COVID & UK Visas
A Relief for all students who are planning their study in the United Kingdom. Holding an offer but don’t know what to do? Are you uncertain about your plans to study in the UK this year? Are your parents worried about your safety?
We have some good news in these challenging times!!!! Listed below are the updates on the visa for students as per the UKVI webinar today dated 11.06.2020. The summary of the updates for Sep 2020 is:
1. COVID 19 and visas – All visa application centers are closed right now, they will open soon. Exact dates are not available yet, in talks to have Government approvals for the same. But, don’t see any issues for South Asian students for their applications this summer and they will be able to apply in time. However, Priority and super-priority visas won’t be available immediately. At the moment the standard processing time will be 15 working days.
2. Quarantine – Everyone traveling to the UK will have to quarantine for 14 days and this applies to students as well. Universities are now working on having arrangements for this.
3. Policies – Students who are stuck in the UK can now extend their visas and can only travel back to their home country once visa centers are open.
4. Health in the UK – IHS will give full access to NHS and that includes COVID treatment. And the test does not carry any charge and the treatment does not carry any charge. Students on TIER 4 visa will have the same rights as British citizens.
5.GIR – It is very much happening. It’s guaranteed by the Home Secretary and PM. Further information will be shared soon. An official statement will be announced soon this summer.
6. Tier 4 process – The process will remain the same, there will be no changes in funding requirements, a TB test will be required. Like before, the process will be to apply online and later come to VFS to submit documents. There will be no e-visa process for the UK. It will remain the same, as biometrics is important to have visibility in the system. The entire visa application and document submission process will involve social distancing measures, regular sanitization, use of masks and gloves, etc.
7. Dependents: Dependents will only be allowed at the PG level. And they will need to show maintenance fees for dependents. Dependents are allowed to work full time. HND HNC programs won’t be eligible for GIR. Students going to the UK increased by 136% from last year.
8. IHS is increased – the exact cost will be updated soon. Not good news, but NHS has been doing a lot and students get a full health cover in return. It’s just 1% of your student fee.
9. Online and on-campus delivery – Looking to announce further information on this soon this summer. Expecting students to do the majority of the course physically in the UK. If first couple of months are done outside the UK, they should still be able to apply for GIR.
10. GIR – Not just STEM but all students eligible for GIR. After GIR, you need a Tier 2 visa to stay back and work. Minimum salary required 25600 GBP. A sponsor will be required.
11. Accommodation evidence not mandatory for tier 4 visas. But it’s better to have this arranged well in time.
Note: If a student gets a tier 4 visa and can’t travel due to lockdown, their visas will be extended. They will need to go to VFS and renew it but they don’t need to pay anything again.
COVID 19 test is not mandatory for students to apply for visas.