Delayed arrival FAQs
Many of our programmes are offering a delayed start of up to two weeks for students who have difficulty arriving in the UK. During the delay, you will be expected to study remotely initially and then join us in London as soon as possible.
Because the learning outcomes of our programmes are so different, this delayed start is not available for every programme in every department.
You shoud have received a letter confirming whether it is available for your programme. If you anticipate not being able to travel to London for the start of term and would like to discuss your options, please use the contact details referenced in the letter.
All returning students and offer holders should have received their letter by 4 August. If you have not received yours, please contact your department directly to discuss. You can find the contact details for their undergraduate or postgraduate office on their website.
Frequently asked questions
Is there flexibility available if I cannot travel to the UK in time for the start of my programme?
Depending on the programme you're enrolled on, you may be able to arrive on campus up to two weeks after the start of teaching.
Many departments will have confirmed whether this delayed start is available for your programme in the email you recently received confirming the details of teaching arrangements for the 2021–22 academic year. If you are unsure whether this delayed arrival option is available to you, please contact your department.
If this delayed start is available, and you have need of it, you will need to inform your department.
A delay of up to two weeks is available to me. How do I apply for this?
There is no need to apply for a delayed arrival. You must however notify your department that you face challenges reaching the UK/campus. The letter you will have recently received from your department will have contained a contact email address for you to use for this purpose.
The delay of up to two weeks is not available for me. What can I do?
It is vital you inform your department if you believe you will be unable to reach the UK and begin your teaching on campus in time for the start date of your programme. If there is no flexibility available for your chosen programme, the College will have explored many other options before coming to this decision. A range of alternatives may still be available to you, however, so it is important you contact your department. The letter you will have recently received from your department will have contained a contact email address for you to use for this purpose.
My visa application is taking a long time to be processed. Can you help?
The College is aware that in a small number of countries there is a backlog in handling visa applications. As this is outside of your control and is COVID-19 related, this situation will be considered under our Exceptional Circumstances Policy. The policy is detailed below.
What is the Exceptional Circumstances Policy?
The Exceptional Circumstances Policy is a formal College procedure for registering any significant challenges a student may experience, and which covers the period after the first two weeks of study. This means that it should only be used when the potential two week delay referenced above is not going to be sufficient for you.
This year we have developed a version specifically related to the pandemic. It allows action to be taken to account for your circumstances.
Examples of exceptional circumstances are:
- Where (non-UK Government) COVID-19 travel restrictions do not permit you to leave the country that you are residing in to travel to the UK,
- Where you cannot travel to a location (within your current country of residence) to apply for a visa to travel to the UK,
- Where you cannot arrange a travel route to reach the UK (lack of direct flights is not considered an exceptional circumstance),
- If travelling from a Red List country, where you are unable to secure accommodation in a Managed Quarantine Facility (I.e. Quarantine Hotel),
- Where the UK Government place a total travel ban (or ban covering access to Higher Education) on entry from the country you are residing in or would transit through to reach the UK,
- Where the UK Government or the devolved administrations place specific restrictions on travel from certain parts of the UK to London,
- COVID-19 specific health issues that require regular access to local medical facilities or practitioners, but do not hinder your participation in remote learning,
- COVID-19 related caring responsibilities (or management thereof) that do not hinder your participation in remote learning.
- COVID-19 related clinical responsibilities that do not hinder your participation in remote learning.
- COVID-19-related administrative delays in processing visa applications by the UK Visa and Immigration service.
The full policy and list of exceptional circumstances can be viewed here. This version of the policy is for use when students are making a delayed arrival to the UK/campus.
What should I do if I have non-COVID-19 related reasons for not being able to travel to the UK/campus for the start of the 2021/22 academic year?
For non-Covid related reasons, you should contact your Department, letting them know the reasons for not being able to travel for the start of the academic year.
How do I apply for exceptional circumstances?
You should use the same contact email address as was featured in the email you recently received from your department. If you believe the situation stopping you from arriving in the UK will only last a short while, you should explore the two week delayed arrival option. Otherwise, you should discuss your circumstances with your department and they will decide how best to proceed based on the evidence you provide. The Department will send you an application form to enable you to make an application under this Policy.
What can you do for me if I am registered as having exceptional circumstances?
This depends on your personal circumstances and the programme you are enrolled on. Some level of remote learning may be possible but it will be dependent on the programme and the length of time remote learning is required. You will also be offered pastoral support, should your circumstances be unrelated to your educational experience.
Can I choose to defer my place for a year or interrupt my studies?
Your department will discuss your options with you. The College carefully considers every deferral or interruption of study that is requested. If you or the College decide that the circumstances impeding your arrival on campus are impacting your wellbeing or your ability to achieve your learning outcomes, it is important that deferral or interruption of studies is considered as an option.
What will happen if a large number of students enrolled on my programme aren’t able to travel to campus and the UK?
Travel guidance can change at short notice. The College is committed to keeping you informed of the latest decisions by the UK government, but we cannot predict the course of the pandemic at home or abroad, and we are dependent on government decisions on handling the impact of the pandemic. It will be clearer once we approach the beginning of the autumn term as to whether travel difficulties will be common for students. We will be in contact if this should impact the delivery of your programme in any way and we have made plans to account for this.
Does my vaccination status impact my travel plans?
The College is currently carefully monitoring the UK government’s and foreign governments’ announcements regarding vaccination and travel guidance. You can keep up to date on the latest rules for entry into the UK on the government’s website. You can also find out more about the College’s support for travellers, such as financial support for those staying in quarantine hotels, here. Currently there is no suggestion that you will require a vaccine to enter the UK, although your journey may be significantly easier if you have had one. The College continues to have the strong expectation that students will have been vaccinated for COVID-19 by the time they reach campus, or be willing to access the free vaccination services on offer once they arrive in the UK. We may ask you to provide information on your vaccination status, and evidence of this.
How would a delay impact any accommodation I have secured with the College?
We will be in regular contact with you as we near the beginning of the autumn term. We will do all we can to support you and ensure you have access to our halls of residence if you have secured a place in one of them, when you arrive in the UK and on campus. Please regularly check our accommodation webpages for further updates.
Is a delayed arrival allowed under the terms of my student visa?
Yes, the government is allowing students that face difficulties travelling to the UK the option of entering the country later in the academic year. Find out more on our visa and immigration webpages.
I am a PhD student, what options are available to me if I think I may be delayed?
You should speak to your Supervisor to discuss whether you need to be on-campus this autumn. It may be possible for you to delay your arrival by a number of weeks. You may also be able to have your situation considered under the Exceptional Circumstances Policy.