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Essential coronavirus info
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Coronavirus: Student Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Close up of colourful textiles by Sally Cheung
Close up of colourful textiles by Sally Cheung

Written by
Communications Team
Published date
22 March 2020

Page updated on 9 April 2021

For further information about UAL's response to coronavirus, visit our information page.

Monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents on GOV.UK.

If you have any questions about your visa or other immigration matters, please contact the Student Advice Service or

How to quarantine when you arrive in England

If you arrive in England from anywhere outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you must quarantine for 10 days. You must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England. You must also book a travel test package, which includes COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine

There are some countries from which travel to the UK is banned. If you travel to the UK from a banned country (also known as a ‘red list’ country) you will be refused entry unless you are a British or Irish National, or a third country national with residence rights in the UK. This includes for instance, individuals with Tier 4, Student visa, Indefinite Leave to Remain, holders of EU Settlement Scheme and holders of biometric residence permits.

Note that individuals with Visit visas travelling from a ‘red list’ country will not be permitted to enter the UK, even if the purpose is to study.

From 15 February 2021 anyone entering England from a banned country will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days as well as complete necessary COVID-19 testing before and after travelling to England.

You should follow separate advice if you arrive in:

My visa is expiring and I cannot leave the UK due to COVID-19, what should I do?

Depending on when your visa expires, you may be able to request Exceptional Assurance from the Home Office. You should monitor the GOV.UK website which is updated regularly with information and guidance on what you need to do.

What visa documents are needed to enrol on my course?

Find out about the documents you will need to provide to the University so you can be enrolled.

What if I can't travel to the UK to start my course?

Find out about attendance, extenuating circumstances and deferral process.

The Visa Application Centre (VAC) in my country is closed, where should I submit my visa application?

If your VAC is closed due to coronavirus restrictions, you can apply online and select a VAC in another country worldwide to submit your application and biometrics. You’ll need to make sure you’re permitted to travel to that country beforehand.

My 30 or 90 day visa will expire before I can travel to the UK. What should I do?

You can apply for a replacement visa with amended validity dates. Check GOV.UK for further details on how to apply for a replacement.

Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at the Post Office

You should not collect your BRP whilst you are self-isolating. The Home Office have confirmed that your BRP will be kept at the Post Office for up to 90 days. If your BRP is not at the Post Office or the Post Office is closed due to coronavirus, contact the Student Advice Service.

Register with the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO)

OVRO reopened on 29 March 2021. They launched a new online system on 7 April 2021 for appointments and registration which may affect your existing booking.

  • If you have an appointment booked under their previous booking system and you're due to attend between 4 May 2021 and 16 August 2021, you should regard your appointment as being cancelled. You will need to access the new online portal to create an account and book a new appointment.
  • If you have an appointment booked under their previous booking system and you're due to attend on or before 30 April 2021, you can still attend this appointment.

You must complete the booking process within 7 days of arriving in the UK, your actual appointment date can be after the 7 day period. If you're required to quarantine on arrival to the UK, you should not book an appointment during your quarantine period.

Lost or stolen BRP

Please contact the Student Advice Service for individual advice on your circumstances.

I would like to interrupt my studies and continue next academic year. What do I need to do?

You should contact the Student Advice Service for advice on the implications of this decision on your immigration status and future visa applications. You will then need to discuss time-out with your course leader. Requests will be considered in line with the regular procedures and will only be granted, at the discretion of the Dean.

If your request to take time-out is approved, UAL’s Immigration Compliance team will inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you wish to interrupt your studies and your Tier 4 or Student route visa will be curtailed (cancelled).  As a result, you will have to apply for a new visa to return to the UK to resume your studies. You will pay the visa application fee and Immigration Health Charge again.

Diploma in Professional Studies

Please refer to our UAL Diploma in Professional Studies guidance and FAQs

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