#Covid-19: International Students Advice and Guidance

By Uzair Ahmed

Coronavirus outbreak has caused a myriad of problems for students studying in the UK. Also, it has made the current situation unpredictable for those who wish to continue their studies in the UK.

Almost half a million students come to the UK to study every year. Out of those students, around one-third belong to countries outside of the EU.

Educational institutions all around the UK are currently closed except for distance learning programs. If you’re a student studying in the UK, or you plan to take up a course for future studies in the UK, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll be sharing some useful advice and guidance for international students that will clear your doubts about your status regarding immigration in the UK.

We strictly recommend that you must get in touch with the best immigration solicitors Birmingham to keep yourself in touch with the latest changes in the immigration laws for international students.

Students whose visas have been expired or expected to expire got an extension until 31st May 2020. For this, students didn’t have to pay any additional fees either. All they had to do is to complete and send a form to the Home Office for approval.

As mentioned above, currently all visa offices are closed in the UK. According to UK Visas and Immigration, as long as you applied before the expiry of your present visa, you will not be considered as an over-stayer. In that case, you’ll not have to apply for the extension.

Normally, it’s the duty of educational sponsors to track attendance of Tier 4 student visa holders and report those international students who’re not able to become a part of the course. In this particular situation, the Home Office has announced that no action will be taken against students who’re not able to attend their routine classes due to the crisis or COVID-19-related restrictions.

If you’ve been allotted a place on a course and your Tier 4 visa application has been approved, and you wish to continue your studies in the UK but aren’t able to attend the course due to ongoing travel restrictions, then you may discuss your situation with your education provider and request for online assistance under a distance learning program.

According to the UK Government, Tier 4 sponsors can continue to sponsor Tier 4 visa holders who’re undertaking courses via distance learning.

Also, academic sponsors are not needed to withdraw sponsorship for any fresh Tier- 4 visa holders who aren’t able to come to the UK due to the current situation.

Please note that if you’re an international student looking to pursue a course in the UK under a distance learning program, you’ll not have to apply for the Tier 4 visa.

It’s also important to understand that you will not be able to enter the country for study purposes until the one-to-one application and visa centers resume around the world.

Because of backlogs, you may not be able to complete your course in time. In that case, you may consider undertaking your course under a distance learning program.

The UKCISA suggests that students who left the country but were still to acknowledge their BRP should contact their institute or a reliable UK resident to forward the relevant documents by post.

While we tried to cover all the important aspects related to the Tier 4 visa category, it’s still recommended to get in touch with your education provider to know more about your options.

Also, you can contact the FCO to know further details about the current immigration laws for international students worldwide. 

Uzair Ahmed is a digital marketing and SEO Expert working for multiple organizations to boost their business and online presence. He can be found developing new strategies for link building and lead generation.

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