Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

What is the Tier 4 Visa 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:
1. Stay in the UK for 6 months after your programme has ended
2. 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 documents as required with your application.  The documents you are required to submit will be listed on a checklist at the end of your application.

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 your qualification or financial 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.  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.

If your dependants are applying for their visa at the same time as you, they will also not need to submit financial documents with 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.

Visas & Immigration

V&I Webpage

International Student Support

ISS Webpage