Planning a safe return to our campuses
With restrictions on social distancing and travel likely to remain in place for some time, we will continue to be guided by local Government advice and build in mechanisms to support both a strong presence on campus and the ongoing need for flexible and remote working and studying. Given our multiple campuses and hugely varied activities, local risk assessments will play an important role in ensuring all arrangements are appropriate to the space and the activity.
Keep up to date with all our UK campus information on our Ready to keep you safe pages
If you currently hold an offer to begin your studies at Heriot-Watt in September 2021 please see the latest FAQs.
Specific guidance for UK Tier 4 visa students
How will my attendance/engagement with study be recorded for visa compliance?
How can I extend my Tier 4 or Student visa?
If I have a Tier 4 or Student Visa and am currently studying from my home country due to the pandemic, when will I be required to return to studying on campus in the UK?
Where can I find the current UKVI Advice?
Am I allowed to work full time?
Will the University report me to UKVI if I leave the UK?
The University is currently working within UKVI guidance whilst offering Tier 4 students flexibility to leave the UK during COVID-19. On 24th March 2020, UKVI confirmed that universities are not required to withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship of students who are engaged in online/distance learning (provided by their own university) even if the student has chosen to return overseas. Where a Tier 4 student withdraws from study or suspends their studies, the University would be required to withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship as normal. Tier 4 students should discuss withdrawal or suspension of study with their school and with a Global Student Advisor before making firm decisions.
Will my visa be cancelled due to COVID-19?
How do I request a CAS for a visa extension?
How can I access International Student Advice and visa application checking?
How can I start the Doctorate Extension Scheme process?
If the UK government make changes that affect my visa, how will I know?
The University will communicate with students about any UK government changes that may impact on their visas.
What can I do if I leave the UK and am unable to return when advised to do so, due to travel restrictions?
As the COVID-19 situation develops, the University will communicate with students about how they can return to the UK to resume study and what to do in the event of any travel restrictions impose in the UK or by other governments. Communications received from UKVI on 24 March 2020 have not set a strict deadline for Tier 4 students to return to the UK for study after the COVID-19 situation ends. The University will provide flexibility where possible to support Tier 4 students who are trying to return to the UK for study.
How can I get support to apply for a visit visa to return to the UK?
If I am currently on a work placement, and the placement provider closes their buildings, what am I required to do?
In the first instance, Tier 4 students undertaking work placements should communicate with their placement provider to understand what arrangements are in place for remote working or other alternatives. These students should also communicate with their school office and academic tutors about these arrangements to ensure that the University is aware of the situation, including the location where they will be working. If work placements are likely to be suspended or ended due to COVID-19, Tier 4 students should communicate with their school office and academic tutors and further information and guidance will be provided to them.
What if my PhD viva exam is cancelled and my visa will expire before it can be re-arranged?
How do I access the latest information and advice from the University about changes related to COVID-19?
The University will provide frequent updates to students and staff about changes related to COVID-19. This information will be provided on the student portal, the University website and by email.
What will happen if I need to extend my Tier 4 visa because of COVID-19 and I may breach my Tier 4 study cap?
Where any Tier 4 student is genuinely concerned that the COVID-19 situation is likely to create problems relating to the Tier 4 study cap, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to access advice and guidance.
Prospective Tier 4 students
What if I have received a Tier 4 visa and am due to travel into the UK soon, but am worried about the COVID-19 situation or my travel has been cancelled or delayed?
What guidance does Home Office have for those who have a valid visa but haven’t travelled to the UK yet?
How can I contact visa application centres outside the UK?
- Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East visit: uk.tlscontact.com
- All other countries visit: vfsglobal.co.uk
What will happen if I have already made a visa appointment outside the UK, how will I know if my appointment will go ahead?
What will happen if my passport is currently held at a visa application centre outside the UK?
How can I find out about the availability of IELTS tests near me (outside the UK)?
If I have applied for a visa from overseas but would now like to withdraw my application, how do I do this?
Can I receive a refund of my advance fee instalment if I cannot travel to campus or if there is a delay to the start of the academic year?
- Starting your programme of study online, where possible, before transferring to on-campus study at an appropriate stage
- Studying at an alternative campus, with the option to transfer to your campus of choice after the first semester or first year, where applicable
- Deferring enrolment to a later date
- Receiving a full refund of your advance instalment