GCU International terms and conditions requires all students to apply for their VISA extensions through the VISA team. 

If you are a current GCU student who wishes to enquire about a potential Tier 4 visa extension for resit purposes, please email visa@gcu.ac.uk and an Advisor will be in touch as soon as possible.

In March 2020, the government released new guidance for Tier 4 sponsors in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The VISA Team have reviewed this guidance and our Advisors are on hand to answer any questions you may have on how this affects you.

Please contact us directly on visa@gcu.ac.uk if you are a Tier 4 sponsored student, or applicant who will require a Tier 4 visa if you have any questions or concerns relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our VISA Advisors are on hand to answer any questions you may have relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and can offer students personalised advice and continued support throughout this time.


21 May 2020 - The government have now updated their guidance for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

Concession to temporarily extend your visa: if your Tier 4 (or Short Term Study visa) is due to expire before 31 July 2020 and you are unable to leave the UK before the visa expiry date due to travel restrictions caused by Covid 19, please click here for details of how you can apply to extend your visa until 31st July 2020. Please contact the VISA Team if you require assistance with this. 

In March 2020, the government released new guidance for Tier 4 sponsors in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The VISA Team have reviewed this guidance and have provided information below on how the changes may impact you. If you have any questions, please contact visa@gcu.ac.uk.


Tier 4 - Information for Tier 4 sponsored students - (COVID-19) 

  • Tier 4 Student absences:

If you are a Tier 4 sponsored student by GCU, you should already have been in touch with the VISA Team to complete the Tier 4 checkpoint table sent via email on 18th March, to confirm if you are remaining in UK during this time or if you plan to exit UK. If there are any changes to your travel plans, please ensure you keep the VISA Team informed, by emailing visa@gcu.ac.uk.

Exiting UK or taking an absence from remote-learning for reasons relating to Coronavirus will not result in you being reported to the Home Office, even if you are unable to attend for more than 60 days. However, it is important you keep the VISA Team, and your Programme, informed of any absence or changes to your travel plans.

Regardless of whether you are in UK or outside UK, it is important you keep in touch with your Programme, and fully engage in remote-learning activities. Doing so will ensure your attendance is recorded on the attendance monitoring system.

If you need to take absence from remote studying due to illness or another reason, please inform your Programme as soon as possible as per the standard absence policy.

Although you will not be reported to the Home Office as a Tier 4 sponsor student for absences due to coronavirus, it is important that your Programme are aware of any absence from remote-learning and that the VISA team have your current address and contact details.

The Home Office will keep this under review and this guidance will be updated with any changes.

  • If GCU are sponsoring you as a distance learning student:

If you are a Tier 4 student who is continuing their studies through distance learning, GCU will continue to sponsor you whether you are in UK, or another country.

If you have been permanently withdrawn from your studies or have deferred your studies for reasons unrelated to coronavirus, The University will report this as usual.

If you have been issued a Tier 4 visa but you are distance learning because you are unable to travel to UK, GCU will not report this to the Home Office.

If you are a new international student who has not yet applied for a visa but want to start a course by distance-learning, you do not require sponsorship under Tier 4 at this time. This is because you do not need to travel to the UK. However, it is important you secure a visa to use when you are able to travel. Please contact visa@gcu.ac.uk if you are in this situation, for further guidance.

GCU do not need to tell the Home Office when students have moved to distance learning.

These arrangements are based on Home Office Guidance, and will apply until 31 July 2020, when they will be reviewed by the Home Office. This guidance will be updated accordingly.

  • If you have been issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) but have not yet applied for a visa:

You will still be able to apply for a visa.

The start date for the course stated on the CAS may have changed. The Home Office will not automatically refuse such cases.

For example, The Home Office may accept a CAS if it has become invalid because you were unable to travel as a result of coronavirus. The Home Office will consider this on a case by case basis. Please contact visa@gcu.ac.uk if you are in this situation, for further guidance.

What is Biometric Reuse?

Recent UKVI and UKVCAS guidance has confirmed a revised biometric enrolment process for some students applying for a visa in the UK. Due to significant demand and limited appointment availability (due to coronavirus) the UKVI have confirmed some students will not be required to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. UKVCAS will use your previous biometric data (excluding a facial image) to continue your application.

Who can use this service?

Not all individuals will be eligible for this process. This will apply to customers with a live application in the system for work, study, family and private life, citizenship and Windrush routes. Some customers will still need to attend a service point in person.

All students eligible for this service will be notified by UKVCAS via email.

What is the process?

UKVCAS will email you directly if you are identified as being eligible for Biometric Reuse. You will be informed you are not required to attend a biometric enrolment appointment due to limited availability.

You will be emailed with instructions on how to send the UKVI a suitable facial image as part of the identification verification process.

If your leave is granted, the UKVI will be able to produce your new biometric residence permit (BRP).

If you cannot send the information through the instructions given, you will be required to book an appointment. If you cannot attend an appointment because of coronavirus, this will not affect your immigration status. 

What to do if you receive UKVCAS correspondence?

Please forward a copy of your email from UKVCAS to VISA@gcu.ac.uk. This will be added your student record as evidence that you are not required to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. Further advice regarding the next steps will be provided from UKVCAS and the VISA Team.

Please ensure all correspondence is forwarded to the VISA Team.

Please note, your immigration status will not be affected during this process.