Visa extensions for students who cannot leave the UK
25 March 2020


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The UK's Home Office has announced visa extensions and other adjustments for students affected by travel restrictions

On 24 March the Home Office announced provisions for international students who are unable to leave the UK. 

For full details see the Home Office's Coronavirus (COVID-19) factsheet: visa holders and short-term residents in the UK (24 March 2020).

Students who cannot leave the UK can apply for a visa extension to 31 May

UKVI has announced that it is extending the end date of visas for students currently in the UK and whose visa has expired, or is due to expire, between 24 January and 31 May. 

Extensions are not automatically issued. Students must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team at the Home Office:

  • Phone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls are free of charge)
  • Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk 

Students must share the the following details:

  • full name (include any middle names)
  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • nationality
  • previous visa reference number
  • reason they can't go back to their home country (for example flight suspensions, border closure, self-isolation)

Students will be notified when their visa has been extended. During this time students can continue studying online.

Students who are unable to leave before their immigration permission expires will not be regarded as overstayers

On 24 March 2020 the Home Office said that:

"No individual who is in the UK legally, but whose visa is due to, or has already expired, and who cannot leave because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, will be regarded as an overstayer, or suffer any detriment in the future".

Students currently in the UK are allowed to study from home

Due to the UK's current self-isolation and social distancing rules, the Home Office is allowing students on a study visa to study from home.

Information for students who want to apply for a UK study visa

Students who are applying or intend to apply for a visa should check with TLS contact (for Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East) or VFS global (for all other countries) for further information on opening and services that are available. An increasing number of visa application centres are closing or only offering limited services currently.

 

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