Extend Tier-4 visas and waive third-term tuition fee for international students

This petition closed on 11 Nov 2020 with 10,284 signatures


All the International students in the UK have been paying huge fee for the postgraduate courses. But, we are unable to use most of the university's resources because of Covid-19. We are not delivered the value for money that we have paid. This is not the problem of students from just one university, it's a problem that every international student in UK has been facing. So, we believe that only government can help in this situation as the number of people getting affected is huge.


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Government Response

There are no plans to automatically extend the visas of international students. Tuition fees for international students are determined by individual sponsoring institutions.


Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have put in place a series of measures to support international students. These measures included permitting tuition to be undertaken via distance learning, which is otherwise not permitted under the Student and former Tier 4 routes, not requiring sponsors to withdraw sponsorship due to Covid-19 related absences, and allowing an increased ability to make a further application to remain in the UK.

Distance learning is also being permitted for the entirety of the 2020/21 academic year.

Full details of the Covid-19 concessions can be found in the published Student route Covid-19 guidance below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-student-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students

Due to the differing circumstances of Tier 4 visa holders, it would not be appropriate to automatically extend all Tier 4 visas and the Government has no plans to do so. Additionally, extending the visas of some students but not others is also not viable due to the equalities impact such a decision would create.

Tier 4 visas were granted with a period incorporated into the visa, after the expected course completion date provided by the education provider. For students undertaking courses which are 12 months in duration or longer, the period granted after the course completion date is four months.

Students can use the period after the expected course completion date to complete a course of study if they have been unable to complete the course by the expected course completion date or if unforeseen circumstances delay the provision or completion of the course.

Alternately for those students who are unable to complete their course within the initial visa validity, we have permitted students to apply for further leave from within the UK to complete a course of study, if they have been unable to complete a course within the initial validity of their visa, due to Covid-19. Any student in this position will be able to apply for further leave to complete their course without being required to show that they are progressing academically.

In addition, the new Student route was launched on 5 October, and provides a simplified and streamlined application process for current Tier 4 students who need to remain in the UK. The new route enables them to apply for a further course of study without requiring them to travel overseas, regardless of the type of education provider they are studying at.

Course fees paid by international students are at the discretion of individual education providers, not the Government. If international students are concerned about the quality of teaching they’re receiving via online learning and value for money, they should raise this directly with their higher education provider.

Home Office