Returning or arriving in the UK

This page provides information for new, continuing and existing students on a Student Visa returning or arriving in the UK.


New students arriving in the UK

Where you are a new student arriving in the UK on a Student Visa, you must carry the following documents in paper form in your hand luggage:

  • Evidence of your finances
  • Evidence of your accommodation
  • Unconditional offer letter and CAS statement

Continuing or existing students returning to the UK

Before returning to the UK, you should check your email account in case the Home Office have cancelled/postponed your leave. If so, you are strongly advised not to travel.

Continuing students returning from a trip abroad

Where you are a continuing student returning to the UK after a trip abroad, you should not encounter problems if your visa is still valid and you have not left the UK for a continuous period of more than two years.

  • Immigration Officers may ask you some questions to ensure your circumstances have not changed since your visa was granted.
  • You should request a Certificate of Student Status from SSiD to carry in your hand luggage to show that you are still a registered student at the university.

Students whose visas have been curtailed

Where the Home Office have curtailed your visa and there is six months or less remaining on your visa, it will no longer be valid if you leave the UK. You must apply for a new visa to return to the UK.

Students returning for graduation

Where you wish to return to the UK for graduation after completing your course and your visa is still valid, you should carry evidence in your hand luggage clearly stating your purpose for returning to the UK (eg your graduation invitation letter) or apply for a Standard Visitor Visa.

Students with a Visitor or Short-Term Student visa

Where you have a Visitor or Short-Term Student Visa valid for six months that was granted at your port of entry to the UK, your visa will not be valid once you leave the UK. You will need to obtain a new visa to be readmitted.


eGates are an automated self-service option that should give you a quicker and easier way to cross the border.

You are eligible to use eGates if:

You have a biometric passport (i.e your passport has a chip); and if you're a national of one of the following countries:

  •  All EU countries
  •  EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland
  •  Australia
  •  Canada,
  •  Japan
  •  New Zealand
  •  Singapore
  •  South Korea
  •  United States of America

You should not attempt to use eGates if you are travelling with any dependents under 12.

If you use an e-Gate, you must keep evidence of your travel to the UK.

You will not get a stamp in your passport if you enter the UK using an eGate. You will need evidence of the date you entered the UK in order to register on your course, and you may also need a record of this for other reasons in the future. You should ensure that you keep a copy of your boarding card, flight ticket or booking confirmation for this purpose.

Peak travel dates

Holiday/vacation dates for 2020/21

Summer vacation University of Sheffield 2021:

  • Ends 21 September 2020 (Start of intro week)

Autumn half-term holidays for Sheffield schools:

  • 24th October 2020 – 1st November 2020

Christmas vacation University of Sheffield:

  • 19th December 2020 – 17th January 2021

Spring half-term holidays for Sheffield schools:

  • 13th February 2021 – 21st February 2021

Easter vacation University of Sheffield:

  • 27th March 2021 – 18th April 2021

Summer vacation University of Sheffield 2021:

  • 12th June 2021 - 19th September 2021 (Start of intro week) 

UKVI guides

These guides from UKVI contain information and advice for students who are travelling to the UK.

UKVI guide to faster travel through the UK border 

UKVI top tips for students arriving in the UK (PDF, 248kb)