The Home Office is allowing some flexibility in the visa system for international students whose assessments are affected by the UCU marking and assessment boycott.
It’s previously been reported that international students are facing additional complications from uncertainty as to when they will receive both individual marks and overall degree awards – these range from falling foul of reporting requirements where students are sponsored by their governments, to a lack of clarity over eligibility for stipends, to potential inability to apply for post-study work visas.
On the latter point, students searching for information on the Graduate Route on gov.uk will see the following:
You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.
You can apply after your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office that you’ve successfully completed the course you took with your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You do not have to wait until you’ve graduated or have been given a certificate.
With providers being careful to flag potential marking delays for the last couple of months, international students on visas set to expire shortly after their originally planned completion date have been unsure what this would mean for them.
There’s now been an announcement of allowances for students affected in this way. The Home Office told Wonkhe:
Our points-based system is designed to be flexible according to the UK’s needs – including attracting top-class talent from across the world to contribute to the UK’s excellent academic reputation and to help keep our universities competitive on the world stage.
Students who do not know when they will receive their results due to the marking and assessment boycott will be able to apply to extend their permission whilst they wait for their results.
We understand that this will be facilitated through sponsors adding a note to students Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) stating that permission is being extended for the specific reason of the marking boycott.