Last updated 7 August 2020
VfS Global and TLS are beginning to re-open or applications and 100 centres will be open across the world from 6 July 2020. We recommend that you check the news for your specific country.
Details of which VfS centres are opening can be found on the following web page:
TLS Centre closures are listed on the country specific web pages.
We do not have any information when other centres will open and generally check for information on social media e.g. through our Twitter account.
We are aware that it may be possible to apply from another country you would not normally be able to apply from e.g. because you were there as a tourist when travel restrictions were introduced. However, you will need to be able to evidence that you are in that country legally and explain why you were not able to apply from your home country. It would be a risk to travel to use a visa application in another country as you may be subject to quarantine rules and will have to remain in that country throughout the process, which may be delayed.
I'm having difficulty getting an appointment and I've already booked my travel. What can LSE do to help me?
Unfortunately, we have no ability to obtain appointments for students, even if they have travel booked because they hoped to complete quarantine before teaching commenced. We are aware in most countries there are limited numbers of appointments available. For some countries, visa application centres have yet to open. However, this is a global situation and applicants should remember that not only Tier 4 applications are being submitted at this time.
We will continue to raise this issue with representative bodies but we are unable to influence appointment bookings nor expedite applications in the current pandemic.
The visa application centre in my country is still closed. Can I travel to the UK as a tourist and apply for Tier 4 in the UK?
Whilst you can travel as a tourist to the UK, if you applied for your Tier 4 visa in the UK you would receive a refusal and you would not be able to complete campus enrolment. The UKVI have stated:
"New international students who have not yet applied for a visa but want to start a course which they intend to begin overseas by distance learning, before travelling to the UK to transition to face-to-face learning, must be sponsored and be granted a Tier 4 visa before travelling. They may either apply for a Tier 4 visa before their course starts or before they travel to the UK, either is acceptable."
They have also confirmed that:
"Those arriving on the Visit or Short-term study route after 31 July will not be permitted to switch into Tier 4. Tier 4 sponsors should not issue a CAS to any prospective applicant in this position."
If you arrive on a tourist visa, you cannot apply for a Tier 4 visa in the UK or complete campus enrolment. You would be required to return home to obtain a Tier 4 visa. It is therefore safer to start your studies online rather than travel when you do not have the correct visa.
The visa applicaton centre in my country is still closed. Should I submit and pay for application form?
Most importantly, before submitting your Tier 4 application form you must be confident that you meet the rules to avoid the risk of a refusal. Don't forget your date of application is the date you submit and pay for your Tier 4 application online, not the date you attend your appointment.
You can still submit your application even if the visa application centre you need to apply from is closed at present. Your application will be put on hold until you can complete all the processes. Therefore, you will need to decide whether to submit and pay for your application (if you meet the rules) and put your application on hold or wait until you are confident the visa application centre will re-open.