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

The Home Office has published temporary concessions in response to Covid-19 in detailed guidance for sponsors and students.

If you can't attend university and have a student visa

Prospective students

Prospective students who are overseas must inform the Student Immigration Team at internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk if travel restrictions will prevent you from studying in person. You are permitted to enrol and commence your studies overseas until 30 June 2022.

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

Current students

If you are unable to engage with your studies because of self-isolation or travel restrictions, you should get in touch with your faculty as soon as possible, so that any absences from in-person teaching sessions can be authorised.

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, or if you take periods of annual leave away from the University or if you change your study location.

If you left the UK during the pandemic and have decided to complete your studies remotely, please let us know as soon as possible. If you intend to return but are unable to at the moment because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, you are permitted to continue studying online, from overseas. However, you must return to the UK before 30 June 2022. If you have not already done so, you need to contact the Student Immigration Team at internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk. You should include information on your travel plans, your ongoing studies and current location.

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 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 and pay again to update your vignette.

Please email the Student Immigration Team at internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk if you require assistance with this process.

Learning and teaching for international and vulnerable students

Current international students returning in 2021/22

Students living outside the UK

The UK Government has indicated that international students who hold a student visa to study here and are unable to return to the UK because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions can continue learning remotely from overseas until 30 June 2022. Examples of travel restrictions include travel borders being closed, lack of capacity on flights or managed quarantine spaces, or delays with visa processing offices.

Student visa holders will be required to attend their studies in person through blended learning (including engaging with face-to-face activity) once they can travel to, and arrive in, the UK. The concession permitting blended learning in the UK will remain in place until 30 June 2022.

Students already living in the UK

The UK Government has confirmed that international students who hold a student visa to study here are not permitted to continue learning remotely from elsewhere in the UK.

Students already in the UK are required to attend their studies in person through blended learning (including engaging with face-to-face academic activity). If students in the UK do not attend or engage with scheduled face-to-face academic activity, universities will be required to withdraw sponsorship of their visa.

New students starting in 2021/22

The UK Government has advised that international students who apply for a student visa to study at Stirling, can join and study remotely by distance learning from their home country if COVID-19 related travel restrictions prevent them from joining in person. This concession will remain in place until 30 June 2022. Examples of travel restrictions include travel borders being closed, lack of capacity on flights or managed quarantine spaces for red list country arrivals, or delays with visa processing offices.

If students cannot arrive and enrol by the dates given on their CAS, they should contact our Student Immigration Team at internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Student visa holders will be required to attend their studies in person through blended learning (including engaging with face-to-face academic activity) once they can travel to, and arrive in, the UK.

International students must follow UK Home Office visa regulations and it is important that students plan their travel and accommodation arrangements.

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: internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk

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 internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk

Contacting your faculty

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

arts.administrator@stir.ac.uk

Faculty of Natural Sciences

naturalsciences.enquiries@stir.ac.uk

Faculty of Social Sciences

FoSSFacultyOffice@stir.ac.uk

Stirling Management School

management@stir.ac.uk

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport

health.sciences@stir.ac.uk 

Get in touch

If you need more information or support, please contact Student Support Services on +44(0) 1786 466 022, or at ask@stir.ac.uk.