COVID-19 Travel

Updates from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

Last modified: 19 March 2020

The UK government has released immigration guidance for everyone affected by Coronavirus travel restrictions. Please refer to this page for the latest advice, which we will also highlight here when new information becomes available.

The government understands that in these exceptional circumstances, students may be unable to attend studies as required by the terms of their visa. The guidance states:

“The Home Office recognises the current situation is exceptional and will not take any compliance action against students or employees who are unable to attend their studies/work due to the coronavirus outbreak, or against sponsors which authorise absences and continue to sponsor students or employees despite absences for this reason.

The Home Office will keep this under review, especially if the length of absences mean a potential repeat of period of studies become necessary.”

A Home Office coronavirus immigration helpline and email address is available for immigration enquiries related only to Coronavirus:

Telephone: 0800 678 1767, open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Calls are free of charge.

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

We understand that UKVI (the UK Visas and Immigration department of the Home Office) will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. UKCISA is in regular communication with the UK Home Office to represent the interests of international students during this outbreak. We will continue to update our guidance, here on this page, as soon as we receive any updates.

For support or clarification on any of the information given here, you can call the UKCISA Student Advice Line on +4420 7788 9214 between 1.00pm and 4.00pm (UK time) between Monday and Friday, except for public holidays. Before calling us, please check Questions we can answer and Questions we can not answer yet.

General support for international students

Last modified: 20 March 2020

This is a difficult and stressful time for international students. The wellbeing of international students is our top priority at UKCISA and we are doing everything we can to ensure that you have the support you need.

In this rapidly evolving situation, advice from institutions, and from the governments in the UK and other countries is understandably being updated on a very frequent basis. One key piece of advice from us at this stage is to let your institution know if you are planning to leave the country.

Universities and colleges will be transitioning to working more online but staff will continue to work to support you in your own institutions. We advise all students to check information and advice on your institution’s websites and to keep in touch with academic and support staff.

All the latest advice from the UK government.

Latest health advice and information from Public Health England.

Latest health advice from Public Health Wales.

Latest health advice from Northern Ireland.

Latest health advice from Public Health Scotland.

Looking after our mental health is more important now than ever and social isolation can be extremely difficult to cope with. There is lots of useful information about looking after your mental health during this pandemic on the Student Minds website.

We understand that many students live in shared accommodation and this can be worrying if you or your housemates start to feel unwell. In most cases, the disease seems to be mild. If you are living in student halls of residence and are worried about your own health or the health of students that you live with, contact staff at your accommodation to inform them that you are unwell, and use this link to guide you on to next steps.

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.

Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline by telephone and email:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

You can also call the UKCISA Student Advice Line for advice and support on +4420 7788 9214 between 1.00pm and 4.00pm (UK time) between Monday and Friday, except for public holidays. Before calling us, please check Questions we can answer and Questions we can not answer yet.

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