Tier 4 visa pilot 

The University of York are part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) pilot scheme for students who are studying a taught Masters degree. The University of York was selected by the Home Office, as our visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in the region.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible?

Postgraduate students who are studying a taught Masters course with a duration of 13 months or less for 2018/9 entry. This includes MA, MSc and MRes programmes. Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma applicants are not eligible.

You can apply from overseas for entry clearance or within the UK following successful completion of an undergraduate degree or if demonstrating academic progression.

Dependants must make a separate application; they cannot apply using the same form as the Tier 4 applicant.  Both the Tier 4 and dependant visa applications must be submitted at the same time to get the additional benefits of the Tier 4 Pilot Project.  It is advisable to list in the comment box on the application form, the names of those you are applying with.  If a dependant applies at a later date then they will need to provide financial documents with their application.

Can I opt out of this scheme?

No, if you are applying for a Tier 4 visa for a taught Masters programme, with a duration of 13 months or less, your application will automatically be considered under the pilot.

Please note that you are not obliged to remain in the UK, after the end of your studies, if you do not wish to use the additional six months added to your visa end date. 

Can I study part-time on a Tier 4 Visa?

If you are on a Tier 4 Visa you are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

I will be taking a pre-sessional English course before my main programme. Will I still qualify?

If you have a combined CAS for both your pre-sessional and your Masters course, you will qualify under the pilot scheme.

If your entry to your Masters course is conditional upon successfully completing your pre-sessional course, your visa will be issued for the pre-sessional course only and you will benefit from the pilot scheme when you apply for your visa for your Masters course. 

The Tier 4 online application form says I need to submit supporting documents with my application, should I still do so?

The Tier 4 application form does not reflect the pilot scheme and may still indicate that you need to include educational or financial documentation. You can disregard the educational and financial document information on the Tier 4 application form. 

Will documents I submit that are not required still be considered?

Yes. If you choose to submit educational or financial documents, your Tier 4 visa application will be considered and processed as normal under the current Tier 4 immigration rules. You will still be granted an additional six months leave after your course end date. If you do not meet the Tier 4 requirements, your application will be refused.

If I don’t have to supply financial documents with my visa application, does this mean I don’t need to meet the Tier 4 financial requirements?

No. You still need to meet Tier 4 requirements. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can spot check applicants and request you to supply educational or financial documents. You will still need to meet the requirement to maintain funds for 28 days. If you are asked to show evidence of funds and you don’t meet the requirement, your visa will be refused. 

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

Yes. You will still need to submit these documents as part of your Tier 4 visa application.

Will my visa be processed more quickly under this scheme?

It is anticipated that visa processing times will be quicker, but there is no guarantee of this. 

What if I have not been granted the additional six months on my visa?

Please contact the Immigration Advice Service:

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324140


How much will the Immigration Health Surcharge be?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will be £300.  This is because the surcharge is based on the length of your visa not your course. 

The visa will be valid from one month before your course starts, plus the 12 months of your course, plus the additional 6 months after course completion.  In total this comes to 19 months, so your visa will be valid for 1 year and 7 months. . 

The IHS rate is £150 per 12 month period and £75 for any period under 6 months, therefore the surcharge will be £300.

The surcharge has to be paid at the time you apply for your visa and no part can be refunded, even if you do not take advantage of the additional 6 months leave.