Coronavirus update: What to do before leaving the UK to continue your studies at home

UK Travel Restrictions 2021

Due to the unprecedented situation coronavirus has created international students can leave the UK and continue their studies remotely from their home country, in most cases, without affecting their Tier 4 visa.

Students can also have 60 days of approved absence without being in breach of their visa.

However, do check with your education provider before making any final decisions, especially if you are undertaking a professional programme, such as medical, teaching or social work, whereby part of your course involves working in industry to gain practical experience.

How will work be assessed remotely?

All education providers will have a different way of assessing students work remotely. For exact details on how your course will be marked, get in touch with your lecturer or module leaders and don’t leave the UK without fully understanding how you will continue with your studies online.

It is also your responsibility to make your education provider aware of any limitations you will have when you move back home, such as slow internet or not being able to access certain websites.

Even though campuses are closed, support and academic departments can be reached in office hours through email or online forms, so get in touch if you are unsure about anything relating to your studies. 

Also, be sure to check your academic email account or the email address your provider usually contacts you on regularly for updates.

How will I sit my exams?

This is a difficult question if you are a university undergraduate or postgraduate student because there is no official cancellation of exams by the government.

However, some education providers are choosing to cancel or postpone exams or substitute them for other forms of assessment.

Your university will be in touch with details about the process and how you will be assessed. If you do not hear anything email your faculty to find out whether you will need to sit an exam remotely from home, complete coursework or an assessment.

What should I do if I am struggling with my studies?

Firstly, it is important to stay informed about the changes to your course. Keep in touch with your academic staff virtually and complete course work and assessments being set on time, so your provider can see how you are performing.

If you are worried that you will not be able to complete the assessments, exams or coursework remotely speak to your lecturers as soon as possible, they will be able to offer support and advice.

Creating a study routine, getting enough exercise, eating a healthy diet and staying connected with friends will all help you stay on top of your studies.

Can I leave the UK now but return later to resume my studies?

You should have no issues returning to the UK to resume your studies as long as you travel back before your visa expires. However, be aware if you permanently withdrawn or formally defer your studies you may have to reapply for a Tier 4 visa to continue your studies, so make sure your education provider knows you are continuing your studies remotely from your home country.

It is important to email or call your education provider before you leave the UK and many providers have set-up easy online forms for you to do this. Before you leave also make sure you know how you will continue your studies online, and how you will submit your assessments and sit exams.

Can I travel without my Biometric Residence Permit?

If you have recently been given immigration permission in the UK but have yet to receive your biometric residence permit (BRP), you may leave the UK without it. We recommend arranging for your biometric residence permit to be sent to your education provider or a friend who will remain in the UK so they can forward it to you.

If the BRP is not collected, it will be cancelled. If this happens, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP to re-enter the UK.