Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Visa and immigration

Information for staff around visas and immigration.

(Updated 29 November 2021)

Information for staff with visas due to expire before 31st January 2022

If your visa is due to expire soon, and you plan to apply for an extension to stay in the UK, please do so by following the information about visa extension applications available on the HR Immigration webpages

You will be able to stay in the UK until 31 January 2022, while you finalise your plans to leave the UK, if all of the below applies:

  • You are in the UK; and
  • You cannot apply for an alternative visa route or leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak; and
  • Your visa expired between 24 January and 31 October 2020 and you contacted the Home Office to request an extension because you were unable to return home and you have requested additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional’ assurance; or
  • Your visa expired between 1 November and 30 June 2021 and you requested additional time from the Home Office to stay (‘exceptional’ assurance); or 
  • Your visa expired between 1 July and 30 September 2021, you have not been able to return to a country on the amber/red list and you request additional time from the Home Office to stay (‘exceptional’ assurance); or
  • Your visa expires between 1 October and 31 January 2022, you have not been able to return to a country on the red list and you request additional time from the Home Office to stay (‘exceptional’ assurance).

Please note:

  • You are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply for a visa to regularise your stay. 
  • Exceptional assurance is granted for a defined period of time and you will need to make additional requests if you are unable to leave the UK within the defined period.

Further information is available on the Home Office Coronavirus Webpage.

Information for staff with a Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa who are working outside the UK

If you are a Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa holder and will need to apply for an extension within the next three months, please contact your School/Department if:

  • you are currently working outside the UK, and
  • Covid-19 travel restrictions will prevent you from travelling back to the UK in time to apply for an extension before your current visa expires

Please note the Tier 2 route closed on 30 November 2020.  An application to extend your visa will now be made under the Skilled Worker route.

General support

Any staff member who has a query about their immigration status can obtain advice by e-mailing the Staff Immigration Adviser at staffvisahelp@ed.ac.uk. More detailed information about the impact of Covid-19 on visa applications can be found here.

Further information is available from the Home Office.