We are pleased to be one of a small number of UK universities selected to be part of this Tier 4 visa pilot.
The pilot is open to one year master's students wanting to start their studies in 2018. Applying for a Tier 4 visa through this pilot means that you:
- experience a streamlined Tier 4 visa application process
- do not need to submit academic qualifications or evidence of funds
- get six months leave at the end of your course as an opportunity to look for work in the UK
- can include your dependants in your visa application. If you apply together, they will not have to provide evidence of their maintenance
- will be supported by our Visa Support Team through the new process
You will still need to meet the Tier 4 Immigration Rules to get your visa. You can find out more in Annex 6 of the Tier 4 policy guidance on the UK Government website.
Eligibility for the pilotEligibility for the pilot
You are eligible for the pilot scheme if:
- you have an unconditional offer to study a one-year master's degree at Newcastle University. This includes combined pre-sessional and Master's courses
- the Master's course lasts no more than 12 months
- you have chosen a Tier 4 visa pilot eligible course (PDF:334KB)
- your course starts in the 2018/2019 academic year
- you are applying for entry clearance overseas
- you are applying from within the UK after completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree
You are not eligible if you are applying for a one-year visa extension to complete an undergraduate exit master's qualification.
Combined pre-sessional and master's courses are part of this pilot. There are two ways you can apply for your Tier 4 visa:
Pre-sessional course as a condition
If studying your master's degree is conditional on completing a pre-sessional course, you will get an initial visa for the pre-sessional course only. Once you have completed your pre-sessional course, you can use this pilot to apply for your master's course visa.
Using a combined Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
You can use this pilot if you have a combined CAS for the eligible pre-sessional and master's course.
Eligibility for a Tier 4 visaEligibility for a Tier 4 visa
To be eligible for a Tier 4 General visa, you have to achieve a score of 40 points under the Points Based System.
You have to provide:
- Evidence of ATAS clearance, as required
- A valid passport
- BRP card, if applicable
- If you are applying from outside the UK: a valid TB test, if required
- If you are applying from inside the UK: a Police registration certificate, if required
You do not provide:
- Tier 4 Maintenance Requirements PDF:289) – either of fee payments and/or maintenance
- Original documentary evidence of the qualifications listed on the CAS
- A Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate for those students who English language is below CEFR B2
- If you are applying from inside the UK: evidence of academic progression
As part of the pilot you do not need to submit academic qualifications or evidence of funds. However, the Home Office may ask for your documents as part of a spot check. You will not get your visa if you cannot provide the relevant documents when asked.
If you choose to submit documents not required for this pilot, your application will be processed as a normal Tier 4 visa application. If your documents then do not meet Tier 4 requirements, your application may be refused.
A Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is an electronic document confirming our sponsorship of you to study in the UK.
How do I get a CAS?
You will need a new, valid CAS each time you apply for a Tier 4 visa.
Our admissions team will email your CAS to you around 3 months before you start your course. This may take a few weeks during the summer when the admissions departments are very busy.
What is on my CAS?
When you receive your CAS, you must check that the details are correct. If there are any errors you must inform us immediately.
Your CAS will state your personal details and details of your course, such as:
- course title and level
- tuition fees charged and paid
- qualifications used for admissions
- Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, if required
Qualifications listed on your CAS
As you are part of the Tier 4 visa pilot you do not need to provide the original qualifications listed on your CAS.
However, you must have the original qualification documents available in case the Home Office request them as part of a spot check. Any documents not in English or Welsh must be professionally translated into English.
The Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance has further details on appropriate translations.
The documents and certificates you will need for the Tier 4 visa pilot application.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
You have to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate to study certain subjects in the UK.
Courses requiring an ATAS certificate
Some of our one year master's courses have an ATAS certificate requirement. These courses are mainly in the science, engineering and medical subject areas. The course entry requirements will tell you if you need a certificate and we will tell you in your offer letter too.
How to apply for an ATAS certificate
You need to make your ATAS application in good time before applying for your Tier 4 visa. This is because an ATAS application can take up to 30 working days to be processed. As a Tier 4 student, you will not receive a CAS from us until you have provided your ATAS certificate. You also need the certificate to apply for your visa.
Find more information on how to apply for an ATAS certificate.
When you will need a new ATAS certificate
If you change your course or area of research you may need to get a new ATAS certificate.
Tuberculosis (TB) screening certificatesTuberculosis (TB) screening certificates
You need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you are applying for a Tier 4 visa from outside the UK and your course is longer than six months.
Check this list of countries to see if you need to have a TB test. You must submit your TB tests results from an approved clinic with your Tier 4 visa application.
Academic qualifications and evidence of fundsAcademic qualifications and evidence of funds
As part of the pilot you do not need to submit academic qualifications or evidence of funds. However, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may ask for your documents as part of a spot check. You will not get your visa if you cannot provide the relevant documents when asked.
If you do submit these documents and they do not meet Tier 4 requirements, your application may be refused.
The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card is your visa and shows your immigration status and conditions while you are in the UK. This information is for people applying for a visa from outside the UK.
Entering the UK with your 30-day visa and collecting your BRP card
By applying to come to the UK for more than six months, you will get a visa in your passport. As a Newcastle student you then need to collect your BRP card from a designated Post Office. We do not provide an Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code.
If you are an entry clearance applicant you need to provide the University's postcode so that you can collect your BRP card from a local Post Office.
You must not travel to the UK before or after the dates on your 30 day visa. You can refer to our guidance to help you enter the UK.
You must collect your BRP card within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Your decision letter will tell you where and when you need to go to collect your card. You will need to remember your passport, decision letter and proof of your current UK address when you go to collect it.
Course registration and ID checking
You will need both your BRP card and passport to register for your course of study. Visit the pre-arrival site for information about the documents you need for registration.
Studying at Newcastle University London?
If you have dependants making a Tier 4 visa application at the same time as you, they can benefit from this pilot too.
You and your family can enjoy the benefits of this Tier 4 visa pilot. Your dependants just need to make their Points Based System (PBS) dependant application at the same time as your Tier 4 visa application. They will have to meet the relevant visa requirements, but do not need to submit evidence of funds with their visa application.
- your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner
- your children aged under 18 years old
For guidance on whether you can bring your family with you to the UK as dependants, see the UKCISA website.
Dependants: applying from outside the UKDependants: applying from outside the UK
Any dependants you have from outside the UK can benefit from the Tier 4 visa pilot too. Your dependants need to:
- apply at the same time as you
- be clear that they are accompanying you and that you will be here as a student
- complete the online form
You can refer to the full PBS Dependant guidance for further information.
If your dependants are applying separately, you may need to provide extra evidence of your relationship.
Once they have arrived in the UK, your dependants must collect their BRP card within 10 days. They need to refer to their decision letter to determine where and when to go to collect the card. If you have a dependant aged under 18, you must nominate a responsible adult to collect the BRP card. You can do this by emailing the Home Office, the details are on your visa decision letter.
Dependants: applying from inside the UKDependants: applying from inside the UK
If you and your dependants are already in the UK, then you can apply for your visas together.
Extending leave as a Points Based System (PBS) dependant
We discuss the PBS Dependant visa application criteria at our Tier 4 Visa Workshops. If you want to attend the next workshop you can book a place.
If you have dependants aged 16 or older and they have an independent life, then you will have to submit proof of their address. This is in the PBS Dependant guidance.
Switching into PBS dependant from another permitted category
If you are already in the UK, then under certain immigration categories your dependants may be eligible to switch to a PBS dependant visa. The PBS Dependant guidance has more information.
If a family member is switching to become your dependant, they will need to make an application as a PBS Dependant. They need to complete the online application form for applying in the UK as a partner or child. They should select "Applying to join somebody (a main applicant) in the UK".
You may need to provide:
- a passport
- a current visa
- a photograph that meets the requirements
- a Police Registration Certificate, if applicable
- suitable financial evidence, see guidance for details
- evidence of relationship, eg marriage certificate or birth certificate
- proof of address, eg tenancy agreement, council tax bill, NHS registration card
- translations of any documents which or not in English or Welsh
- a pre-paid special delivery envelope for the return of your documents. You can buy these from the Post Office
They may need to provide further documents depending on their own circumstances. They will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) as part of the Partner or Child application.
How to apply for a Tier 4 pilot visa from inside or outside of the UK.
You need to make sure that you get your visa in time for the start of your course, course inductions and welcome talks. However, you cannot make a Tier 4 application more than three months before the start of your course. If you do so, your application may be rejected.
Applying from inside the UKApplying from inside the UK
If you currently have a visa to study at a different institution, you need to apply for a new visa to study at Newcastle.
You can apply for a Tier 4 visa from inside the UK if you have successfully completed the course your current visa was granted for. Your new course is usually a higher level than the one you have completed, but there are some exceptions where you can study a course at the same level.
If you currently hold a Tier 2 visa, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 4 visa from inside the UK.
The Home Office have strict time limits on the number of years you can spend in the UK studying at degree level on a student visa. The University may not sponsor a student if they exceed these time limits as the result of a further Tier 4 application.
How to apply
If you are already in the UK, you can attend one of our visa workshops to find out how to make a Tier 4 application. We can then give you one-to-one support to help you submit a valid application.
The current visa application fee for a standard service per applicant is the equivalent of £475.
Studying at Newcastle University London?
We have a visa support service available on campus who offer a drop-in service.
Applying from outside the UKApplying from outside the UK
As part of your Tier 4 visa application, you may need to attend an interview with the Home Office. More information about the interviews is available in the following Home Office guides:
Home Office Frequently Asked Questions (PDF: 61KB)
Home Office Credibility Interviews for Tier 4 visa (PDF: 45KB)
Where you should make an application
You can apply through a visa application centre or your nearest British Diplomatic post. This could include an Embassy or High Commission Consulate in your home country.
The current visa application fee for a standard service per applicant is the equivalent of £348.
All applicationsAll applications
You will need to have your fingerprints taken as part of the application process.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
You are required to make a payment for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is currently £150 per year of the visa granted. These fees may change so check the Home Office website for the latest guidance.
Examples of IHS payments
If your CAS is for a one year masters degree, you may be granted a visa up to a maximum of 19 months. This means that you will pay £300 for the IHS.
If your CAS is for a pre-sessional course followed by a masters degree, you may be granted a visa up to a maximum of 22 months. This means that you will pay £300 for the IHS.