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Immigration and Visas

Covid-19 immigration advice

 

For guidance about how Covid-19 may affect your travel arrangements and visa application at KCLplease see the FAQ's b elow.

You can additionally find further information at:

UKCISA - Guidance for international students

UKVI - Advice for visa applicants and temporary residents

KCL - General Covid-19 advice for students and staff

 

Offer holders - travel and visa advice

 

How do I know if a Visa Application Centre (VACS) in my home country is open?

The Visa Application Centres are beginning to reopen. Please be aware that the reopening of these locations is subject to local conditions and the operating environment remaining conducive. This remains a fluid situation that the UKVI continue to keep under daily review. Therefore, to ensure you always have the most up to date information on which VACs are open, please check the relevant commercial partner website

Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East visit: uk.tlscontact.com

All other countries visit: vfsglobal.co.uk  

 

Please note, the UKVI will not initially be offering priority or super priority services. This will be kept under review. 

 

       
Can I submit and pay for my Tier 4 application now, even if my visa application centre is still closed?

It is your choice if you would prefer to wait to apply for your visa when you know that your VAC will re-open or submit and pay now and put your application on hold.

 

You can submit and pay for your Tier 4 application, even if your VAC is closed. Your application will be paused until services resume and the VAC can process your application. You would need to make sure that on the date that you submit your application online and pay, that you meet all the requirements, for example, the financial regulations, otherwise you risk refusal. The day that you submit your application and pay, is the date that you will have deemed to have made your application and that will be the date that your supporting documents will be checked against. 

 

Can I apply for a Tier 4 visa in a different country?

We are aware that it may be possible to apply from another country for your visa – this is something that applicants would not normally be able to do. However, if a student does decide to do this, they will need to be able to evidence that they are in that country legally with the correct immigration permission and explain why they were not able to apply from their home country. It would be a risk to travel to use a visa application in another country as you may be subject to quarantine rules and will have to remain in that country throughout the process, which may be delayed. It is normal requirement to retain the passport at the VAC while the application is being considered.

 

        
My visa application centre is still closed in my home country, can I come to the UK in September on a tourist visa and apply to switch into Tier 4 as an alternative?

If you arrive in the UK on a tourist visa, you will not be eligible to enrol for your programme of study. This is because the current immigration rules do not allow those on a tourist visa to study on course that is longer than 30 days.

The immigration rules do not allow those who hold a visitor visa to switch into a Tier 4 visa, inside the UK. Therefore, you would need to travel back to your home country to apply for your Tier 4 Visa.

 

If you need support with your individual situation, or have questions on the application process, please contact the Student Advice & Guidance Team.

 


Do I need a Tier visa in order to enrol?

No, enrolment is online and therefore you will be able to complete enrolment and start your programme before you obtain your Tier 4 visa.

We understand you may not be able to obtain your visa and arrive at KCL before the start of your programme. You will still be able to begin your studies online and provide us with a scan of your visa once you have it.

If you currently hold a visa to study in the UK, you will be asked to upload a copy of this as part of online enrolment.

 

 


I already have a still valid Tier 4 visa, can I apply for my new Tier 4 visa in the UK?

If you are in the UK you will be able to apply for a new Tier 4 visa as usual as long as you meet the normal requirements to do so. You must check that you meet these eligibility requirements; before making an application in the UK.

If you need support with your individual situation, or have questions on the application process, please contact the Student Advice & Guidance Team.

 

You can also find more detailed information about how to make an application on our Tier 4 webpages.

 

Current students - Travel and visas

 


I already have a Tier 4 visa, can I apply for a new Tier 4 visa in the UK?

If you are in the UK you will be able to apply for a new Tier 4 visa as usual as long as you meet the normal requirements to do so. You must check that you meet these eligibility requirements; before making an application in the UK.

If you are outside the UK and will still have a valid Tier 4 visa on your intended date of entry to the UK you will be able to make a Tier 4 extension in the UK as long as you meet the normal requirements and apply before the expiry date of you visa.  

If you need support with your individual situation, or have questions on the application process, please contact the Student Advice & Guidance Team.

You can also find more detailed information about how to make an application on our Tier 4 webpages.

 


I'm a student and worried about my Tier 4 visa if I study remotely.

The current UKVI COVID Concession guidance confirms that current Tier 4 students who hold a valid visa, can continue their studies by distance learning either in the UK or from overseas, without it impacting their Tier 4 visa, provided that you continue to fully engage with your studies online. Failure to engage with your studies may result in withdrawal of sponsorship.

This will remain in place for the duration of the concession period. 

If you have any questions regarding your situation, please get in contact the Student Advice & Guidance Team

 

 Do I need a letter to support my return to the UK when teaching resumes on Campus?

 If you have a valid Tier 4 visa, you will be able to re-enter the UK using your current passport and valid Tier 4 visa. We would always advise students to carry a ‘Confirmation of Studies’ letter in your hand luggage or on your phone when you travel, as evidence that you are still studying if you are questioned on re-entry.

You can download this via Student Services Online.

If your Tier 4 visa has expired or will expire before you return to the UK, please contact Student Advice & Guidance for further guidance

 

 I am in the UK and can not travel home and my visa is about to expire, what should I do?

 The latest UKVI COVID Guidance extended their concessions for those whose immigration permission expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020.


If your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020, you will be able to remain in the UK until the 31 August 2020 under the same conditions of your most recent leave. You are not required to request permission from the UKVI to do so. Instead you must either apply for a new visa before the 31 August 2020, if you are staying the UK or if you are not planning on extending your leave, you must make arrangements to leave UK by 31 August 2020.

If you are planning on leaving the UK but are not able to do so by the 31 August 2020, please get in contact with the Student Advice & Guidance Team.

 


 I am outside the UK and need to make a new Tier 4 visa application to enter the UK.

 Please see the visa application advice above for offer holders applying outside the UK.

 

 

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