See our Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about the assistance available for international students.
I hold a Tier 4 student visa, will my visa be stopped if I cannot make it back to campus for the start of the academic year?
UK Visas and Immigration have introduced a concession for the academic year 2020/21, whereby students holding Tier 4 visas can continue to be sponsored where they are unable to return for the start of the academic year due to COVID-19 related reasons. The University can maintain sponsorship for the Tier 4 visa, providing the student is enrolled and engaging with their programme. You must intend to transition to the UK campus for face-to-face learning as soon as it is possible to do so. Students who withdraw from their programme or suspend for the academic year, or fail to re-enrol, will be subject to normal sponsorship rules, whereby Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn.
I am interested in the Graduate Post Study work visa which is launching in summer 2021, if some of my programme is delivered through blended learning, can I still qualify for the Graduate Post Study work visa?
UK Visas and Immigration have confirmed that 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 either continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance or blended learning due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the Graduate route on a concessionary basis if they spent some time studying outside the UK. Students will benefit from this concession if they enter the UK before 6 April 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK. Such students will still need to have extant leave as a Tier 4 student or Student when the new route launches in 2021 and meet other eligibility criteria to be eligible for the route.
I need to extend my Tier 4 student visa to continue for the new academic year, how do I do this?
If you are starting a new course of study, then Admissions will issue you the CAS to cover your new programme. If you need to extend your Tier 4 visa to enable you to complete your current programme, you need to request a new CAS via the 'Actions' tab on the RISIS portal. For further guidance email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out the current requirements of making a Tier 4 visa application, please visit the immigration advice page on Essentials.
Will I have to quarantine when I travel to the UK from overseas?
If you are required to self-isolate on arrive we will support students living in Halls with practical arrangements so you can self-isolate safely without the need to visit shops (which is not permitted).
If you are living in private accommodation, you should consider bringing essential items such as soap or hand sanitiser with you and arranging an online supermarket delivery of food and cleaning materials for shortly after you arrive. If you have never used an online supermarket delivery, you may wish to download an app for one or two of the local shops (for example, Asda or Tesco) and set up an account so you can easily place an order when you are ready. You may also wish to consider pre-ordering a selection of essential items such as bedding, towels and kitchen equipment – a number of companies provide ‘starter packs’ (such as Unikitout) and Amazon also sell kitchen starter packs and bedding. Please note that we do not recommend or endorse these companies and you should we would recommend you conduct your own research before purchasing any items.
What if I develop COVID-19 symptoms on my way to the UK/Reading?
Do not travel to Reading if you have symptoms. It is much better to delay your arrival than to risk spreading the infection by travelling.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you’re travelling to the UK, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They’ll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.
In most cases you will not need to go to hospital if you contract COVID-19. If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you will receive medical advice from the NHS and you must also notify the University. If you are finding it difficult to manage your symptoms, you should contact NHS 111 for advice.
If you do need specific medical treatment, the costs for this will be covered by the NHS. If you choose to be treated privately then you will need to cover these costs yourself.
If increased restrictions are introduced in the UK, can I return to my home country?
We’re actively working with local health partners to prepare a co-ordinated response in the event of there being a ‘second wave’ nationally or local restrictions being put in place.
We expect all students to check their University email account daily during term time, to make sure you keep up to date with the latest developments.
If this occurs, we will contact students as soon as possible to provide further advice, including travel information based on the UK government guidance at the time.