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Immigration updates

Graduate Immigration Route - scheme start date and remote study: Applications for the new Graduate work visa can be made from 1 July 2021! We know that many students will want to qualify for this visa but that some of you are currently studying remotely. The government has recognised that some students have needed to study remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are studying remotely in the 2020/21 academic year, you need to arrive in the UK, with a valid Tier 4 / Student visa by the dates listed below:

  • Masters courses started in Sep/Oct 2020: 21 June 2021 (previously 6 April)
  • Masters courses started Jan 2021: 27 September 2021
  • Undergraduate and PhD students completing in summer 2021: before visa expires
  • Longer courses finishing after Summer 2021: Remote study during 2020/21 should be disregarded when considering your GIR application as long as you return and complete your course in the UK

Our Graduate visa page has also been updated with a number of other announcements regarding the application process for the Graduate visa.

BRP CollectionYou will be able to collect your BRP after you have arrived in the UK. If you requested for your BRP to be sent to the University (check your visa application decision notice from UK Visas and Immigration), we will contact you once it has been received. At the moment, there is usually a few weeks’ delay between the date that you arrive in the UK and the date that your BRP is ready to be collected. You will receive an email telling you how to book a slot to collect your BRP once it is ready. You do not need to do anything until you have received this. If you have requested for your BRP to be sent to a Post Office, you will need to collect it there.

Police Registration: Devon & Cornwall Police have advised that students should not travel to their offices during the lockdown period to complete police registration.  The usual 7 day deadline for police registration does not currently apply.  If your visa requires you to register with the police, you should therefore not travel to the police enquiry office at this time but await further announcements by checking the information on our website.  If you are an Exeter based student, we are hoping that the police will come onto campus later in the term - please continue to check our webpage for further information on this.


 Exceptional assuranceIf your visa is expiring before 30 June 2021 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 30 June 2021. 

 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.  

 Replacing your 90-day vignette: If you have applied for and been granted a Tier 4 / Student visa overseas, you will have a 90-day entry vignette (visa sticker) in your passport. You must travel to the UK during the period listed on your vignette.

If you intended to travel to the UK earlier but have had 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.

Click on the link to apply for a single entry replacement BRP visa, select your language, then select 'BRP Vignette Transfer', then follow the instructions below. 

  • Add the country where you will be making your application and providing your biometrics. 

  • Confirm you can travel to a biometric enrolment location

  • Click on Apply Now  

  • In Category of application, select To transfer or replace your visa (vignette)  

  • Register your email address and create a password  

At the end of the application form, there's a free text box, where you can explain why you didn't travel during your entry visa dates and your future travel plans. We recommend that you submit your original CAS statement and a Student Status Letter (available to download on iExeter) as additional evidence.

Submit and pay for the application (approximately £154 + User Pay’s fee in certain countries*) then make an appointment according to the instructions for your nearest UK embassy or visa application centre.  *A priority service may be offered at extra cost.  


Tier 4 becomes Student visaThe Tier 4 visa was replaced with the Student visa on 5 October 2020. Most of the rules remain the same, but there are a few differences. Our Student visa pages have been fully updated with the new rules. Changes also affect Dependants. If you were issued a CAS before 5 October, it is still valid under the new rules. 

In the UK with a visa for another institution?: Remember that if you have a Tier 4 / Student visa for another institution and are now starting a course at Exeter, you must make a visa application using your Exeter CAS before you can register on your programme. Please contact International Student Support for advice – our immigration advisers can help you to prepare and submit your application quickly. 



Brexit implementation/transition period ends: The UK completed its exit from the EU on 31 December 2020. EU/EEA students who entered the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can apply to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme. Students entering from 1 January 2021 will need to apply for a Student visa (for courses of 6 months+) or request entry as a Visitor (for courses of less than 6 months, although some students on short courses may wish to apply for the Student visa instead.) We recommend that you attend our EU Settlement and Visa Information webinar or watch a recordingIn-depth information about the EU Settlement Scheme and the support we provide is hereWe also provide Digital Drop-ins for EU/EEA students to ask questions. If you need to apply for a visa, all of the other information on our website will be relevant to you. 



Short-term study visa will become Visitor visaThe Short-term study visa has been incorporated into the Visitor visa: Visitor visa for Short-term study. Students wishing to enter on this visa from 1 December 2020, will need to apply for or request the Visitor visa instead, confirming that you plan to study a course of less than 6 months. The rules will be the same. 

British National (Overseas) visa: This new visa route is now open 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.