Travel and visa information

We're working hard to make sure that any appropriate arrangements as detailed by the UK government will be in place to support our students this autumn.

The requirement for a visa remains unchanged, and those who need to apply for a visa to study at The University of Manchester must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the University.

Information on immigration and visas can be found on our student support page.

Quarantine

Is the University able to support me if I need to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

We'll be closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for inbound travellers to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon our new and returning students by September/October 2020. We're working hard to make sure that any appropriate arrangements will be in place to support our students.

Coronavirus regulations mean that individuals must self-isolate for 14 days if they enter the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridors for some countries and territories. The UK government has released a list of countries where visitors to England do not have to self-isolate on arrival if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days.

Students whose permanent domicile is within countries required by the UK government to quarantine on arrival and who have booked University Halls of Residence will be able to arrive two weeks in advance of their accommodation contract start date in September with no additional charge for accommodation prior to the contract start date.

We also are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Airports Group and major airlines with flights into Manchester to ensure there is capacity for students to arrive on campus in time for the start of the academic year.

How can I find out if I will need to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

Coronavirus regulations mean that individuals must self-isolate for 14 days if they enter the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridors for some countries and territories. The UK government has released a list of countries where visitors to England do not have to self-isolate on arrival if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days.

Students whose permanent domicile is within countries required by the UK government to quarantine on arrival and who have booked University Halls of Residence will be able to arrive two weeks in advance of their accommodation contract start date in September with no additional charge for accommodation prior to the contract start date.

Start of term and online study

What if I am unable to be in Manchester for the start of Semester 1?

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. However, we're aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice.

To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation. 

Academic schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.

When should I register for my course?

You should register for your course by the registration deadline of 30 September 2020 for undergraduate and 31 October 2020 for postgraduate taught (master’s) courses. The registration process is the same, regardless of whether you'll start your course on campus or online.

I am not sure when I will travel to Manchester. Does this affect my course start date?

Your course start date is the same regardless of whether your course is on campus or you're choosing to study Semester 1 online.

If your course permits online study and your travel date is delayed, you'll be able to continue your course online until you're able to join us in Manchester.

How do I know if my course permits online study during Semester 1?

The majority of our courses are available for online study during Semester 1. There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation.

Academic Schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.

If I have to start my course online, do I have to study online for the whole of semester 1?

If your course permits online study and you need to start your course online, you can join us in Manchester at any time during Semester 1. Studying in Manchester will include online study as well as face-to-face teaching.

My course does not permit online study and travel is disrupted in my country. What should I do?

Your CAS contains a course start date and a latest start date. If you're worried that you'll not be able to arrive in Manchester by the latest date in your CAS, please contact your admissions team.

Visas

Will studying online affect my eligibility for the two year Graduate Immigration Route visa?

The UK government’s Department for Education recently confirmed that international students unable to travel to the UK can start their studies online and will still be eligible for the new graduate immigration route if they meet any other eligibility criteria such as holding a valid Tier 4 visa. 

Where students are delayed travelling to the UK to join their course, we expect them to have arrived in Manchester by the start of Semester 2 (Monday, 8 February).

I need to apply for a visa but my nearest visa application centre is currently closed. What do I do?

Please check for updates on when visa offices (services) in your country are expected to re-open.

I’ve heard that Tier 4 visas are ending and I need a different visa. Is this true?

The Tier 4 student visa route is changing name to the Student Route visa in October 2020. Your CAS will not be affected by the change.

Should I apply for my visa if I can't travel until January and my course allows an online start?

If you have completed registration for your course and your course permits online study in Semester 1, your CAS can be used in a visa application at any time during Semester 1.

We recommend that you apply for your visa in plenty of time before your intended date of travel to allow time for processing delays. When your visa is granted, the UKVI will issue a travel vignette to enter the UK and collect your BRP card.

From June 2020, Tier 4 temporary travel visas will be issued for a period of 90 days instead of 30. This is in response travel disruption caused as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and will be in effect until the end of 2020.

Please be aware that if you apply for your visa before 1 October 2020, you'll benefit from a lower Immigration Heath Surcharge; after 1 October the Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £300 to £470 a year.

I've got my visa, but what if I can't travel during the dates on my travel vignette?

You should check that your intended date of travel is still before the latest arrival date for your course. If you think you will need to travel after the latest arrival date, you must obtain permission for a later arrival from your School before you travel and we must also notify the UKVI of the delayed arrival. 

You're able to apply to the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre for a replacement travel vignette free of charge until 31 December 2020. After 1 January, you can still apply for a replacement travel vignette but there may be a charge.  When emailing the UKVI Help Centre, you will need to include your name, nationality, date of birth and your GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30/90 DAY VISA’ in the subject line.

If my School agrees that I can delay my arrival in Manchester, what will happen to my BRP card?

If you use our BRP alternative collection code (2HE372) in the BRP Collection page of your visa application, we will email you when your BRP card arrives and keep your BRP card until you are able to collect it.

If you choose to have your BRP card sent to a Post Office, failure to collect it within ten days of your arrival may result in you receiving a fine or cancellation/curtailment of your visa.

What will happen to my visa if I decide not to register for my course this year / defer my place?

If you obtain your visa but don't complete registration for your course, or if you defer your place, the UKVI will cancel your visa as you won't be studying with us. If you defer your place, your School will advise you on the process for obtaining a new CAS for 2021 entry.

I've got a visa for arrival in September but have deferred. Will I need a new visa?

If you've already obtained a visa for arrival in September/October 2020 but have opted to defer your programme start date then the University must report the deferred entry to the UKVI. You may need a new visa; you should contact the Student Immigration Team to confirm your individual situation. 

 

Will I need a visa if I am EU/EEA nationals with the UK leaving the European Union?

If you will travel to the UK before 31 December 2020 and you are an EU/EEA citizen then you will not require a visa to enter the UK as a student – you will be able to travel to the UK using your identification document (passport or national ID card). This is because the Transition Period will still be ongoing until this date, and as such your rights as an EU/EEA citizen remain unaffected. If your course will continue after 30 June 2021, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to maintain your status. The University will provide you with information and support to do this once you have registered as a student here.

If you will travel to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 and you are an EU/EEA citizen then you will require a visa to enter the UK as a student – this will be in addition to your identification document (eg passport). If you are intending to come to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 and you are an EU/EEA citizen, you will need to apply under the relevant category of the immigration rules in place at that time. More information will be available on the gov.uk website in due course.

I've got my visa but am starting my programme remotely. Will it still be valid in 2021? (PGR only)

Postgraduate research

If you've already obtained your visa but your programme is starting remotely in September/October, and you wish to delay your arrival in the UK until January 2021, then you can contact your local PGR support team to let them know and the University will report your delayed arrival to the UKVI and your visa will be unaffected.

You may need to apply for a replacement entry vignette as these normally have a 30-day validity, however the UKVI has just announced that until September it will issue 90-day entry vignettes to give greater flexibility to students. If you do need to replace your entry vignette, the UKVI has waived the fees for obtaining replacement entry vignettes until the end of December.

When will I receive my CAS?

CAS can be issued around three months before the course start date where a student has accepted an unconditional offer, and in the case of postgraduate taught students paid any required deposit.

Our academic Schools are now processing CASs for the 2020 academic year, working through them as quickly as possible. We ask for your patience owing to the currently high volume of work associated with processing results and issuing CASs for our new students. Please help us to process your CAS efficiently by responding promptly to emails which require action from you to confirm the details which will appear in your CAS.

I’ve applied for ATAS clearance but I’ve not received it yet?

The average time for the FCO to process ATAS clearance applications is currently six weeks. If it has been more than six weeks since you applied for clearance, please email visa@manchester.ac.uk and include your student ID number, ATAS application date, and ATAS application reference number in your email. 

The ATAS team will sometimes email applicants for additional information. Remember to check your email account regularly and respond promptly with the requested details.