Visas and Immigration

This section of our website is designed for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.  If you are not from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, then you will be subject to immigration control and you should read these pages carefully.

Our immigration advice and services are carried out in accordance with the UKCISA Codes of Ethics and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).  The OISC regulations cover the management structures, casework procedure and standards of service required to operate at each of the competence levels.

The guidance gives basic information on UK immigration procedures and also provides links to other websites such as:

UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) department of Home Office
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 

The information provided in these sectionshas been produced in good faith by Queen’s University Belfast to help students understand UK immigration procedures and to assist students making an immigration application to study in the UK.  This information has been written in line with UKVI guidance which may change at any time if there are changes to the UK Immigration Rules.  Our guidance has been carefully checked at the time of publication, however it is the responsibility of students to ensure that any immigration application complies with current UK Immigration legislation.  Queen’s University Belfast accepts no legal responsibility for the accuracy of this information and if there are any discrepancies found between Queen’s University guidance and UKVI guidance, guidance issued by UKVI will take precedence.

Studying at Queen's: Study Visa Options


Adult Tier 4 General

Understanding the Points Based System

Adult Students Tier 4 (General)

Applying from Outside the UK

Entry Clearance Guidance

Visas - Students applying from outside the UK

Extending Your Tier 4 Visa in the UK

Leave to Remain Guidance

Visas - Extending your visa in the UK as a student

Studying in the UK

Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

Female student in graduate school taking note out of bag

Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

What is the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme?

Queen’s University Belfast is one of 23 universities in the UK which have been selected by the UK Home Office to take part in a scheme which streamlines the visa application process for certain Masters degree students.

You are eligible for this service if you are applying to study a full time Masters programme starting in or after September 2018, which lasts for 13 months or less.

The Tier 4 Pilot Scheme allows you to:

  • Stay in the UK for 6 months after your programme has ended
  • Submit fewer documents with your application – if eligible you will not be asked to submit evidence of your qualifications or finances. 

Although you do not need to submit qualification or finance evidence, you must still hold these documents as UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) may carry out checks and request them as part of your application. If you are asked for these documents and cannot provide them, your application will be refused.

You will still need to submit all other supporting documents: your passport, two passport photographs, TB certificate (if applicable), ATAS certificate (if applicable), and Police Registration Certificate (if applicable and if you are applying inside the UK). 

As this is a pilot scheme which affects only a small number of institutions, the Tier 4 online application form has not been changed to reflect the new scheme.  Therefore, the application form might still indicate that you need to submit these documents with your visa application. Under the scheme if you are applying for a visa to undertake a Masters course of under 13 months at Queen’s, you are not required to submit your qualifications or financial documents with your visa application.  However, if you do submit these documents, they will be considered by UKVI as part of your application.

You cannot opt out of the pilot scheme.  If you are applying for a Master’s course which lasts for 13 months or less, your application will automatically be considered under this pilot scheme.

If you are applying to study on a Pre-sessional English course before your Master’s course, and you have a single CAS that covers both courses, you will be eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme. To be considered under the Pilot Scheme you must enter the start date of your Masters course in the visa application form, 12th September 2018. Do not enter the start date of the Pre-sessional course (the start date on your CAS Statement).


If you only have a CAS for your English course and your Masters is conditional on you successfully completing your English course, you will be eligible for the pilot scheme when you are applying for your Masters visa.

In accordance with the normal Tier 4 policy, if your Masters course is at least 12 months long or you are a government sponsored student, you can bring dependant family members under Tier 4.  If your dependants are applying for their visa at the same time as you, they will also not need to submit financial documents will their application. However, they must hold these documents as these may be requested by UKVI during the visa application process.

If you are eligible for the pilot scheme but your dependant is not applying at the same time as you, they will be required to include full evidence of their finances with their visa application. They will, however, be entitled to the same duration on their visa as you.

Read More

Working in the UK


Working in the UK as a Student

Do you have permission to work in the UK as a student?

Working in the UK

International student outside Whitla hall attending winter graduation

Doctorate Extension Scheme Visa

What is the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme?

Doctorate Extension Scheme

EPIC_Robotics_Queens Day 7-020

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

Information on who is eligible and how to apply

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

Travelling in the UK

Visas for Travelling

Explore the UK and Further Afield

Visas for Travelling


Inviting Your Friends or Family

Information on Standard Visitor Visa

Inviting your friend or family member to stay for less than six months

a group of students drinking coffee in a restaurant in Belfast

Dependant Visa Application

Applying for your Family to join you in the UK

Inviting your family to stay for more than six months