COVID-19: advice for staff and students

International Student Advice

Advice for current RGU international students on campus and through exchanges, including advice about visas, working and travelling.

I am an international exchange student currently studying on the Garthdee campus. How will my studies be affected?

On campus international exchange students can continue with their studies via Campus Moodle, our virtual learning environment and the university will ensure that award and progression decisions are made.  Course specific guidance and instructions on the alternative arrangements will be available on Moodle from Friday 20 March 2020.

If you have concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on you, including remaining in Aberdeen, please contact the

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) regularly updates their advice on coronavirus for International Students.

What access is there to NHS Healthcare for coronavirus diagnosis and treatment for Overseas visitors?

Emergency legislation (The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020) has been introduced so that all overseas visitors in Scotland will not be charged for the diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Overseas visitors include:

  • immigrants (regardless of your legal status)
  • overseas students
  • overseas workers
  • tourists and holidaymakers
  • refugees and asylum seekers (regardless of your legal status)

I am in the UK and am continuing with my studies, what do I need to do?

  • Email your school to let them know you are continuing your studies in the UK
  • Keep your contact details up to date.   Log into
  • Keep in touch with your school as and when required
  • Check for the latest updates.

I have left the UK and I am continuing with my studies, what do I need to do?

I wish to return home to continue my studies but I have not yet left the UK, what do I need to do?

  • Email your school to let them know you wish to continue your studies outside the UK but as yet have been unable due to leave the UK (give reason)
  • Once you have been able to leave the UK, email with a copy of your flight ticket
  • Keep your contact details up to date. Log into
  • Keep in touch with your school as and when required
  • Check the for the latest updates.

I am continuing my studies (inside or outside of the UK), but have become unwell due to the Coronavirus, what should I do?

It is particularly important that if you hold a Tier 4 visa, you continue with your studies to be able to retain that visa.  However, should you become unwell due to the Coronavirus, please complete the Student Self Declaration of Absence – COVID 19 form and send it to your school.

I would like to take a break from studies and suspend or defer, what do I do?

  • Email your school to let them know you wish to suspend or defer your studies.
  • Please be aware that your Tier 4 visa will be curtailed and you will need to apply for a new one if you wish to return to the UK to continue studies.
  • Email with a copy of your departure flight ticket
  • Contact the Student Immigration Team three months in advance of returning to study.

What will happen to my visa if I return home?

The UK Visas and Immigration(UKVI) will take no action against students who are unable to attend their studies due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Home Office will keep this under review.

My Tier 4 visa is due to expire and I need to continue my studies, what should I do?

Please log a 'Visa Expiry' query on ASK RGU -

I want to leave the UK as my visa has expired or is due to expire very soon but I can't leave due to travel restrictions, what should I do?

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 you can apply for this to be extended to 31 May 2020. You will not be classed as an overstayer, however you must contact the Home Office at, providing the following information:

  • your full name (include any middle names)
  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • nationality
  • your previous visa reference number
  • why you can’t go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed

You will be advised when your request is received and when your visa has been extended.


I want to leave the UK but don't have my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

If you choose to leave the UK, you do not need your BRP.  When you are ready to return please log a query on and we will support you.

I have a police registration certificate and my circumstances have changed, how do I notify Police?

Any student who holds a Police Registration Certificate is required to notify the Police Nationality Office of changes to any of the following

  • Change of passport 
  • Change of visa
  • Change of address
  • Change of employment
  • Change of university

However, please note that all nationality registrations are currently suspended with immediate effect. There will be no impact on your immigration status.

What are my work conditions?

Your working conditions are restricted during term-time are generally stated on your visa vignette or Biometric Residence Permit. (up to 20 hours per week) 

Term time is classed as the following:

  • Academic work or attending classes or online learning and/or lectures
  • Preparing for exams/re-sits
  • Doing coursework
  • Writing essays or a dissertation/thesis/project
  • Reading Week

You can work full-time during a ‘vacation period’ which is the period you are not required to be studying. For Research students this is when you take your annual leave.  Your vacation period must be confirmed with the School in advance.

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