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Immigration advice and COVID-19

Immigration advice and guidance during the COVID-19 crisis

Please refer to the UCL webpage for the most accurate and up-to-date advice for students who may have concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus.


My Tier 4 visa is about to expire

If you have finished your programme at UCL and your visa is about to expire but travel restrictions prevent you from leaving the UK, please read the UK government coronavirus immigration advice

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

UKVI have confirmed your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).  However you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring.

You should provide:

  • your full name (include any middle names)
  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • nationality
  • your previous visa reference number
  • why you can’t go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed

UKVI will let you know when your request is received and when your visa has been extended.

If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.  Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.  Your email must be in English.  Please also let the Student Immigration Advice Team know via askUCL should you request a visa extension from UKVI so that we may better support you. 

If you still unsure about what to do or need further information, please call the coronavirus immigration helpline.


Remote study and absences - undergraduate and postgraduate taught

UCL has confirmed that face-to-face teaching is suspended for the remainder of this academic year and as such the university is adopting online alternatives for teaching and assessments wherever possible.  UKVI has confirmed that sponsors are permitted to teach Tier 4 students via distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you are not able to study remotely, please contact your department to discuss what you are able to do during this time.

UCL will not withdraw sponsorship of Tier 4 visas where a student is absent due to the coronavirus in line with new UKVI concessions stated on their webpage.  UKVI have confirmed that sponsors are permitted to continue sponsorship of Tier 4 visas where a student is absent for more than 60 days, however please note this concession will be kept under review and so may change at short notice. We will update this webpage when further guidance is provided. 


Remote study and absences - postgraduate research

Research students are encouraged to follow the advice and guidance on the UCL Doctoral School webpage.   UCL will continue to sponsor Tier 4 visas for students who are continuing to study remotely. 

If you are not able to study remotely due to the COVID-19 crisis, please contact your supervisor to discuss what you are able to do at this time. 

UCL will not withdraw sponsorship of Tier 4 visas where a student is absent due to the coronavirus in line with new UKVI concessions stated on their webpage.  UKVI have confirmed that sponsors are permitted to continue sponsorship of Tier 4 visas where a student is absent for more than 60 days, however please note this concession will be kept under review and so may change at short notice. We will update this webpage when further guidance is provided. 


Intending to leave or have left the UK?

Should you wish to return home, you must inform UCL of your intention to leave the UK by completing the Coronavirus Return Home notification in the ‘Visas and Immigration’ category of askUCL.
 
UKVI has confirmed that sponsors are permitted to teach Tier 4 students via distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis.  We are therefore not required to report student absences if you are continuing to study remotely. 


I have arranged for my BRP to be sent to UCL but the office is closed

Please note that is currently not possible for BRPs to be delivered to the UCL campus. Please do not use UCL's ACL code in your visa application.  If you are applying for a visa from outside the UK, please ask for your BRP to be delivered to the Post Office.  If you are applying for a visa from inside the UK, please enter your UK address in the application form.

If you have already entered UCL’s ACL code in your application form, please contact the visa compliance team on askUCL who can advise you further.


I am intending to return from interruption

You will be able to re-enrol on Portico without attending in person.  Once you do so you will have full access to UCL’s on-line facilities.  You will also be able to pay your fees on-line.

You will be able to enrol from the date you are due to resume your studies.

Please see the other FAQs on the UCL COVID-19 webpage for more information about support with online learning and assessment.

If you need a visa to study at UCL we will allow you to re-enrol from outside the UK.  Please note that you will need to apply for the correct visa to return to UK when you are able to do so, and you will need to provide evidence of this upon your return to UCL. If you require a Tier 4 visa in order to complete your studies, you will need to request our CAS number. Please refer to our guidance about CAS numbers.

If you have any queries about your record, please do this by logging in to askUCL, our student enquiry system.


I cannot apply for a visa because the visa application centres are closed

The UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), led by Sopra Steria on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), has suspended all services.  Further information about how this may affect you can be found on the Sopra Steria website

If you are outside the UK, please click on the following links for advice on visa services in your country:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS global for all other countries

Further resources

UKCISA guidance: Coronavirus (Covid-19): info for international students

UKVI guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

UKVI guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for Tier 4 sponsors

UCL guidance: Advice for staff and students who may have concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus

NHS guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for everyone