The Government has today revised its guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Student sponsors, migrants and short-term students. The revisions include a welcome update on the deadline for arriving in the UK, for Students wishing to then apply for the Graduate Route, plus a return of the concession on the permitted gap (the '28-day gap') between the end of previous Student permission and the start date of a new course.
'Arrival in the UK' deadline for Students wishing to then apply for the Graduate Route
Those students who started a course of 12 months or less in 2020 no longer have a June deadline ('21 June') by which they must arrive in the UK. Paragraph 3.24 of the revised guidance now makes this clear, by stating:
3.24 Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 via distance learning, and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they make a successful Student visa application and arrive in the UK either before their visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner.
Read more about the position for all students, meaning students of any course duration and regardless of start date, in our information on Working after studies > Graduate Route which we have updated today in light of the Government's revisions.
'28-day gap' between end of previous Student permission and start of new course
The Government guidance has also been amended to re-include a concession for those wishing to apply for further Student permission in the UK where the gap between the end date of their previous Student permission and the start date of their new course is more than 28 days. The Immigration Rules prohibit an application if the gap is more than 28 days but the revised guidance states that the Home office will "exercise discretion on this requirement if the start date of the new course ... is no later than 27 September". The full paragraph reads as follows:
3.7 Students must normally apply to study a course that commences no more than 28 days after their current period of permission expires, but we will exercise discretion on this requirement if the start date of the new course named on the CAS is no later than 27 September 2021. This concession applies to students who already hold permission on the Student or Child Student routes (including Tier 4).