NUS meeting with the Home Office
Yesterday, NUS UK met with the Home Office as part of a sector meeting. Key answers from the Home Office were:
- The approach taken with Tier 4 visa holders unable to return to China will not be the approach taken on the wider numbers now affected and unable to leave the UK. The Home Office will roll out new information as soon as possible on this. The principle will be to not punish those who breach conditions on their visas for reasons out of their control, but the exact approach is not currently clear. The issue of reporting requirements likely to overload the existing systems was raised, and the Home Office will respond as soon as possible.
- Institutions should be aware that there will be a significant dip in tier 4 visa applicants and numbers due to the crisis and in-country travel restrictions, plus some British nationals are no longer allowed to run visa application centres in specific countries. In addition, there are capacity issues relating to IELTS testing overseas; the Home Office will announce alternative approaches that might be utilised in house by institutions to work around this capacity issue. These capacity issues may impact on students due to arrive in September 2020.
NUS will continue to liaise with the Home Office, and will notify Students’ Unions when further advice is released.