Invitation to join the Tier 4 pilot – what does this mean for those with an offer for a Master's course at Warwick which is no longer than 13 months in length?
On 18 December 2017, the Immigration Minister announced that 23 universities, including Warwick, had been invited to join the Tier 4 pilot, which was first launched in 2015 involving only four institutions: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and Bath.
The eligibility criteria for entry to the Tier 4 pilot is consistently low Tier 4 visa refusal rates. Warwick’s visa refusal rate for the period 16-17 was 0.93%. The Tier 4 pilot only covers 2018/19 Master's courses of up to 13 months in length. Please note that undergraduate and postgraduate research offer holders will not benefit from this in 2018/19.
The key benefits of the Tier 4 pilot to those with an offer for a postgraduate taught course are far easier visa application procedures; unlike normal Tier 4 students, pilot students are exempt from having to present the following forms of documentary evidence to the UKVI when applying for a visa, saving them time and stress:
· Maintenance – documentary evidence of funds for maintenance for up to 9 months, held in account for 28 days
· English Language – degree level and above students must speak English at level B2
· Previous Qualifications - qualification or award certificate from previous study to be submitted
· Genuine student – unlike normal Tier 4 students, Tier 4 pilot applicants will not be asked to attend an interview with a UKVI Entry Clearance Officer/ Caseworker to demonstrate that they are a genuine student
The second benefit is that where standard Tier 4 students are granted four additional months’ leave following the end of their course, Tier 4 pilot students will be given six months. This will help those wishing to switch into a work route to take up graduate employment or to run their own business as they will have more time after completing their course in which to make these arrangements.
Being part of this pilot is also recognised by students and the media as a positive endorsement of the institution and of the UK as a good international HE study destination.
Additional work will be expected from us as a pilot institution in terms of sharing with the UKVI key data relating to pilot students (number of enrolments, drop outs, degree classifications etc), with distributing online surveys to students and participating in research activities.
Further information can be found here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/international/immigration/tier4/applying/t4pilot/