Covid-19 visa guidance for current students

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This page covers advice for current students with Tier 4 or Student visas, affected by changes to your studies and travel options due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This page was last updated on 17 March 2021 at 16:22 (GMT)

Advice for current students with Tier 4 or Student route visas

The University is continuing to support students with student visas who need to study remotely in line with the published UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) guidance. UKVI guidance confirms that Student route (previously Tier 4) immigration sponsors can continue to sponsor current students who will study at a distance during the 2020/2021 academic year, providing that students intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as possible, until 17 September 2021. From the start of term in September 2021, the expectation is that all students should plan for being physically present in Nottingham and attending teaching in person. 

An earlier deadline applies to some students who need to be physically present in the UK sooner due to course requirements. If you were approved for remote study and an earlier deadline applies to you, you will have been contacted with advice about this.

If you want to request remote study now
Please make any request via the exceptional remote study request webpage. Please note that not all courses can be delivered remotely and therefore any remote study request will be considered in light of this.

PhD students
PhD students should discuss their ability to work remotely with their supervisors. PhD students can normally study away from the University (overseas) for a maximum of 3 months under the existing limitations on immigration sponsorship policy.

In light of the above guidance, providing that it is academically possible to make progress, studying away from the University for more than 3 months, up to 17 September 2021, will be permitted. If you have not already formally obtained remote study approval, you should request this via the online form.

General advice
Requests for remote study on academic grounds do not remove the need to follow government guidance which currently advises against all but essential travel.  In addition, if you are subject to contractual or financial obligations, for example in relation to educational loans, accommodation contracts or sponsor agreements these should also be considered fully alongside any remote study request. It is essential that all students studying at a distance have the formal approval of their School via the current students remote study process (see above), engage in all teaching provision, meet deadlines and remain in close contact with academic staff throughout any period of remote/distance learning.

Graduate Immigration Route ('post-study work') visa

Some students have a deadline by which they need to return to the UK if they wish to retain the opportunity to work in the UK after completing their studies under the Graduate Immigration Route, as explained below.

Students on a course of study in the UK lasting more than 12 months (i.e. undergraduate students and PhD students)

We previously referred to the earlier UKVI requirement to be in the UK by 6 April 2021 in order to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route. This requirement has been removed in the latest version of the guidance, for students on a course of study lasting more than 12 months.  

Students on a course of study in the UK which is 12 months or less (e.g. Master’s students, MRes and PGCE students) 

Students who started their course in September 2020 who have not previously entered the UK on their current Student or Tier 4 visa will now have until Monday 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route.  

Students who began their studies in January 2021 who have not previously entered the UK on their current Student or Tier 4 visa will need to be in the UK by the University’s current deadline for remote study, which is Friday 17 September 2021.  

Interrupting your studies

If you are interrupting your studies through personal choice or because academic requirements cannot be met by studying at a distance, interruptions of more than 60 days will carry immigration implications as normal. Please see the student status change page – immigration advice page for further information.  To request an interruption please complete the relevant request form.

Additional time for PhD students

Some PhD students, at specific stages in their research, may have been granted additional periods of study or an extension to their thesis submission date. Any resulting visa extension would need to be applied for and funded separately. Eligibility for further immigration sponsorship (i.e. issuing of a further Student (previously Tier 4) CAS) would be separately assessed, in line with the limitations on immigration sponsorship policy. If your course requires ATAS clearance and you are not exempt, then the change to your expected course end date is very likely to require a new ATAS clearance and you will have been contacted by the Visa and Immigration team prompting you to apply for fresh ATAS clearance.

If you have completed your course and your visa will shortly expire
If you have finished your course and you are concerned that you will not be able to leave the UK before your current visa expires for reasons related to Covid-19, it is important that you take action to avoid overstaying your visa.  If you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa that expires between 1 March and 31 March 2021, please follow the instructions to apply to the Government for Exceptional Assurance to protect you from the normal consequences of overstaying.  If your visa expires at a different time or you have questions, please contact the Visa and Immigration team for advice.

Contacting the University’s Visa and Immigration team

For the most up to date and comprehensive advice for international students, we strongly recommend you read the information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) webpages.

If you have further questions once you have read the guidance above, you can send an email with your student ID number to the University’s Visa and Immigration team.

Visa and Immigration Team

Book an appointment to meet with
an immigration adviser via video call

t: +44 (0)115 84 66125