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International Students

 

The University of Cambridge is currently participating in a Tier 4 visa pilot scheme. The scheme offers several benefits for students applying for a Tier 4 visa to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less:

  • You will be granted six months of additional leave on your visa from your course end date.
  • You can submit fewer documents with your visa application: you will not need to include any financial documentation or your previous academic qualifications. Please note that UKVI can request this evidence from any applicant as part of the visa process. It is therefore important to ensure you hold these documents in the manner required although you do not need to submit them with your visa application. If you submit financial or qualification documents with your application when they are not required, they will be assessed in the normal way. If you are required to submit an ATAS certificate and/or a TB certificate you must still include these with your visa application.

The pilot scheme is confirmed in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance, Annex 5 (page 107). 

Masters students on courses of 13 months or less who apply for their Tier 4 visa up until 1 October 2020 will be considered under the pilot. Tier 4 applications made from early October will not be eligible for the pilot.

Undergraduate and PhD students, as well as students on Masters courses longer than 13 months, are not eligible for the Tier 4 pilot. They will be required to submit all necessary supporting documents with their visa application and will be granted the standard additional leave on the end of their visa in accordance with Tier 4 policy

Which courses come under the Tier 4 visa pilot at Cambridge?

Masters courses of 13 months or less will be considered under the pilot. This includes the following qualifications at Cambridge: MPhil, MRes, MBA, MFin, MASt, LLM, MCL and MMus.

What does this mean for the Tier 4 application?

Cambridge applicants applying for a visa to undertake a Masters course of 13 months or less up until 1 October 2020 will be considered under this scheme automatically. This means these applicants will not be required to submit financial documents and previous academic qualifications when they apply for their visa. You will, however, still need to hold these documents in the manner required and you could be contacted to request them by UKVI during the application process. If you are asked for these documents and cannot provide them, your application will be refused.

Although you will not be required to submit them to UKVI, at the point you make your online application you will need to hold:

  • the original qualification documents as outlined on your CAS;
  • financial documents that meet the Tier 4 requirements. The documentary evidence required to demonstrate you have the necessary finances for your studies are specific and will depend on how you are being funded.

If you submit financial or qualification documents with your application when they are not required, they will be assessed in the normal way. If they do not meet the Tier 4 requirements, your application will be refused.

There are no other changes to the way you apply for your visa under the scheme and you will still need to submit all other supporting documents: your passport, TB certificate (if applicable), ATAS certificate (if applicable) and police registration certificate (if applicable and you are applying inside in UK).

The following webpages outline the step by step process to making a Tier 4 application:

Applying for a Tier 4 visa overseas

Applying for a Tier 4 visa inside the UK

Why does the visa application say I need to submit financial and qualification documents?

As this is a pilot affecting only certain students at a small number of institutions, the Tier 4 online application form has not been changed to reflect the new scheme. Therefore it might still indicate that you need to include these 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 Cambridge, you are not required to include your qualifications or financial documents with your visa application.

What is the purpose of the additional 6 months on the visa?

The standard leave granted on the end of a Tier 4 visa is two months for students on 9–11 month courses and four months for those on courses lasting 12 months or more. This scheme will grant all eligible students 6 months additional leave from their course end date. This additional time is provided to help support students who may wish to seek employment opportunities in the UK after their studies or switch into a work visa.

It is also helpful if you intend on continuing with further studies at Cambridge after completion of your Masters as it will enable you to extend your visa from inside the UK. Even if you do not intend to stay in the UK, the additional time will give you longer to make any final preparations prior to your departure if required.

There is no change to the start date of your Tier 4 visa. The earliest your Tier 4 permission will be valid if you are applying from overseas is one month prior to the start date of your course.

I have dependant family members, will they be affected by the scheme?

If your dependants are applying for their visa at the same time as you, and you are applying prior to 1 October 2020, they will also not need to submit financial documents with their application. They must hold these documents in the manner required and could be asked for them during the visa application process.

If you are eligible for the pilot 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.