Skip to main content

Starting university can be difficult. Starting university in another country can be stressful. Starting university in another country during a global pandemic could feel impossible! Alex Christen, employment and immigration lawyer at Capital Law, gives some top tips for Chinese nationals who are due to begin a course of study in the UK.

Travel to the UK for study

Usually, you’d need to have applied for and received a student visa three months before your course starts.

However, due to Covid-19, the UK Government has introduced new visa rules on a short-term basis. Therefore, you can start your course before your visa application has been decided if you have been given a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies by your sponsored course provider, and can prove you submitted your application before any current visa expired. If your application is eventually rejected, you must cease your studies.

The current rules are likely to continue as long as there are lockdown restrictions in place in the UK.

Studying from abroad

Your course provider may allow you to start your studies online whilst the pandemic continues. If you are already a student, but you are not in the UK, you can also continue your studies from abroad. Your course provider can continue to sponsor you during this time, but you must stay in touch with your course provider and you must intend to start face to face learning as soon as you are able.

Your health and well-being whilst studying

Your health and wellbeing are your first priority. Thankfully, the UK Government has introduced several measures to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. These measures vary across the UK, but in general, universities are required to:

  • carry out risk assessments
  • implement social distancing measures
  • encourage students to avoid large gatherings
  • teach only in small groups
  • regularly clean and disinfect areas, such as halls of residence
  • provide regular updates about changes to how a course may be delivered or assessed

Specific guidance can be found here (depending on where you are studying):

If you have specific questions regarding a university’s learning arrangements, you should contact the university directly.

Author: Alex Christen

This content appears as a courtesy of Capital Law, a proud member of the China Collaborative Group (CCG Association). It is informational in nature and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship between you and its author, publisher or any member of CCG. For more information, please visit