Information for students

Page last updated 27/04/2021

International students

Information for international students around the potential impact of coronavirus on their travel, visas and assessment arrangements.

International students' FAQs

The advice for international students travelling from overseas is to consider whether you, in fact, need to travel to the UK at this time. You should consider delaying your travel plans if they can be rearranged.

You cannot travel to the UK if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days unless you have residency rights. 

Your timetable will be updated to reflect any changes to your teaching and your course will be taught online until the Government guidance changes. The earliest possible date that on campus teaching can commence is 17th May 2021, your School will notify you if you are expected to take any face to face teaching. You can also check your online timetable.

Before traveling to England, all international arrivals must:

  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before travel. (Please note that your test results must be in English, French or Spanish and must include all specified information. See here for the exact requirements)

  • 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 quarantine

  • complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will quarantine when you arrive and a travel test package booking reference number

All passengers arriving in the UK will need to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Students arriving from a country on the travel ban red list (this includes anyone who has travelled through a red listed country in the 10 days prior to travel) must book into a quarantine hotel to complete the self-isolation period .

Please ensure that you fully read the guidance on how to self-isolate. This includes information on how to travel to the place where you are self-isolating, how to self-isolate in your accommodation and what to do if you get coronavirus symptoms during the process.

It is compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport and when using indoor public spaces in England, this includes shops, places of worship and visitor attractions. Social distancing measures are currently in place and all non-essential travel is advised against, see the current government guidance.

You should be aware that travel advice may change while you are overseas, and are advised to regularly check all relevant guidance pages for updates.

If students are travelling to the UK from overseas because their course has been prioritised for a return to in-person teaching, or if they are making plans to travel overseas for the Easter break, they need comply with border measures that have been introduced to help prevent transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19) on their return. 

Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated. The UK Government is advising against all international travel unless it is essential. The national “Stay at Home” guidance is due to change to “Stay Local” on 29th March 2021. International students should therefore remain at their term time accommodation, and should not leave to travel abroad or within England, unless you are leaving your accommodation to travel for a legally permitted reason (for example medical, mental health or compassionate reasons). If you do decide to travel, you must complete a travel declaration form demonstrating that you have a legal reason to travel.

As for domestic students, international students are also allowed to return home once for the Easter break, which includes a journey involving overseas travel. However, in order to minimise transmission, and because travel restrictions could change whilst students are overseas, (making it harder for students to get back into England), the government still strongly advises students not to travel.

We also recommend that you contact your national embassy for advice and information before travelling home. You could also contact your airline to find out what is required from passengers in terms of certification when entering your home country as it is likely that you will need a negative covid-19 test in advance of travelling. You may also be expected to quarantine / self-isolate upon arrival.

We also request that you inform your Course Administrator and the SIAC team if you choose to return home during term time. Please include your student ID number in the email.

If your visa is due to expire, please contact SIAC team for further guidance. 

▪ Before you get a tested, should make sure you have arrangements in place to travel home safely in the event you test positive. 
You should walk, cycle or drive wherever possible.
 ▪ If driving, you should try to be the only person in the vehicle, but can share a car with their household or support bubble if necessary. You should open windows, wear a face covering and sit far away from others if sharing a car. 
▪ You should plan your journey ahead in the event you test positive, and should not use public transport or a taxi or private hire vehicle to return home.


As an enrolled student, it is essential that you engage with your studies by attending all the classes, lectures, tutorials and other sessions indicated on your timetable. You do not have to get your timetable signed. Attendance can be online, face to face classes or a combination of both depending on the requirements of your course. Failure to fully engage with your course without providing a satisfactory explanation to your School may result in you being marked as ‘Unauthorised Absence’.

To ensure that you are marked as present for your on-line classes, you must log in at the time that the classes are scheduled and follow any guidance from your School regarding attendance / engagement monitoring. If you develop any symptoms of Covid-19, you must not come onto campus and should inform your Course Administrator of your absence. Please also provide your information on the following online form

Please contact Student Immigration Advice & Compliance.

We will continue to review UKVI published guidance and update when able to do so.

The Government is recommending that all students take two free lateral flow tests for Covid-19 before returning for any in-person, on campus teaching or before they use any campus facilities. The test is for those with no symptoms.

You can choose to pay for an accredited Covid-19 test from a private testing provider after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to isolate from day 6. More information on the Test to Release scheme is available on the Government website.

Students will not be penalised for being unable to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) while coronavirus (COVID-19) measures are in place.