International Masters students at 23 UK Universities are now allowed 6 months of additional Tier 4 Visa.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is now allowing an additional six months under Tier 4 visa for international Masters students wanting to study at selected universities in the UK.

The pilot program that was launched last year at four UK universities has now been expanded to 23 universities across the UK. The program was initially only available to international Masters students at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London.

The UKVI program launched in 2016 aims to support international students in the UK by allowing them six months of additional time that they can use to take graduate roles or switch to work visas.

The UK has always been the most popular destination for international students and the UKVI hopes to this will keep UK as a lucrative destination for foreign students.

Announcing the expansion of the pilot program, Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said that the program will keep the world-leading UK universities competitive and open to students around the world.

Citing the data of 24% increase in International students coming to the UK since 2010, the immigration minister added that the UK is always open to genuine students that want to come and study here.

Universities Part of the UKVI Pilot Program

The pilot program was first launched in 2016 and was limited to top four universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College of London. The program in its second year has been expanded to include 23 UK universities.

The universities were selected on the basis of lowest visa refusal rates in their area. Here’s a complete list of all 23 universities that are included in the program.

  • Cardiff University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Harper Adams University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

The list includes 2 universities in Scotland, 2 Universities in Wales, 1 in Northern Ireland and other top universities across England.

Additional Responsibilities for Universities

The 2018/19 intake at the above-listed universities will be eligible to apply as part of the program.

Although international students will still need to satisfy all the immigration rules, the universities have been provided with additional responsibilities to streamline the process.

The universities can do eligibility checks so that students will need to submit fewer documents as part of their visa application process.

General FAQs on Student Visa Pilot

Here’re some of the frequently asked questions regarding the UKVI’s student visa pilot scheme for international students.

Who can apply for the student visa pilot program?

International Masters students in the 2018-2019 academic year from the above listed 23 universities can apply for the program.

What does the pilot program include?

The program streamlines the visa application process for international students and allows them to stay in the UK for additional of six months after they have finished their Masters course.

Does it apply to all Masters courses?

Yes, the program applies to the international students undertaking all masters courses. The Masters courses are generally offered for one year in the UK and this program applies to all students on a Masters course of 13 months or less.

Does it impact the visa processing time?

UKVI states that the visa application process will be streamlined with additional responsibilities provided to the Universities. This means students applying for the Tier 4 visa under this scheme will have to submit fewer documents as part of their application process.

Need Help Applying for Tier 4 Visa with Pilot Scheme?

International students applying under this pilot scheme will still need to fulfil all the Tier 4 visa requirements.

At Edmans & Co, we frequently advise and help with Tier 4 Visa applications for International students. If you need any help with your application process, feel free to contact us or book a consultation to discuss your case directly with one of our immigration lawyers in London.

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