Cardiff University, along with a small number of other UK institutions, has been selected to take part in a new UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) pilot scheme.
The scheme provides some Master’s students (and their dependants, if they are applying at the same time) the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process along with several other important advantages for students.
Only students who meet the following criteria will be eligible for the scheme. You must be:
⇒ applying for a Tier 4 visa (either overseas or in the UK)
⇒ studying a Master's degree of 13 months or less
⇒ starting the course at Cardiff University in September 2018.
⇒ This includes dependants of an eligible student if they are making their visa application at the same time as the main applicant.
Please note: students studying a Masters course with an integrated work placement/internship where the duration of the course will be over 13 months OR students studying a Post Graduate Diploma e.g. LPC or BPTC will NOT be eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot.
You will be granted an additional six months’ leave at the end of your course, during which time you may wish to remain in the UK to look for work.
Whilst you must still fully comply with the immigration rules in place at the time of your application you will not be required to submit documentary evidence, such as a bank statement/sponsor letter or academic qualifications.
Please note that the UKVI reserves the right to request to see these documents and may carry out spot checks, so, before submitting an application, you must ensure that you meet the requirements and can supply evidence if asked in the manner required.
If you have a combined CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies), that covers the pre-sessional and your Master’s programme your application will be considered under the pilot scheme, even though you will be applying in May 2018.
If you have a single CAS just for the pre-sessional course and will start your Master’s course in September 2018 you will benefit from the pilot once you have successfully completed your English course and make a visa application for your Master’s course in September.
If you will be studying a pre-sessional course before your Masters programme you will need to enter the start date of the Masters course into the on-line application form when applying for your visa. This will alert the Home Office that you are applying under the Pilot Scheme. For example, if your pre-sessional course will start on 25 June and your Masters will start on 24 September, enter 24/09/2018 into the visa application form. This date will be included in the evidence area of your CAS statement.
Submitting supporting documents
As part of the pilot scheme, you are not required to include your academic qualifications or financial documents with your visa application. If these documents are submitted as part of your visa application, they will be assessed in the usual way. If they do not meet the Tier 4 requirements your application will be refused.
Although academic qualifications and financial documents are not required as part of the application, please keep the original versions of these documents in a safe place in case the Home Office asks to see them.
It is anticipated that applications will be processed more quickly, but faster times cannot be guaranteed and you should consider priority schemes available in your country of application if you need your visa urgently.
If a decision on your visa has been made and the letter you have been provided with states an incorrect amount of extra time to remain in the UK, you should contact the centre where you made your visa application straight away and ask that this document be corrected before you travel to the UK. If this is not possible, once you have collected your BRP, please contact ISS@cardiff.ac.uk and we will help you apply to have the mistake corrected
ATAS certificates (if your subject requires it) and TB certificates (if appropriate) must still be included with your application, even if you are eligible for the pilot scheme
It is not possible to opt out of the scheme. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study a Master’s level course of 13 months or less your application will automatically be considered under the pilot.