International travel

Travel guidance for international students.



If you are returning to Sheffield, check the Covid-19 entry requirements before travelling to the UK. Do not travel if you have symptoms of Covid-19, or if you are currently self-isolating.

Teaching and learning

Update your study location

To help us ensure we provide you with the best teaching, services and support, we need you to keep us up to date on where you are studying from.

You can also update these details by logging into MUSE. Click ‘view all services’, then ‘study location’.

Travelling to the UK

The UK government has introduced rules for those arriving to the UK from overseas, classifying countries as green, amber or red. You can check the current status of your country and the testing and quarantine rules which apply to you on the UK Border Control website. Countries and territories can be moved between lists if conditions change.

Green list countries

Before travel you must:

You must book a Covid-19 travel test package before departing for the UK, and you should carry your invoice as evidence of booking. Booking a test at our Covid-19 Testing Centre on campus does not count towards this requirement.

After arriving in England you must take your pre-booked Covid-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive. You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Amber list countries

Before travel you must:

  • take a coronavirus test and get a negative result during the three days before you travel and provide this to your travel provider
  • book and pay for a travel test package, which will include Covid-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine
  • complete a passenger locator form

You must book a Covid-19 travel test package before departing for the UK, and you should carry your invoice as evidence of booking. Booking a test at our Covid-19 Testing Centre on campus does not count towards this requirement.

After arriving in England you must self-isolate (quarantine) at your accommodation for 10 days and take your pre-booked Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.

You may choose to use the Test and Release Scheme. This allows you to get a test from a private provider after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result allowing you to stop self-isolating from day six. A list of approved Test and Release providers is available on the UK government website.

Please note that a test result from Our Covid-19 Testing Centre is not applicable to the Test and Release Scheme. However, all students are still welcome to book a test with us.

Red list countries

If you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, which includes holding a valid student visa, and you are travelling from or through one of the red list countries, you will be able to enter the UK – but you must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Before travel you must:

After arriving in England you must:

  • quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England counts as day 0)
  • take a coronavirus (Covid-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining
  • If you receive a positive result from either test, you must continue your quarantine period restarting the 10 days beginning the day after the test was taken

Financial support for students travelling from a red list country

We will refund the £1,750 cost of managed quarantine in a hotel for new and returning students travelling from red list countries to the University of Sheffield for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. Applications for refunds open on Monday 16 August and claims will be processed once you have arrived in Sheffield and have fully registered at the University of Sheffield. For full details of eligibility, how to submit a claim and further information, please refer to our Covid-19 Support Fund web page. 

We recommend you read the guidance on the UK Border Control website carefully for further information and guidance on booking hotel quarantine and additional arrivals information.

If you have returned to your home country

The University will continue to sponsor your Student or Tier 4 visa if you remain in contact with your department and engage with your studies.

This means that, if you are able to participate in online studies, submit your assignments, and you plan to return to the UK in the future, the University will not report your visa for cancellation.

Please note that the UK government may change their rules during this period and we will continue to monitor this closely.

Remember to keep the University up to date with your study location when you change from the UK to overseas, or from overseas to the UK. Complete the study location form. 

If you are unable to access online learning 

If your department advises that you cannot continue to study remotely, your visa may be affected.

If you are unable to access online teaching and submit assignments from home, you should consider taking a leave of absence during this period so that you are able to resume study once normal teaching resumes.


If you are confident that you can engage with your research while at home:

  • Discuss your proposal to continue your research at home with your supervisor, who will guide you on whether it would be practicable for you to continue your research from home. This will depend on a number of factors such as the point you are at with your research, your subject discipline, and whether you have ongoing laboratory or experimental work. You must also have the approval of your supervisor to continue your research project remotely.
  • Ensure that you have the resources available to continue your research from home.
  • Regularly keep in contact with your supervisor.

If your supervisor cannot support your proposal to continue your research from home, you may wish to consider taking either a short absence by using your annual leave or take a leave of absence. These options will mean that you will stop work on your research.

A leave of absence may have an impact on your Student or Tier 4 visa but this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. This will be dependent on the duration of the LOA and whether it will have an impact on your original submission date. You can read more information and use our self-help tools to check before applying for a LOA online

If you have previously registered with the police 

Police forces, including South Yorkshire Police have currently suspended all police registration appointments until further notice. If you have applied for your visa or had your change of circumstances, read our guidance.

If you are unable to leave the UK 

If your visa expires and you cannot leave the UK, and you’re still studying at the University, you may also be able to extend your Student visa in the UK. You can find out more online about how to extend your visa and request a new CAS from International Student Support.

If you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self isolation related to Covid-19, and have no other grounds to extend your visa, you can request 'Exceptional Assurance from the Coronavirus Immigration Team’ (CIT).

If you are granted 'Exceptional Assurance' it will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after your visa has expired. It will have an expiry date and will give you this protection until the date the assurance expires.

You are strongly advised to contact International Student Support before your visa expires for further assistance.

If you are eligible to submit a visa application in a different visa category, you can contact the Student Advice Centre for help.

Visa guidance

UKVI temporary guidance

There are a range of changes to immigration guidance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as a result of Covid-19, and this is subject to change. For detailed guidance about UK Visa Applications, changes to your studies and conditions of your stay, expired travel vignettes, expired CAS, BRP collection: check our UKVI guidance page.

Expired vignette (sticker on your passport)

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have confirmed that if you had already been issued with a 90 day entry clearance visa overseas, and this has expired or will expire before you travel, you will need to apply for a vignette transfer and pay an application fee of £154.

Government guidance on how to transfer your visa from your passport

The University may be able to reimburse the cost of your replacement vignette application through the Student Covid-19 Support Fund.

To apply to the fund, you'll need to provide a copy of your expired vignette as well as the receipt you receive when you submit the replacement vignette application.

Graduate Immigration Route

The Graduate Immigration Route is the post-study work visa for international students with a Student or Tier 4 visa. If you are completing your course in 2021, you may wish to apply for this visa.

Due to Covid-19, the government has put in place concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic, recognising the continued disruption many face in international travel.

To apply for the Graduate Immigration Route, you must apply while living in the UK.

If you are an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student currently living overseas, and you have not been advised to return by your department, you do not need to travel to the UK at this time. You should remain where you are currently living and continue to study online until your face-to-face teaching resumes. However, you will need to arrive by 21 June if you wish to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route.

For further information, check our Graduate Immigration Route web page and read the government Graduate Immigration Route fact sheet.

If you have a visa or immigration concern, please get in touch with our International Student Support team.

Cancelling pre-booked travel

If you need to cancel pre-booked travel to the University due to Covid-19, you should try to reschedule your ticket or ask for a refund. If you can't change your pre-booked travel or claim on insurance, the University can support you through the Student Covid-19 Support Fund.

Support – get in touch

Our extensive range of support services for students are all available online.