International travel

Travel guidance for international students.

On

Travelling to the UK

The rules for international travel to England have changed from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.

  • The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status, as described below.
  • All travellers from red list countries, regardless of vaccination status, will have to enter mandatory quarantine. View the red list for travel to England.
  • If you're travelling to the UK you must take a Covid test before your journey - as well as a test after your arrive.

Read more about Covid-19 testing before you travel to England on the government website.

Travelling to the UK from non-red list countries if you are fully vaccinated under an approved scheme

If you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised
  • under a formally approved Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

You must:

What to do after receiving your Covid-19 test result:

  • If your test result is negative, you can end your quarantine.
  • If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days - the day of the test is day 0.

You can find out more about travel to England from another country during coronavirus if you are fully vaccinated and Covid-19 testing before you travel to England on the government website.

Travel to the UK from non-red list countries if you are not fully vaccinated

You must follow these rules if you:

  • do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
  • are partially vaccinated
  • are not vaccinated.

Before you travel to England you must:

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take your Covid-19 PCR tests – you must book these tests before you travel. You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0.
  • You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private Covid-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

What to do after receiving your Covid-19 test result:

A positive test result

  • If your day 2 test result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.
  • If your day 8 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day 8 test is day 0.

A negative test result

  • If your day 2 test is negative, you must continue to quarantine. You must take your day 8 test on or after day 8.
  • If your day 8 test is negative, you can stop quarantine on whichever is later: day 10 (day 0 is the day you arrived in England) or when you receive the day 8 test result

More on travel to England from another country during coronavirus if you are not fully vaccinated and Covid-19 testing before you travel to England on the government website.

Travel to the UK from red list countries

You must follow these rules if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 Covid-19 tests.

More on the red list of countries and territories, and rules on the government website.


Financial support for testing and quarantining on arrival to the UK

Financial support is available to enable new and continuing students to travel to the University of Sheffield for the first time for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. This support is for new and continuing students whose permanent residence is in a country or territory outside of the UK. Information about the rules for international travel can be found on the UK government’s travelling to the UK web page.

Support available to students who have booked to travel after 4am Monday 4 October 2021

Country list Financial support available

Rest of the world

- full vaccinated 

We will refund up to £85 of the cost of the mandatory Covid-19 test you are required to take after arriving in the UK.

Rest of the world

- not fully vaccinated 

We will refund up to £149 of the cost of the mandatory Covid-19 tests you are required to take after arriving in the UK.

Plus for those who have an accommodation contract for University owned/managed accommodation for 2021-22:

  • We will provide two weeks’ free accommodation for you to self-isolate in University accommodation.
  • We will provide basic essentials (food, bedding and cooking equipment) for the duration of your required self-isolation in University accommodation.

Further information about the free quarantine accommodation available in University accommodation.

Red list countries  We will refund up to £2,285 for mandatory managed hotel quarantine. This cost includes the mandatory Covid-19 tests you are required to take after arriving in the UK and food for the duration of the managed hotel quarantine.

Support available to students who booked to travel before 4am Monday 4 October 2021

Country list Financial support available
Green We will refund up to £85 of the cost of the mandatory Covid-19 test you are required to take after arriving in the UK.
Amber

We will refund up to £149 of the cost of the mandatory Covid-19 tests you are required to take after arriving in the UK.

Plus for those who have an accommodation contract for University owned/managed accommodation for 2021-22:

  • We will provide two weeks’ free accommodation for you to self-isolate in University accommodation.
  • We will provide basic essentials (food, bedding and cooking equipment) for the duration of your required self-isolation in University accommodation.

Further information about the free quarantine accommodation available in University accommodation.

Red We will refund the £1,750 cost of the mandatory managed hotel quarantine. For bookings made on or after 4am on 12 August 2021 we will reimburse the increased £2,285 cost. This cost includes the mandatory Covid-19 tests you are required to take after arriving in the UK and food for the duration of the managed hotel quarantine.

For full details of eligibility, how to submit a claim and terms and conditions, 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.

Managed quarantine service

The Department for Education has recently published these FAQs for international students on the managed quarantine service (PDF, 113 KB).


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.

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.

Information for current students: Covid-19 UKVI guidance: leave of absence

Research

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 (for current students).

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.

Information for current students: Covid-19 UKVI guidance: police registration


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 Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (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 the International Student Support team 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.

Information for current students: contacts for international students


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 (for current students).

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.

Government guidance on how to transfer your visa from your passport

Graduate Immigration Route

The Graduate Immigration Route is the post-study work visa for international students with a Student or Tier 4 visa. You must apply while living in the UK.

For further information and how to apply, check our Graduate Immigration Route web page (for current students) 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 (for current students).


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.

Support – get in touch

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