centre or embassy requests them from you at a later date (if this happens then let us know before you submit anything.

You will be able to take advantage of the pilot scheme both inside and outside of the UK.

If you submit financial documents or qualifications with your application when you are not required to do so under the pilot scheme, those documents will be considered as part of your application and be treated in the normal way. This means that if they do not meet the Tier 4 requirements your application will be refused. It is therefore very important therefore to follow the advice provided to you by the Immigration Advisory Service regarding your supporting documents and your visa application.

What about if I am required to provide an ATAS or TB certificate?

As these are “mandatory documents” you will need to submit these as part of your visa application. Only a few Goldsmiths programmes require ATAS clearance so this might not apply to you. Additionally, you can check to see if the country that you are applying from or live in requires you to obtain TB clearance by visiting gov website.

Do I qualify for the pilot scheme if I am studying a Master’s programme and Pre-sessional?

If decide to undertake a Pre-sessional programme before your main programme and have received a joint CAS, you will still benefit from the 6 months additional leave and this will automatically be added to the end of your visa.

Do my dependants also benefit from the scheme?

You are eligible to bring dependants with you however in order to benefit fully from the pilot scheme they must submit their visa application at the same time. If they are not applying at the same time they will need to submit their financial documents as part of their visa application. However, they will still be eligible for extra time and therefore their visa expiry date will be the same as yours.

I am a current MA student applying to extend my visa to complete the course. Do I qualify for the scheme?

This pilot scheme is only available to Master’s courses that have a duration length of 13 months or less (For example MSc, MA and MRes level students). This scheme is available to students enrolling onto a new course from September 2018/9. Therefore unfortunately continuing students having enrolled in 2017/8 will not be able to take advantage of the pilot scheme.

Will my visa application be processed more quickly under the scheme?

Your application will be more streamlined as the Home Office caseworker will be assessing fewer documents as part of your application, however there is no guarantee that a decision will be processed faster. The benefits to you are there are less documents to provide and therefore less chance of your application being refused because of incorrect documentation.

Does the 5-year cap rule still apply when applying under the scheme?

The usual caps still apply, that may be 5 or 6 years depending on any previous study that you have done on a student visa in the UK. Goldsmiths will check that you meet this requirement as part of the normal CAS process.