Applying for a Visa Using the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme

The Tier 4 Pilot scheme provides one-year Master’s students and their dependants the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process and six months extra time on their visa.

End of Tier 4 Pilot Scheme

We have been informed that the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme will be closed in the first half of October 2020.

We do not know if this means:

  • that you will no longer be able to apply under the Tier 4 pilot if your course starts after the the date the pilot scheme is closed; or
  • if it means you will still be able to apply under the Tier 4 pilot, even if your course starts after it closes, but you apply for your visa before it closes.

We will update this page as soon as possible once we receive clarification on this from UKVI, so you will know which documents you need to submit with your visa appication.

UKVI have confirmed that this is happening because they are introducing the Graduate Immigration Route from the summer of 2021.


  • You are eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme if you are applying to study a Masters course of 13 months or less at the University of Sheffield, from outside or inside the UK.
  • Your eligibility for the Tier 4 Pilot scheme will also be confirmed on your CAS.


Participating in the pilot allows you to:

  • stay an extra six months after the end of your course
  • submit fewer supporting documents with your application (e.g. certificates or documents showing your previous qualifications, results and maintenance requirements)

Where your dependants are applying at the same time as you, they are also not required to submit supporting documents.

Where they are applying separately, they are required to submit supporting documents.

How to Apply

Where you meet the above requirements your application will automatically be considered under the pilot.
You are still required to submit an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate and/or a tuberculosis screening certificate with your application (if applicable).

We recommend including a supporting letter with your visa application confirming your eligibility for the pilot, an example can be found in the ‘see also’ section of this page.

See Also

Tier 4 Pilot Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 121kb)

Example Supporting Letter for Tier 4 Pilot (PDF, 130kb)