Visas and travel

Updated 16 June 2020

Tier 4 visa information

We know this is a difficult time for international students. You can find advice for international students on our support and wellbeing pages. If you are a Tier 4 student, please also read the following information:

I am leaving the UK to continue my studies online

UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) have confirmed that if you are able to continue your studies on-line there will be no impact on your Tier 4 student visa.  You are still expected to complete your studies as within the original timeframe

You don’t need to request temporary leave, or ask permission from your school.

If you leave the UK and continue to engage with your studies online, the University is not required to report your change of study location to UKVI. You do not need to notify the International Student Office of your departure, but you should check your University email and Minerva regularly for any contact from your academic school.

You will not have any difficulty returning to the UK to resume study if you are able to before your immigration permission expires. If you are able to complete your studies remotely, you will not be required to return to the UK unless you wish to return and you are able to do so.

I wish to take Temporary Leave

If you wish to take Temporary Leave for other reasons – please contact your academic school.  Please see the conditions where Temporary Leave might apply.   Your Tier 4 visa will be curtailed (cut short) to 60 days and you will need to request a CAS to make a Tier 4 visa application to return to your studies.

I wish to withdraw permanently from the University

Permanent Withdrawal – if you wish to leave the University and not return, please contact your academic school and complete the relevant leavers forms.  Your visa will be curtailed to 60 days.

If you have questions about your visa that are not answered here, please email internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk

Please use your full name and Student ID in any correspondence with the University.

Please check Minerva and your University email account regularly during this period.

You can also check the information from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKICSA). UKCISA works with the UK government to share appropriate guidance about immigration and other issues with international students in the UK.

Travel advice for students returning home

Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated.

You can also seek information and support from your national embassy.

Some countries now require evidence that you have not tested positive for COVID-19 before you can board a plane to travel there.

It is highly unlikely that the NHS will be able to provide you with such confirmation, especially if you have no symptoms. You might want to wait and see if this restriction is removed after a short time or ask the airline or your embassy for more information about where you are expected to obtain such certification.  

We understand this is a difficult time for students. The University is also working to ensure students who remain in Leeds will be supported. Further support information will be updated regularly.

Advice if your visa has already expired or will expire by 31 July 2020

The UKVI issued this guidance on 22.5.2020

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring.

Check this form to see what information you need to provide. You must complete the form yourself with all the information required by the Home Office.

The UKVI will let you know when your request is received and when your visa has been extended.

I have a Tier 4 visa but intend to remain in the UK to continue studying

If you hold a Tier 4 visa that is due to expire during this period  and you intend to remain in the UK:  you must continue to submit a CAS request and a visa application as usual. 

Switching to a different immigration category

The UKVI issued temporary guidance on 29 May 2020 which confirms that it is possible to switch immigration category from within the UK, when this is not normally permitted. For example, switching from a Short Term Study visa to a Tier 4 visa (if you can meet the conditions of that visa application). This concession is currently for students who hold visas that will expire between 24 January and 31 July 2020. Please do not make such an application without seeking advice from the International Student Advice Team. internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk

Working restrictions

Please note that if you are still in the UK, you are not permitted to work more than the number of hours a week indicated on your BRP, except during the University vacation, unless you are a doctor or nurse working for an NHS trust, in which case there is no limit on the number of hours you can work.

If you have questions about your visa that are not answered here, please email internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk   

Please use your full name and Student ID in any correspondence with the University.  

Please check Minerva and your University email account regularly during this period.  

You can also check the information from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKICSA). UKCISA works with the UK government to share appropriate guidance about immigration and other issues with international students in the UK.