Skip to main content

Immigration updates

General updates

Making a Student visa application in the UK - December 2021: UK Visas and Immigration have made signfiicant changes to the Student visa application process for students who are making their visa applications inside the UK. Most students will now complete identity checks using the UK ID Check app at the start of their application form. Students who complete their identity checks in this way will receive their visa in the form of a 'digital status' e-visa. Some students will also receive a BRP, while some will only have a digital status. These changes have come in in late December 2021 and we are working on updating our web information to reflect them but this will not be live until January 2022.

Graduate Immigration Route and remote study: Applications for the new Graduate work visa opened on 1 July 2021! We know that many students will want to qualify for this visa but that some of you are currently studying remotely.  While it is usually a requirement that students be based in the UK throughout their studies, the government has recognised that some students have needed to study remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  If you are studying remotely in 2021/22, you must arrive in the UK by a specific date. These vary depending on your course start date and length and are outlined in the Remote Study section of our Graduate visa page which also covers eligibility and the application process.

CAS issuing timeframes and FAQs: We are now issuing CAS for students commencing programmes in September 2022! You can find out when to expect your CAS and detailed answers to all of our Frequently Asked Questions on our CAS page.

ATAS: The UK's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) now seem to be processing ATAS applications within their usual service standard of 30 days. We cannot chase ATAS applications that have been outstanding for less than 30 days.

British National (Overseas) visa: This visa route opened in January 2021 for British National (Overseas) passport holders and their family members who are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK. The visa allows you to live, work and study in the UK for up to 5 years and leads to settlement. More information is available on the Home Office webpage.

EU Settlement Scheme: The deadline for initial applications to the EU Settlement Scheme for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK without a visa has now passed.  EU/EEA and Swiss nationals either inside or outside the UK will need to apply for a visa unless they have been granted Pre-settled or Settled status.

Covid-19 immigration concessions:

 Exceptional assuranceIf your visa is expiring before 31 March 2022 but you are unable to travel, you can request ‘exceptional assurance’ from the Home Office which will allow you to stay in the UK legally until at least 31 March 2022. The criteria for exceptional assurance has become stricter, you will need to prove that it is impossible for you to travel at this time.

 Remote study and your visaIf you have a Tier 4 / Student visa but now have permission to study remotely for 1 or more terms due to Covid-19, your visa will remain valid as long as you are registered and engaging with your programme. This concession will continue until 30 June 2022. 

 Replacing your 90-day vignette: When you apply for and are granted a Student visa overseas, you will be issued a 90-day entry vignette (visa sticker) in your passport. You must travel to the UK during the period listed on your vignette. 

If your travel plans are disrupted or you have decided to start your studies remotely or defer your start date, your vignette may expire before you can travel to the UK. In that case, you will need to replace it by following the steps outlined on our Student visa page.