Travel for study - Visa changes for international students

Visa changes mean it will now be possible for international students to travel for study in the UK mid-way through their masters course. This is a temporary relaxation of the rules around study visa travel arrangements.


The UK Government has confirmed for students planning to start a degree course in the UK in the autumn can commence their programme remotely from home if this option is offered, rather than having to arrange a visa and travel to arrive in September.


Universities will advise when students can make arrangements to travel to the UK to complete their course later in the academic year, so long as they are on campus before 6th April 2022. The Guidance from the Home Office is a temporary change. Paragraph 2.11 of the document states: -


'(Sponsors) can also commence sponsoring new Students and Child Students who will start studying through distance learning from overseas in the 2021-22 academic year, provided they transition to face-to-face learning when they arrive in the UK, which must be no later than by 06 April 2022.'


Additionally, students arriving in the UK later under this arrangement will still be eligible for work rights upon completion of their degree, as part of the recently announced Graduate Route.


This change is in recognition of the fact that many international students would normally be arriving in the UK at the same time, so to avoid unnecessary health risks universities can now spread-out arrivals and manage teaching and accommodation issues as needed.


Universities will be continuing with quarantine arrangement for students from countries that have restricted travel. The picture is under regular review, particularly as the UK is making important changes to its response to the pandemic at the end of July, where it is hoped that the list of countries where travel is restricted will be modified.


Visa changes effecting international students who travel for study could apply to you. If you started your course in autumn 2020 or spring 2021 you must still make arrangements to be in the UK before 27 September.