Visas and COVID-19

The Home Office recognises that the coronavirus pandemic is an exceptional situation. Home Office Minsters have been very clear that no one will have a negative outcome through the immigration system due to circumstances beyond their control. The Home Office will regularly review their response to the outbreak and related policy guidance.

Note: It is your responsibility to let the University know about changes to your circumstances because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Concession guidance – 5 August 2020

The Home Office has published temporary concessions in response to Covid-19 in detailed guidance for sponsors and students. There are a number of important concessions within the guidance including:

  • online learning will be permitted for the 20/21 academic year if you intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow
  • if you're studying remotely via online learning, you will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate route as long as you are studying in the UK and hold a student (Tier 4) visa by 6 April 2021

If you can't attend university and have a Tier 2, 4 or 5 visa

If you can't attend university because of self-isolation or travel restrictions, you should get in touch with your faculty as soon as possible. This will help us to support you during the isolation period and ensure absence is recorded.

If you intend to start your degree online

If you intend to start you degree online, please let us know by emailing You should include your full name, date of birth, applicant number and course applied for. If possible, please also include an approximate late arrival date to campus.

If you've already gone home

For students sponsored under a student (Tier 4) visa, the University needs to have a record of where you are. We need to know when you're conducting fieldwork, if you take periods of annual leave away from the University or if you change your study location.

If you've already left, you need to contact the student immigration team on You should include information on your date of travel, your ongoing studies and current location.

If you have already left and have decided to continue or complete your studies remotely during the next academic year, please let us know as soon as possible.

You should also contact your faculty office by telephone or email to let them know about your change of circumstances and your study plans for the remainder of this academic year.

If you have the student (Tier 4) visa but have not yet travelled to the UK

If you have enrolled in Autumn 2020 and are studying online but your 30 day visa to travel to the UK for study has expired, or is about to expire, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of 2020. This does not apply to other types of visas.

This process will be in place until the end of 2020. To request a replacement visa you can either:

  • contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre
  • arrange to return your passport to your VAC if it has re-opened

Please also contact the student immigration team if you require assistance with this process. Email:

If your visa is due to expire, but you can't return home

The UK government has published detailed guidance for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents (including students) affected by COVID-19. You should check this guidance thoroughly for details relating to your visa and to ensure you do not become an overstayer in the UK.

If you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa or leave that expires between 1 November and 30 November 2020 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.

If your visa is expiring, you must contact the UK Government's Coronavirus Immigration Team to update your records. You'll need to provide your personal information and visa details. The Home Office will let you know when your request is received and the outcome.

Let the University know

If you extend your visa through this process, please let the University student immigration team know by emailing

If you need an extension to complete your studies

If you have questions relating to your current visa status and think you may require an extension, please contact the student immigration team by emailing 

Contacting your faculty

If you plan to return home or have already left, you should let your faculty know. You should include:

  • name
  • student number
  • course title
  • whether you intend to remain on campus or travel home 
  • information about your travel plans, including the date of travel, location and intended return date, if any
  • your latest address and telephone number

Faculty Office contact details

You need to contact your faculty about changes to your circumstances. You can do this via the contact details listed:


Faculty of Arts and Humanities

T: +44 (0) 1786 467561



Faculty of Natural Sciences

T: +44 (0) 1786 467840



The Faculty of Social Sciences

T: +44 (0) 1786 467740



Stirling Management School

T: +44 (0) 1786 467370



Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport

T: +44 (0) 1786 466340


Get in touch

If you need more information or support, please contact Student Support Services on +44(0) 1786 466 022, or at