How the tier 4 pilot affects your visa application How the tier 4 pilot affects your visa application

UEA is delighted to have been selected, along with a small number of other top UK Universities, to participate in a Tier 4 visa pilot scheme, which provides one-year Masters students the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process, and six months extra time on their visa to look for work.

Students applying for a Tier 4 visa for Masters courses of 13 months or less are eligible for this scheme.

Please note that undergraduate and PhD students, as well as students on Masters courses longer than 13 months, will not be in the pilot and must submit all necessary supporting documents with their visa application.

The scheme offers the follow benefits.

For students applying for a Tier 4 visa to study at UEA 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. This will be particularly helpful if you are considering remaining in the UK after your course to look for work.
  • You can submit fewer documents with your visa application: you will not need to include any financial documentation or your previous academic qualifications.
  • Your application should be more streamlined as your caseworker will be assessing fewer documents. Faster processing times, however, cannot be guaranteed.

The pilot scheme is outlined in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance, Annex 6.


It is important to note that UKVI can request to see financial documents or qualifications from any applicant as part of the visa process. It is therefore very important to ensure that you keep these documents exactly in the form required even though 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 can be assessed in the normal way. If they do not meet the Tier 4 requirements, your application will be refused.

If you are required to submit a TB certificate you must still include this with your visa application. You will also need to present your academic qualifications when you register at UEA.

What Does This Mean for My Application?


Applicants applying for their visa 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 as UKVI can contact you to request them. 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, you must have:

  • 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.

Dates to Use If Your CAS Covers Your Pre-sessional AND Masters course

If you are applying for one visa to cover both your pre-sessional and Masters courses you need to use the following dates for the Course Start Date and Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS):

  • Course start date = Start date of your Masters course
  • IHS Course start date = Start date of your pre-sessional course.

You will get the correct date start to enter the UK for the pre-sessional course and you will also pay the correct IHS fee. 

Other Requirements 

It is essential that you meet the Tier 4 requirements at the time you submit your online application, including the requirement to maintain funds for 28 days.

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, two passport photographs, TB certificate (if applicable), and police registration certificate (if applicable and you are applying inside the UK).

More Details

All visa applications for Masters courses of 13 months or less will be considered under the pilot.

You cannot choose to opt out of the scheme. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa to study an eligible course at UEA then your application will automatically be considered under the pilot.

Even if you do not plan to seek long-term employment in the UK, the additional time will give you longer to make any final preparations prior to your departure, take up an internship or just travel in the UK.

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.

The scheme still applies if you are taking a Pre Sessional English course at INTO UEA of 12 weeks or less. As long as the Masters course you will be studying is 13 months or less AND you are issued a CAS to cover both the pre-sessional and the main course, you are eligible for this scheme.

If you applied for your visa for a Masters course of 13 months or less at UEA and you have not received the additional 6 months of leave on the end of your visa, you can have your visa amended.

If you have chosen to collect your BRP from the University, you can advise us if you want your visa amended at that time. If you are collecting your BRP from the Post Office, you are still advised to speak to the International Student Advisory Team in Student Support Services. 


In accordance with the normal Tier 4 policy, if your Masters course is at least 9 months long or you are a government sponsored student, you can bring dependant family members with you under Tier 4.

If your dependants are applying for their visa at the same time as you, 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.