New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance from UKVI for visa holders

Issued: Thu, 18 Jun 2020 10:48:00 BST

Please note that all concessionary guidance from UKVI will be subject to regular review so please keep checking the Latest News page and the links below for the most recent updates.

The guidance sets out temporary policy concessions for Tier 4 sponsors, Tier 4 students and short-term study students in response to the outbreak of coronavirus. The concessions will all be kept under regular review and will be withdrawn once the situation returns to normal. 

  • For Tier 4 students, this guidance must be read alongside the Tier 4 policy guidance.
  • For short-term students, this guidance must be read alongside the short-term study guidance and Part 3 of the Immigration Rules.

At the moment, current students who are still engaged with their studies online can still be sponsored by the University for a Tier 4 visa, as confirmed in one of the earlier versions of the guidance document.

The most recent changes made on 16 June 2020 also include confirmation that new students studying in a distance learning mode (e.g. online or blended studies) due to Covid 19 can still be sponsored under the Tier 4 route for a visa where appropriate in academic year 2020-21 so long as they will resume face to face teaching as soon as the University is able to provide this again (in keeping with seperate government guidance on phasing out of lockdown restrictions).

Concession to temporarily extend your visa: if your Tier 4 or Short Term Study visa is due to expire before 31 July 2020 and you are unable to leave the UK before the visa expiry date due to travel restrictions caused by Covid 19, please see here for details of how you can apply to extend your visa until 31 July 2020.

Concession for Short Term Study visa holders to apply to switch to a Tier 4 visa in the UK: this is not usually possible however the UKVI state in their Covid-19 concessionary guidance for students and sponsors that if you meet the following along with all other Tier 4 requirements (including holding a valid CAS for the new course and meeting the maintenance requirements) you may be able to exceptionally apply to switch into a Tier 4 visa inside the UK:

  • your visa expires on or before 31st July 2020, and
  • you cannot leave the UK before your visa expiry date due to travel restrictions, and
  • your new course starts no later than 1st October 2020  

Please see paragraphs 3.5, 4.1 and 4.2 for information and contact us at International Student Support with any queries.

If your visa expires after 31 July 2020 please keep checking the Latest News page and links given here for updates on whether the UKVI decides to extend the current concessions until a later date or make a concessions.

Please also see the UKCISA webpages for a breakdown of the most recent changes.