Normally, you must apply for your study visa, from the country you’re living in. You apply online and then visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country to submit your visa application and documents and have your biometrics taken.

If there is no VAC in your country you must apply from the appropriate designated Visa Application Centre (VAC) outside your country.

Click here for a full list of all Visa Application Centres around the world and find out what your designated centre is if you don’t have a VAC in your country. E.g. if you live in Paraguay, where there is no VAC, your designated centre is Buenos Aires in Argentina.

However, due to Coronavirus, your local centre may be closed and/or you may not be able to travel to your designated overseas centre due to travel restrictions.

Therefore, the UK Government currently allows flexibility and you can apply online and select a VAC in another country, worldwide, to submit your application and biometrics. The current concession states the following:

If your VAC is closed due to coronavirus restrictions, you can apply online and select a VAC in another country worldwide to submit your application and biometrics. You’ll need to make sure you’re permitted to travel to that country beforehand.

You’ll be able to make any type of UK visa application. You must select the country where you would like to submit your biometrics at the start of your application.

This concession has been extended to 31 December 2021.

If you’ve already submitted your application through Access UK and now intend to submit your new application at a different VAC from the one selected in that application, you’ll need to make a new application and select the VAC where you’ll submit your application.

You’ll need to pay the fee associated with your new application and request a refund for your earlier application.

This provision is available until 31 December 2021.

When you decide to go down this route it is very important to ensure that you are:

  • allowed to travel to the country where you will visit a VAC,
  • don’t get caught by local self-quarantining requirements (meaning you can’t go to your appointment as planned)
  • stay in the country for several weeks, allowing sufficient time to have your passport and visa returned to you
  • collect your documents from the VAC in person OR ensure it’s returned by courier to an address in that overseas country. You do not want to have your passport returned to your home country meaning you’re stuck without travel documents.