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Covid-19 Applicants’ FAQs

This page aims to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from candidates and/or students. Given the nature of the current worldwide circumstances, the answers provided are subject to change over a short period of time. Please refer to it as a guide but we strongly recommend staying in close contact with our team.

For questions related to the admissions process:


For questions related to Financial Aid:


For questions related to visas:



Are there changes planned for next year’s programs (intake) due to the Covid-19 crisis?

At IE University, we guarantee that the academic year 2020-21 will start in Fall. We hope it will be able to begin in the face-to-face format, which would mean the Covid-19 crisis has passed. If this turns out to not be the case and we must begin the programs in Fall 2020 in an online format, we will do so, using our preeminent teaching and learning methodologies so that students can follow classes at the highest level of quality.

Our main goal is to assure the quality of the program, maintain student engagement, and continue faculty preparation. The admissions teams will be in close contact with the academic teams so that we can inform all students and candidates in a timely manner regarding any changes to their program.

Due to the current situation, can I defer enrollment to the next intake of my program even though I have already paid the place reservation deposit?

As long as this crisis lasts, IE University will remain as flexible and supportive as possible. Any student who would like to defer may do so and the reservation deposit will be used to reserve a place in the next intake. In addition, if the student has been granted an IE funded scholarship, this scholarship will likewise be transferred. Please note that under normal circumstances, a change in intake would necessitate reapplying for the scholarship and paying the placement reservation deposit again (though the original deposit would be deducted from the overall cost of tuition.)

Can I extend the deadline for to submitting my place reservation fee for the Fall 2020 intake in order to see how the Covid-19 continues to unfold?

Yes, but only in case seats in class are still available. However, we suggest that you always get in touch with your admissions team contacts directly to address your specific needs.

If I have been admitted but have not paid my Place Reservation deposit yet, is there a specific deadline to decide whether I would like to postpone to the following intake due to the Covid-19 crisis?

In order to transfer to the next intake candidates must contact the Admissions Team no later than a week before the beginning of their programs. If your Place Reservation deadline has expired please contact your Admissions Team to request an extension as soon as possible. As per the Visas Processes, Non-European candidates should keep in mind that the average processing time is 4-6 weeks (for student visas) or 2 weeks (for tourist visas), and that these timings may lengthen due to the current situation.

If the Covid-19 crisis does not improve by the start-date of the fall 2020 programs (September/October), can I ask for a refund of my place reservation deposit?

At IE University, we guarantee that the academic year 2020-21 will start in Fall. We hope it will be able to begin in the face-to-face format, which would mean the Covid-19 crisis has passed. If this turns out to not be the case and we must begin the programs in Fall 2020 in an online format, we will do so, using our preeminent teaching and learning methodologies so that students can follow classes at the highest level of quality.

Still, requesting a Place Reservation deposit refund under the Covid-19 crisis is possible. In order for our committee to evaluate the case, the following situations must be proved by the student:

1. That Spain or your country of residence are subject to health or mobility restrictions at the moment of requesting the refund that impedes the student’s mobility to Madrid or Segovia campus to study the program.

2. Unforeseen financial difficulties arising from the personal, company, or family situation of the student and that are accredited in such way that the student is unable to meet the tuition cost at IE.

The deadline to request a refund due to Covid-19 crisis will be one month before the official pre-program (if applicable) or programs start date.

If IE University is among your top choices, we therefore encourage you to secure your spot in the program that interests you.

Will the Covid-19 outbreak affect my application to IE University? Can I do the entire admissions process online, including the test?

The Covid-19 outbreak will not affect your application. We have implemented an application process that is 100% online. IE University has been working on innovative methodologies throughout the years that have now allowed us to face this critical situation efficiently. Regardless of where you are in the world, you can complete the entire application process online, including the Admissions Test. We want you to stay safe without having to put your future on hold.  Our 31 international offices will continue to support you through the application process and are available by phone, email, and videoconference.

Events (such as master classes or other initiatives) will be offered exclusively online, so that you can continue to learn about IE University and connected with our community.

I won’t be able to take the IELTS, Cambridge Advanced, or TOEFL tests due to COVID-19 restrictions. What can I do?

We are aware of the changes that have been made to a number of the English language tests and that assessment arrangements and the availability of results for international qualifications are likewise subject to change. In the event that your program requires an English language certificate, we would like to remind you that IE University also accepts the Duolingo English Test, which can be taken fully online. You must obtain 120 points or higher.

If I am still completing my Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree and my studies/exams have been interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, how do I complete my application process? Can I submit my full transcript and diploma at a later date?

In this case, we suggest you continue with the admissions process as normal. When the time comes, our Admissions Committee will make a final decision based on your particular case and that of your university.

What happens in the case of visa delays?

The Student Services Team is here to support you throughout the visa application process. Contact us by phone number (+34 91 568 97 50) or by email (student.services@ie.edu).

What are the current coronavirus measures imposed by the Spanish authorities?

As of March 2020, the situation in Spain has been declared a “state of emergency,” meaning the measures taken are at a national level rather than a Madrid level. We are in close contact with Madrid and Spanish authorities and are strictly following their guidelines. For more information visit our COVID-19 website: coronavirus.ie.edu.

If I have already been awarded an IE funded scholarship and decide to postpone to the next intake because of the coronavirus, can I transfer my scholarship or do I need to reapply for financial aid?

If you decide to defer to the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 intake, please contact your admissions advisor and the Financial Aid team (financialaid@ie.edu).  Your scholarship will be automatically transferred.  Please note that deferrals to intakes other than the Fall or Spring will require that you formally reapply for financial aid.

Will the shift to online, due to Covid-19, affect the diploma that I receive on graduation day?

Despite the adjustments made to both the full-time master and the blended programs, graduates will receive the same diploma as they would under normal circumstances. The changes in program format have no effect on the diploma because the amount and quality of learning sessions, content, peers, and faculty remain unchanged.

Will I have the same professors online as I would in the face-to-face format?

The vast majority of our professors will be the same online as in the traditional face-to-face format. In fact, since IE University has more than 20 years of experience in online learning, 70% of our professors already had previous experience with teaching online, and thus easily shifted their full-time courses to the online format. Furthermore, because of the temporary move of all programs online, we have expanded our training for professors in order to ensure the best online experience for our students.

How is IE University managing the Covid-19 crisis now and in the foreseeable future? Will more programs move online as opposed to face-to-face? Will any programs be postponed?

Now more than ever, adaptability and resilience are qualities in which we take great pride. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Spain, we have understood that rapid change is essential. Our main goal is to protect our community and students, while maintaining open communication with all our IE University community as the situation progressed. Within just three days, IE University implemented a blended education option for students, becoming the first university in Spain to offer online classes in response to the crisis in which students could choose to follow their classes online or to continue attending class on campus.

On March 11th 2020, Spanish authorities cancelled face to face classes and encouraged institutions to continue their classes online. IE University was pioneer and, by that date, we had already been delivering online classes for nearly two weeks. Today, all our undergraduate and graduate programs are running 100% online, with close to 7,000 students attending programs virtually.



My family’s economic situation has been/will be affected by Covid-19. Will IE help me financially?

Economic need is always taken into consideration when evaluating scholarship applications. The IE University Scholarship Committee is aware that many of our incoming students and their families have been affected by the recent circumstances and will take this into account. Please mention any difficulties you are experiencing in your application.

My family and I are not willing to pay the place reservation deposit until we have a clearer idea of how this situation will develop. Will I lose my scholarship if I don’t pay?

If you are unable to commit at this stage given the circumstances, kindly send an email to financialaid@ie.edu so that we can evaluate whether a deadline extension is possible.

Will there be a delay in processing my scholarship application due to Covid-19?

No. The Financial Aid Department is still fully functional. We are currently taking about two weeks to respond to students once they have submitted a complete application.

I am having some trouble gathering the necessary financial documentation due to the coronavirus situation. What can I do?

Please send us an email or give us a call so that we can discuss your situation and look into alternatives.

I have applied for a loan with one of IE’s partner banks. Will the interest rates that were promoted prior to the coronavirus crisis be maintained?

Yes. As of now, we have not been informed otherwise.


Are Spanish Consulates open?

Yes. If for any extremely exceptional reason your local Spanish Consulate has decided to close, they would announce it on their website, or they would tell you by phone. (Keep in mind that Consulates’ main purpose is to help Spanish nationals, so they should be operative these days and providing regular services).

What do I do if my Consulate is not replying to me?

Given the high volume of work they probably have these days, it may take longer for them to reply to emails. Most Consulates have the instructions on how to apply for visas on their websites or they redirect you to the external services provider that processes visas for them (BLS), so keep this in mind because sometimes the information you are looking for is available in just a click! If you are still not able to find what you were looking for, you may ask your local IE office or Student Services. If you have already submitted your visa application and would like to know whether it has been accepted, you should first keep in mind that the average processing time is 4-6 weeks (student visas) or 2 weeks (tourist visas), and that these timing may be lengthen a little bit now with the current situation.

Will the visa application deadlines change?

Deadlines remain the same. Candidates should consider that the average processing time is 4-6 weeks (student visas) or 2 weeks (tourist visas), and that these timings may lengthen given the situation. According to the current regulation, candidates may apply for their student visa once they have paid their place reservations and only 90 days before the beginning of the program. Tourist visas applications can be submitted 180 days before the start of the program. As some Consulates are admitting student visa applications exceptionally 180 days before the start of the program, we recommend that candidates contact their local consulate as soon as possible to confirm what deadlines and timings they are applying.

Will I get hard copies of my visa supporting documents?

At the moment, the Student Services department is working remotely so hard copies cannot be produced. However, the Spanish Consular authorities have confirmed that Consulates should be accepting print outs of the documents that Student Services will send you by email. At the same time, you can ask Student Services to send your local Spanish Consulate confirmation emails and authentication of your visa documents.

If I do not receive my student visa before classes start due to heavy workload at the consulate, will my absences be excused?

Please contact Student Services if the beginning of the classes is approaching and you have not yet received your student visa, despite having submitted your visa application in time. We will do our best to contact your local Spanish Consulate and to try to expedite your visa process. If this does not work either, or you simply submitted your application late, you will need to contact your academic team to explain your situation and determine what options are available to you.

I had COVID-19. Will the Consulate ask me for a medical certificate?

At the moment and to our knowledge, you must submit a medical certificate of good health when applying for a student visa. For now, the certificate does not include specifications regarding COVID-19 but, moving forward, it’s possible that you may be asked to prove that you either don’t have the virus or that you have successfully recovered from it. The Consulate or the visa services provider will inform you about this specific requirement, if necessary.

Can I return to Spain if my NIE/authorization has expired while I was out of the country due to the coronavirus? What if my student permit or NIE renewal was in process when I left the country?

Do not go to the airport if your travel documentation is not up to date. Please contact your Spanish Consulate well in advance before your scheduled return to Spain to work out a solution. They may ask you to apply for a tourist visa, a new student visa, or may provide you with some sort of travel document due to the exceptional circumstances.

Can I receive my NIE card by mail in my home country?

No. NIE cards must be collected in person at the Police station where you applied for it. No exceptions can be made in this respect. If you were about to collect your NIE card before leaving Spain and do not hold a valid authorization to return, contact your local Spanish Consulate and explain your circumstances so that they can give you the best advice on how to return to Spain.

I have an appointment scheduled to have my fingerprints taken for my NIE card, Should I go?

At the moment, and while the quarantine lasts, all administrative entities have suspended their activities (e.g. migratory authorities). Their offices are closed, and appointments have been cancelled, and new appointments will not be scheduled until further notice. Once the quarantine ends, Student Services will get in touch with the authorities to see if cancelled appointments can be recovered.

What happens if I am still in Spain and my student visa expires before this situation ends and I still have not had my fingerprints taken?

Since all administrative processes and deadlines have been suspended, your visas’ expiration has been too (i.e. it has been frozen). Given the circumstances, the authorities will not take the expiration date into account when you finally continue with your NIE process.

Once the isolation period in Spain ends and if you missed an appointment during this time, please contact Student Services and we will try to help you.

Do I need a letter to support my return to Spain once on campus classes resume?

As of today, this is not a requirement in order to return to Spain. The Student Services Office will be in contact with the Immigration Authorities once the quarantine ends (as of now, the end date is April 11th) and will inform students of any requirement changes.

Can I renew my NIE in my home country?

No. You can only do so in person, in Spain. We are aware that some of you are under student permit renewal processes or are about to obtain your first NIE card. In these cases, we would like to inform you of the suspension of all administrative procedures involving the immigration authorities and police. Thus, all appointments related to either authorities have been cancelled if they fall within the period before the movement restrictions in Spain end. However, this will not affect students’ ongoing immigration procedures if they are still in Spain; the immigration deadlines have also been temporarily suspended for those who have remained in the country. Students that are currently in their home countries and do not have the necessary documentation to come back to Spain should contact their local Spanish Consulates now to enquire about their options once the quarantine ends.

My home country does not require a visa to enter Spain. Can I simply reenter Spain with my passport?

We would like to remind you that, although we are under exceptional circumstances, immigration laws still apply to non-EU citizens. Thus, those who wish to travel should keep their legal documentation up-to-date. Students who are currently in their home countries and do not have the necessary documentation to return to Spain as well as students who are entering Spain for the first time should contact their local Spanish Consulates as soon as possible and enquire about their options once the quarantine ends.

Does the EU travel ban affect students?

Due to the rapidly changing situation, we recommend you contact your local Spanish Consulate to verify if you can travel or not.

What measure are student residences implementing during the COVID-19 crisis?

All student residences are following guidelines set by Spanish health authorities. For specific information, please  contact the residence in which you are interested and IE University Student Services at ieustudentservices@ie.edu

Will the residence give me a refund if I am not able to attend IE University due to COVID-19?

As we are under exceptional circumstances, most of the residences are reevaluating their policies. We strongly recommend you contact the residence directly. Likewise, the IE University Student Services team is available at ieustudentservices@ie.edu

Given the situation, where can I verify if I will be able to enter Spain?

At the moment, travelling is highly discouraged by authorities unless it is absolutely necessary. We recommend you contact your local Spanish Consulate now to inquire about your options.