Tier 4 Visa Pilot Scheme

The Tier 4 Pilot Scheme closed on 5 October 2020. The information on this webpage, is only applicable to students who applied for a Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2020.

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

  • You will be granted an additional six months visa on top of your course end date which will be helpful if you wish to stay on in the UK to look for work after you have completed your studies.
  • As a University of Leicester applicant, you will be considered to be low-risk for immigration purposes. This means that although you MUST meet the Tier 4 Immigration Rules by holding your maintenance funds for 28 days, you do not need to show evidence of this with your visa application. Evidence of your academic qualifications is also not required

Who is Eligible?

  • Students applying for a Tier 4 visa to commence a 12 month taught Master’s degree at the University of Leicester.
  • Dependants who are making a Tier 4 dependant visa application at the same time as an eligible main applicant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the online visa application form state I need to submit supporting documents with my application?

This is because the form is designed for all Tier 4 applicants, the majority of whom will not be studying at a Tier 4 Pilot institution.

If you are coming to the University of Leicester to study a Masters course you are not required to include your academic qualification documents or financial support documents with your visa application.

Do I still need to submit an ATAS certificate (if my subject requires this) or a TB (if required in my country) screening certificate?

Yes. If you require either of these additional clearances, you MUST include these with your visa application.

What happens if I submit documents when they are not required?

If you submit financial or qualification documents with your visa application, the caseworker will assess them in the normal way. If the documents show that you do not meet the Tier 4 requirements, your visa application will be refused.

Do I still need to hold money for 28 consecutive days before I apply?

Yes. It is essential that you meet the Tier 4 visa requirements at the time you submit your Tier 4 application online, including the requirement to maintain funds for 28 consecutive days. Although students under the Pilot scheme will not have to submit these documents to UKVI, the caseworker can request to see them if required and may do spot checks. If you are asked for documents and cannot provide them, your visa pplication will be refused.

My dependant is planning on coming to the UK, but will make their application later. Will they still be included in the Pilot scheme?

No. If 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.

Will my visa be processed more quickly under this Pilot scheme?

Not necessarily. The standard decision making timescales still apply to Tier 4 pilot applicants.

Do I need to specify anything about the Pilot scheme on my visa application form?

Yes. The Tier 4 online visa application form, has not been changed to account for students applying under the Pilot scheme. Therefore, the form will ask you to provide supporting documentation.

For visa applications made outside the UK, the online application form will ask you what documents you are including to demonstrate you meet the financial requirements of the Tier 4 visa application. We recommend you state here ‘Not applicable. Applying under the Pilot scheme, as per Annex 5 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance’.

For visa applications made inside the UK, the online application form will produce a checklist, specifying which documents you need to include to support your visa application. You are required to print the Document Checklist and take it with you to the UKVCAS appointment. We would advise that you write the following statement on the Document Checklist “Please note: Applying under the Tier 4 Pilot scheme, as per Annex 5 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance”.

Can I opt out of the Pilot scheme?

No. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study a 12-month MSc, MBA or MRes course at the University of Leicester, then your visa application will automatically be considered under the Pilot scheme.

Is this information confirmed by UK Visa and Immigration?

Yes. Please refer to Annex 5 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

Who should I contact for further information?

Student Immigration Advice and Compliance on visas@le.ac.uk

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