Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for international students and applicants. If you have any further questions, our friendly International Team will be pleased to help. You can email them at  They also run online support sessions.

You might like to note that we keep our student and staff community updated as regards the position with coronavirus on our coronavirus updates web page.



Last updated: 4 March 2021

General information for international students interested in studying at QMU

Will I have go to a ‘quarantine hotel’ when I travel to Scotland or return to Scotland from abroad?

On 9 February 2021, the Scottish Government advised that international travellers coming directly into Scotland will have to go into managed isolation, ie quarantining in specified hotels near their arrival airport for 10 days, with travellers bearing the cost. This is to help protect against the transmission of coronavirus. There are also now stricter rules about self isolation for international travellers coming to Scotland via England. We do not yet know if special arrangements will be put in place for students travelling into Scotland. Read on for further detail of all this.

There is also a requirement to take two COVID-19 tests during your quarantine in addition to the test taken pre-departure.

General advice on international travel to University

It is the advice of the University that you stay at home and delay any travel until you are told by us that in-person teaching is re-starting on your course.  

Advice on travelling direct to Scotland

If you are flying directly into Edinburgh or another Scottish airport from overseas, you should follow current quarantine advice set by the Scottish Government. As things stand, you will be required to:

  • Undertake a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the three days before you travel.
  • Before departure, book and pay for managed isolation in a quarantine hotel for at least 10 days from arrival. This applies to arrivals from all countries outside the Common Travel Area and includes British citizens.
  • Complete an online passenger locator form before travelling, and provide contact details, travel details and the address of your final destination. You will need to enter the booking reference for your managed isolation package.
  • Be tested on day two and eight during of your 10 day quarantine.
  • Follow the national rules on coronavirus in Scotland.

Advice on travelling via England

If your point of entry to the UK is in England, you should follow the UK Government quarantine advice. You are also required to undertake a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the three days before you travel. If you arrive in England and have travelled in a country on the banned travel list (sometimes called the 'red list') in the last 10 days, you will need to quarantine (self-isolate) in a government quarantine hotel for 10 days. You will need to book your hotel before you travel and there is a requirement to take two COVID-19 tests during your quarantine in addition to the test take pre-departure. If you are travelling from a country not on the banned travel list, you can travel to Scotland without having to quarantine in England, however you must self-isolate when you arrive in Scotland.

If you arrive in England from a country which is not on the “red list” and fly immediately to Scotland, you are not required to isolate in England but you are required to self-isolate at home in Scotland. You should refer to the current quarantine advice set by the Scottish Government. 

We understand you may have questions therefore please contact our international team with any queries (






I am an international student and may need to quarantine. How will the University handle that and how will I be supported?

It might unlikely that you will be able to arrive in time to have completed your self-isolation prior to the commencement of your face to face classes. However, please be reassured that if that’s the case, you will be able to start your studies remotely when teaching starts and then join us face to face when you self-isolation is over. 

At any time that students may have to quarantine, staff in our International Office are available to provide any support and guidance that may be needed. They will be running regular drop-in sessions. There are also face to face appointments available for students not quarantining. Further details regarding the drop-in sessions, including the timing and how to attend, will be sent to each international student’s email address on a weekly basis. In addition, details of dedicated weekly online drop in sessions can be found on our website.

Our Wellbeing and Counselling team are available for more general support as required and appointments can be booked and delivered online.

The Scottish Government website provides advice on travel and quarantine requirements at this time.

What is the new visa guidance taking into account COVID-19 concessions?

The Home Office has published an updated version of the COVID-19 study concession guidance. The main additions to the guidance:

Confirmation that distance/blended learning will be permitted for the 20/21 academic year provided students intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow.
Confirmation that those students who commenced study in Semester 1, 2020 by distance/blended learning will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021. This is for students who will finish their programme of study in Summer 2021.

Students commencing a one year Master’s programme in January 2021 by distance/blended learning will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 27 September 2021 and complete their final semester of studies in the UK.

Students who are studying programmes lasting more than a year who will not complete in 2021 will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate route, even if they have studied by distance/blended learning for all or part of the 2021/21 academic year due to the pandemic.

If I need to self-isolate (or can’t return the UK), how will I be treated by the University?


If you are not able to return to the University due to COVID-19  related travel restrictions or due to the lack of flights back to the UK, and this affects your assessment or examinations, you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances application via the Student Portal. If you are self-isolating, you should complete the normal absence form within the Student Portal.

If you might be absent from QMU for more than two weeks, and might therefore miss key teaching or assessment, the University will assess the impact on your studies on an individual basis. You will need to alert us if you are in this position by emailing, raising any questions or concerns you might have.

What do I do if the pandemic affects my immigration status?

helpline has been set up by the Home Office for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.

I am due to start at the University and I am having difficulties obtaining my visa. What should I do?

For new students or those concerned about obtaining or renewing their visas, you should contact the International Team

What if I am having difficulty making arrangements to be tested for my English language (IELTS)?

For applicants who need to be tested for their English language (IELTS or equivalent) we are aware that most test centres are currently closed. We know that test providers have stated their intention to offer additional testing slots when they reopen, but where it is not possible for you to sit an English Language Test in order to meet the conditions of your offer, the University will review your circumstances nearer to the start date of your programme. If you have any concerns, please contact the Admissions team.

I am a prospective international student who wants to meet with someone from your recruitment team in my country. What advice have you for me?

We would be very happy to engage online through Skype, email or telephone. You can arrange to chat with us by emailing

What if I cannot return home and my visa is due to expire?

The Coronavirus Immigration Helpline remains open. Students should check first as that is the central source of information and updates to information will be posted regularly but if individuals remain concerned about their immigration status they can contact the helpline at:

Please note the helpline is for immigration enquiries related to coronavirus only.

Students should not hesitate to contact if they are have any concerns.

What support is there currently for international students?

Regular online drop in sessions are taking place. The international team will send dates, times and joining information to all overseas and exchange students. This will be sent to your QMU student email. We will also publish them on our QMU International Facebook page. Please know that you can reach out to us with any questions at


I am an international student that began studying in the 2020-21 academic year. If I started my course online, can I still take advantage of the Graduate Route visa?

The UK government has announced that students on Tier 4 visas commencing their studies in the 2020-21 academic year will be eligible for the new Graduate Route visa (formerly known as the post-study work visa) even if their courses are initially delivered through distance or blended learning.

Students starting their studies under these new conditions will still be eligible to apply for the new Graduate Route visa so long as they intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow and they arrive in the UK by 6 April 2021.

Find out more about the Graduate Route Visa, or get in touch with us at

What advice does the Scottish Government provide for international students considering a visit home, with the intention of returning to Scotland afterwards?

International students who are considering a visit home, with the intention of returning to Scotland afterwards, must follow the guidance on international travel and quarantine as appropriate when arriving back in Scotland. They should also note any quarantine rules which may apply in their home country.

For more information, see the Student Information Scotland website (section of FAQs page headed 'Returning Home').

I am an international student — should I take any extra measures to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus?


Guidance on international travel and quarantine is available on the Scottish Government website.

If you have any queries, email


By when do international students starting this academic year need to be in the UK to take advantage of the Graduate Route visa? I’ve heard the date has been extended.

The Home Office has agreed to revise the date by which international students must be in the UK in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa. International students who began their course in 2020 and who are due to complete in summer 2021 will still be eligible for the Graduate Route visa provided they arrived on or before 21 June. This June deadline also includes international students in their final year on an articulation or transnational education course.

For those on one-year master’s courses beginning in spring 2021, the existing date of 27 September remains.

The Home Office has also confirmed that any period of distance learning which took place between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 as part of a course of study lasting longer than 12 months will not prevent an applicant from applying to the Graduate Route.

You can find more information on a UK Government Home Office blog.



More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs


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