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 – 11 June 2021

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 remainder of the 20/21 academic year
  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 via distance learning, and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they make a successful Student visa application and arrive in the UK either before their visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner.

If you can't attend university and have a student or skilled or temporary worker 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'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 or Spring 2021 and are studying online but your 90-day visa to travel to the UK for study has expired, or is about to expire, you must apply for a replacement visa with revised validity dates.

You will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90-day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information.

We strongly advise that you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again to update your vignette.

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

Learning and teaching for international and vulnerable students

Current students returning in 2021/22

At this point in time, the UK Government has indicated that international students who hold a student visa to study here will not be able to continue learning remotely either from their home country or elsewhere in the UK, beyond the 27 September 2021. Students will be required to attend their studies in person. If students do not attend in person, universities will be required to withdraw sponsorship of their visa. Therefore, to retain their student visa status, students will need to be present at their university, in person, from on or before the 27 September. International students must follow UK Home Office visa regulations and it is important that students plan their travel and accommodation arrangements – including whether quarantining is required once you arrive in Stirling.

New students starting in 2021/22

The UK Government has advised that international students who apply for a student visa to study at Stirling, will need to be present at university in person at the start of their degree and cannot join remotely either from their home country or elsewhere in the UK.
To gain student visa status, students must arrive at, and be present in person at the University before the date stated on their CAS. We understand that there may be delays with travel and visas, so if students cannot arrive and enrol by the dates given on their CAS, they should contact Admissions to discuss this.
See more information about visa requirements.

Vulnerable students

If you are in a vulnerable group and have concerns about coming to campus, or restrictions in your home country currently don’t allow you to travel, please let us know as soon as possible. Please contact your faculty so that we can understand your circumstances and discuss options. For any concerns or questions about your visa status please 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 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