Foreign Students: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision they are making to ensure international students can return to the UK to resume their studies who left the UK to return home for the duration of the lockdown, and what support they will provide to international students who are no longer in a position to return to the UK to complete their studies due to financial losses as a result of the crisis.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government is applying discretion under current circumstances to ensure that international students are not negatively impacted due to COVID-19. We have published bespoke Tier 4 visa guidance for students and sponsors affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to COVID-19. This guidance includes the latest information for those who might have questions around visa expiry, switching visa category within the UK and distance learning – it also specifically confirms that sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if a student is unable to attend for more than 60 days due to COVID-19 but intends to resume their studies eventually.

We are working closely with universities and are pleased to see that the sector is making every effort to enable students to continue their studies – including moving learning online either in the UK or in student's home country – so that their teaching and assessment can proceed. Students experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 should contact their higher education provider. Many providers have hardship funds which students can apply to for assistance.

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