UKVI formalise Covid-19 concessions, supporting current and future INTO students on Tier 4 visas

UKVI formalise Covid-19 concessions, supporting current and future INTO students on Tier 4 visas

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As of 1 August 2020, the Home Office have updated Tier 4 guidance to cover temporary concessions for international students and other changes that have been instituted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The changes in the policy guidance help clarify the on-going situation for students who hold a Tier 4 visa or who need to apply for a Tier 4 visa, but whose circumstances are affected by the impact of Covid-19.

The guidance is positive news for all international students, and it ensures that both current INTO students and applicants already in the UK can meet the immigration requirements to commence or continue their studies with INTO this September and beyond.

Key points

For students who are continuing an existing course or starting a new course, distance learning will be allowed for the whole of the 2020/21 academic year.  The extension of distance learning under Tier 4 provides institutions with the flexibility to adapt teaching to reflect any changes in travel restrictions, quarantine measures or other circumstances caused by the pandemic.

The guidance also confirmed a number of changes to the application process for Tier 4 students and short-term study students in response to the Covid-19 outbreak:

  • Students studying with a private provider who are not yet registered with the Office for Students and currently hold a Tier 4 visa can extend their visas while remaining in the UK, whereas they would normally have to apply from outside of the UK. 
  • Students must normally apply to study a course that starts no more than 28 days after their current immigration permission expires, but now the Home Office will exercise discretion on the requirement if the course begins before 31 December.
  • Students who are in the UK and hold another form of immigration permission (for example, they are here as a Short-term student or as a Visitor) can apply to switch into Tier 4 from within the UK if they arrived on or before 31 July.

If you have any questions, or need any visa support please contact us:   

Download a full copy of the guidance.

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