As an international student we understand you may have some questions about your visa and how the visa application may be impacted by Coronavirus. Please browse the FAQs below. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please contact the VISA Team on 

What do I do if my visa expires soon and I cannot return home due to travel restrictions?

If you are in UK and you are unable to exit before your visa expiry date due to Coronavirus or travel restrictions, please contact the VISA Team directly for assistance from an Advisor. You can also read the Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

If you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa or leave that expires between 1 September and 31 October 2020 you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’, by contacting the coronavirus immigration team (CIT).

If you are granted ‘exceptional assurance’ it will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your leave has expired. Please note the Home Office have stated that exceptional assurance does not grant you leave.

After you’ve completed the form, you’ll be told what you’ll need to submit to show why you can’t leave the UK.

For example, if you can’t leave the UK because you can’t find a flight before your leave/visa expires, you’ll need to submit a copy of a confirmed flight ticket. If you can’t leave the UK because you have coronavirus, you’ll need to submit confirmation of your positive coronavirus test result.

Can I continue my studies remotely outside UK?

Yes, until your course specifically requires face to face teaching, distance learning in the UK and in other countries is currently acceptable for all students.  This is in line with the Covid-19: Guidance for Tier 4 sponsors and migrants and for short-term students.

Your visa will remain valid as long as your intention is to move to face-to-face delivery only as soon as possible. This concession will remain in place until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

I have resits or repeats. Can I extend my student visa in UK?

If your visa is due to expire before you are finished your studies, please contact the VISA Team on for guidance with a potential visa extension. You can also read more here.

Do I need to notify GCU if I travel outside UK whilst sponsored on a student visa?

Yes.  As a student sponsor licence holder, GCU has an obligation to monitor and keep accurate records of attendance and absence for sponsored students. For this reason, if you do decide to return home, please ensure that you notify us by completing the COVID-19 International Student Travel Form.  

GCU is guided by the Government and UKVI and we will continue to update our guidance in line with the national advice.



What if my studies have been impacted by Coronavirus?

We understand that Coronavirus has impacted everyone in many different ways and may have had an adverse effect on your studies. Please contact your Programme staff directly if you feel your studies have been impacted by Coronavirus. 

Please also browse the Coronavirus Latest page for information for up to date advice and resources which you may find helpful. 

If you feel you may need to extend your Tier 4 visa to complete your studies, please contact the VISA Team directly on 

UKVCAS Identification Verification App (IDV) - What is it and how do I use it?

The UKVCAS Identification Verification App (IDV) guide is available here:

You will receive an email from the Home Office with instructions if you have been deemed eligible to use the app, as part of an in country visa application.