Masters Tier 4 visa pilot scheme

For students joining Goldsmiths to study on a Master’s programme of 13 months or less.

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This pilot scheme provides one-year Masters students (and their dependents) the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process that requires less documentation.

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

Documents required

The pilot scheme requires the same initial documents as a normal Tier 4 application. We check these as part of the CAS process.

Once Goldsmiths has ‘approved’ your documents, and issued your CAS, you can make your visa application.

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 to you, then let us know before you submit anything.)

If you submit financial documents or qualifications, they 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 important to follow the advice provided to you by the Immigration Advisory Service regarding your supporting documents and your visa application.

ATAS and TB certificate

Only a few Goldsmiths programmes require ATAS clearance certificate.

You can check to see if the country that you are applying from or live in requires you to obtain TB clearance on GOV.UK. Also, if you have lived in a TB testing country for six months or more in the last twelve months, you will require a TB test.

Pre-sessional students

If you are taking 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.


You are eligible to bring dependants with you.

A dependant for Tier 4 purposes includes:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • your unmarried or same-sex partner (if you have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least 2 years)
  • your child under 18 years old – including if they were born in the UK during your stay

In order to benefit fully from the pilot scheme, your dependent 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. They will still be eligible for extra time and therefore their visa expiry date will be the same as yours.

Processing time

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 that there are less documents to provide and therefore less chance of your application being refused because of incorrect documentation, but ofcourse you still need to make sure you can provide satisfactory documents i requested at a later date. 

5-year cap rule

The usual caps still apply, that maybe 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.