Masters plan eases visa process

Edinburgh has joined a pilot scheme that aims to streamline the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK.

The pilot will simplify the process for Masters courses of 13 months or less. International students taking part in the scheme will apply for so-called Tier 4 visas.

The initiative also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role.

It will allow them to remain in the UK for six months after they have finished their course.

International studies

Almost three thousand of Edinburgh’s international students stand to benefit from the University’s participation in the scheme.

Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.

Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks. 

Pilot scheme

The pilot scheme is currently in its second year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London.

An additional 23 universities are to join the pilot. They include Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow, two in Wales, one in Northern Ireland and universities across England.

The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24 per cent since 2010. This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.

The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MPMinister of State for Immigration

We are pleased to be part of the extended Home Office scheme, which will provide important benefits for our one-year international Masters students. It will enable them to either further their study or pursue their entrepreneurial ideas, and add to the UK’s pool of high value graduate talent.

Professor Charlie JefferySenior Vice-Principal