Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for international students and applicants. If you have any further questions, our friendly International Team will be pleased to help. You can email them at international@qmu.ac.uk.  They also run online support sessions.

 

 

 

Last updated: 25 November 2021

General information for international students interested in studying at QMU

Will I have to go into quarantine when I travel to Scotland or return to Scotland from abroad?

(See also our FAQ on covering the cost of Managed Quarantine.)

New and returning students should regularly check the latest advice on the Scottish Government website before booking and planning travel to Scotland. The advice is changing frequently, sometimes at short notice, so it is important to get the most up to date guidance.

Advice on travelling to Scotland

If you are flying directly into Edinburgh or another Scottish airport from overseas, you should follow current quarantine advice set by the Scottish Government.

Since 4 October, 2021, the travel restrictions have been simplified into ‘red list’ and ‘non red list’ countries.

If you are coming from a country on the ‘red’ list, you will be required to quarantine in a government approved facility for 10 days on arrival at a cost of £2285. Details of testing and quarantine requirements are on the Scottish Government website.

What you must do when you arrive in Scotland from abroad depends on:

  • where you’ve been in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland
  • whether the country or area you’ve travelled from is on the red or non red list
  • Whether you have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine

See the latest information from the Scottish Government which includes information on what ‘fully vaccinated’ means.

Universities UK has published FAQs on quarantine for international students arriving in England, which you might find useful if you are coming from a red list country.

Our international team will be pleased to help you with your questions on this topic (international@qmu.ac.uk).

I am an international student and may need to quarantine. How will the University handle that and how will I be supported?

(See also our FAQ on covering the costs of Managed Quarantine).

 

You should plan to arrive in time to have completed any required self-isolation prior to the commencement of your in-person teaching. However, please be reassured that if you are unable to, for some programmes it may be possible to start your studies remotely when teaching starts and then join us face to face when you self-isolation is over. Please contact admissions@qmu.ac.uk if you think you may not be able to complete self-isolation in time for the commencement of in-person teaching for your progamme. 

At any time that students may have to quarantine, staff in our International Office are available to provide any support and guidance that may be needed. They will be running regular drop-in sessions. There are also face to face appointments available for students not quarantining. Further details regarding the drop-in sessions, including the timing and how to attend, will be sent to each international student’s email address. In addition, details of dedicated weekly online drop in sessions can be found on our website.

Our Wellbeing and Counselling team are available for more general support as required and appointments can be booked and delivered online.

The Scottish Government website provides advice on travel and quarantine requirements at this time.

 

If I need to self-isolate (or can’t return the UK), how will I be treated by the University?

If you are not able to return to the University due to COVID-19 -related travel restrictions or due to the lack of flights back to the UK, and this affects your assessment or examinations, you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances application via the Student Portal. If you are self-isolating, you should complete the normal absence form within the Student Portal.

If you might be absent from QMU for more than two weeks, and might therefore miss key teaching or assessment, the University will assess the impact on your studies on an individual basis. You will need to alert us if you are in this position by emailing schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk, raising any questions or concerns you might have.

What do I do if the pandemic affects my immigration status?

helpline has been set up by the Home Office for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.

I am due to start at the University and I am having difficulties obtaining my visa. What should I do?

For new students or those concerned about obtaining or renewing their visas, you should contact our International Team

What if I am having difficulty making arrangements to be tested for my English language (IELTS)?

For applicants who need to be tested for their English language (IELTS or equivalent) we are aware that most test centres are currently closed. We know that test providers have stated their intention to offer additional testing slots when they reopen, but where it is not possible for you to sit an English Language Test in order to meet the conditions of your offer, the University will review your circumstances nearer to the start date of your programme. If you have any concerns, please contact the Admissions team.

I am a prospective international student who wants to meet with someone from your recruitment team in my country. What advice have you for me?

We would be very happy to engage online through Skype, email or telephone. You can arrange to chat with us by emailing international@qmu.ac.uk.

What if I cannot return home and my visa is due to expire?

Students should check gov.uk first as that is the central source of information and updates to information will be posted regularly but if individuals remain concerned about their immigration status they can contact the Government's coronavirus immigration helpline at: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

Please note the helpline is for immigration enquiries related to coronavirus only.

Students should not hesitate to contact international@qmu.ac.uk if they are have any concerns.

What support is there currently at QMU for international students?

Regular online drop in sessions are taking place at QMU. The international team will send dates, times and joining information to all overseas and exchange students. This will be sent to your QMU student email. We will also publish them on our QMU International Facebook page. Please know that you can reach out to us with any questions at International@qmu.ac.uk.

 

I am an international student that began studying in the 2020-21 academic year. If I started my course online, can I still take advantage of the Graduate Route visa?

The UK Government has confirmed that students on Tier 4 or Student visa commencing their studies in the 2020-21 academic year will be eligible for the new Graduate Route visa (formerly known as the post-study work visa) even if their courses is delivered initially through distance or blended learning. Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have now been extended, recognising the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions. Students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate Route. However, if students are required to continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance learning from overseas due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the Graduate Route if they meet the other requirements of the route and a concession applies.

Applicants who began their studies in September 2020 or January 2021 on a course of 12 months or less, need to have entered the UK by 27 September 2021, or the date by which an applicant’s visa expires, whichever is sooner, in order to be eligible for the Graduate Route. Students who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission will be eligible for the Graduate Route as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of that permission.  

Students who are starting a course of 12 months or less in Semester 1 or Semester 2 of the 2021/2 academic year via distance learning must enter the UK by 06th April 2022 and complete their studies in the UK. We encourage students to travel to the UK to study as soon as they are able to do so.

Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate Route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 or any distance learning which took place overseas between 27 September 2021 and 6 April 2022. If a student’s current permission expires prior to 6 April 2022, they must enter the UK prior to the expiry of their Student permission rather than prior to 6 April 2022. 

The new Graduate Route opened for applications on 1 July 2021.

Find out more about the Graduate Route Visa, or get in touch with us at international@qmu.ac.uk

 

 

What advice does the Scottish Government provide for international students considering a visit home, with the intention of returning to Scotland afterwards?

International students who are considering a visit home, with the intention of returning to Scotland afterwards, must follow the guidance on international travel and quarantine as appropriate when arriving back in Scotland. They should also note any quarantine rules which may apply in their home country.

For more information, see the Student Information Scotland website.

Do I need to be vaccinated before I arrive in the UK to study and what help will there be if I need to be vaccinated in the UK?

Getting vaccinated before travel

It is not currently a requirement that an international student is vaccinated in order to study in the UK, although you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated before you arrive, if possible.

If you are a student coming to Scotland for study, you will be subject to current testing and quarantine rules like everyone else.

Further information on testing and quarantine for international students can be found on the Student Information Scotland website.

International students should all check to see what vaccination they may need. You can check  on the section of the NHS Inform website for intenational students.

If you have had a first and second dose of a vaccine that is recognised in the UK you do not need to do anything further unless the national advice changes.

Getting vaccinated in Scotland

If you have had no vaccinations for COVID-19 you will need a course of two doses of the vaccine (eight weeks apart). The COVID-19 vaccine is provided free of charge in Scotland.

If you have had the first dose of a vaccine approved for use in the UK (eg Pfizer), we will provide information on how to get your second dose when you arrive in Scotland. 

If you have had a vaccine not recognised by the UK you can check this document used by health professionals (see table in Appendix 1 of document). This will guide you to what vaccines are recognised in the UK, and what would happen in your circumstances.

For vaccines in the final section of the table that are not recognised yet in the UK (based on our evidence review), you will need a further vaccination with a UK recognised vaccine.

Information available on vaccines in the UK can be found at The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot) website and the Student Information Scotland website.

 

 

 

What happens if I can’t get to campus for the start of my course.

We strongly encourage as many students as possible to return to campus in time for the start of their course where it is possible for you to do so. For those international students unable to make it here for the start of their course due to travel restrictions or delays in the issuing of visas, we will do all we can to support you until you are able to return to the campus.  For those who can return our expectation is that you do so. Your time at University will be significantly enhanced by an on-campus experience and many of our programmes have compulsory practical requirements that we cannot deliver remotely.

Based on current guidance issued by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), new and returning international students who are initially unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake their course of study via distance learning, but must travel to commence their study in person as soon as they are able and no later than 6th April 2022. Students will still need to demonstrate that they are fully engaging in their programme of study.  Students in this position should email registry@qmu.ac.uk as soon as possible.

International students who hold a Tier 4/ Student Visa who are already in the UK will not be permitted to study via distance learning from Semester 1 under that guidance. They can continue existing courses or commence new courses of study by blended learning. Blended learning is currently permitted by UKVI until 6th April 2022. This means that students will be expected to attend all sessions in person on campus that are detailed by your chosen course of study at QMU.

We also recommend visiting the UK Council for International Student Affairs website as a source of external advice.

Will my visa status be affected if I cannot travel to study on campus?

I am an International Student and I am unable to travel to the UK at this time.

On 01st July the Home Office updated their UKVI guidance on temporary concessions during COVID. This updates the previous position on the requirement for all international students on a Student/ Tier 4 visa holders to attend in person in Semester 1.

New and returning international students who are unable to travel to the UK are able to undertake their course of study via distance learning. Students must travel to commence their study in person as soon as they are able and no later than 06th April 2022. Students will still need to demonstrate that they are fully engaging in their programme of study.

I am an International Student already in the UK. Can I study via distance learning?

No. International students who hold a Tier 4/ Student Visa who are already in the UK will not be able to study via distance learning from Semester 1. They can continue existing courses or commence new courses of study by blended learning. Blended learning is currently permitted by UKVI until 06th April 2022. This means that students will be expected to attend all sessions in person on campus that are detailed by your chosen course of study at QMU.

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