Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for international students and applicants.

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

Although all teaching is online, and staff are working from home, this FAQ remains for completeness)

If you are not able to return to the University due to being kept in areas affected by COVID-19 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, raising any questions or concerns you might have.

What do I do if the outbreak 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 the 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.

What should I do if my embassy tells me to return home (or I simply want to return home before the end of semester)?

As per our statement on 14 March, international students who do decide to return home will not be penalised for doing so.

We want to support you and will offer an alternative assessment. Please contact the International Office at

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?

Where we have had to cancel events or visits to overseas countries due to travel restrictions, we would be very happy to engage online through Skype, email or telephone. You can arrange to chat with us by emailing

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

The Home Office has issued a press notice which covers the following visa-related issues:

  • Visa extensions (expiry dates have now been extended from the end of March to the end of May).
  • In-country visa switching (switching is now permitted across all routes for those who are currently in the UK and whose visa expires/d between 24 Jan and 31 May of this year).
  • Tier 4 students/their HE providers will not be found visa non-compliant if they undertake online provision.

The Home Office has published new guidance on immigration provisions for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19):

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, we're providing visa extensions for those affected by coronavirus. Nobody will be penalised for circumstances outside of their control.

The aim of the Home Office is to ensure that individuals here legally, but who are unable to leave because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions, will not be regarded as an overstayer; will not suffer any immigration detriment in the future; and will not be pursued during the crisis. This temporary extension applies to all foreign nationals in the UK whose permission to be here has expired since 24 January 2020 and are unable to leave the UK due to COVID-19.

Please visit for the full policy. 

The Coronavirus Immigration Helpline remains open. Students should check 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 helpline at:

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

Students should contact if they are have any concerns.

More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs

International Office

For international student recruitment enquiries.

Show Contacts

International Office

Greig Lawson International Recruitment Manager
+44 131 474 0099
Laura Hill International Officer
+44 131 474 0099
Laura Stevenson Student Recruitment & International Student Support Co-ordinator
+44 131 474 0099