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Southampton’s exemplary record leads to inclusion in Tier 4 pilot

Published: 18 December 2017
Highfield Campus

The Home Office has announced that it will extend the current pilot of a risk-based approach to Tier 4 sponsors of overseas students to include the University of Southampton.

Southampton has been selected on the basis of its exemplary record of having the lowest visa refusal rate in its region which was at 0.6% during the most recent annual review. This is the first extension since the pilot was established in 2016 and, until now, has included only the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Bath, and Imperial College. Southampton will be able to apply the pilot to its 2018/19 intake.

As part of Tier 4, any international (non-EU) student sponsored for a Master’s degree not exceeding 13 months are able to remain in the UK for a further six months after their course ends rather than the usual four months. Under the scheme, there is also no need to submit as much documentation to UK Visas and Immigration in support of an application. The University will be able vouch for students complying with the academic and English languages requirements of the Tier 4 rules and must be content that they meet the financial requirements of the Tier. The students will need to provide evidence of their TB screening certificate and/or ATAS approval, where required.

“We are delighted that our work with international students making Tier 4 visa applications and ensuring they understand the immigration rules has been recognised by the Home Office,” said University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden. “The University takes compliance with its license very seriously and has been highly successful in reducing Tier 4 visa refusal rates to an almost negligible level. The selection of the University for this pilot will further enhance Southampton’s ability to recruit the most talented students from around the world to study here.”

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