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International Students A-Z

Information given here is intended as a guide for international students and is given in good faith. Care has been taken in compiling the information, however, the University accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.


Designated officer authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under section 84 (4) (d) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and regulated by the Immigration Services Commissioner.

Student Immigration Advice & Compliance                     

Our advice is available free of charge and follows the Rules and Code of Standards of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and UK Visas and Immigration.

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Where do you want to live? How much will it cost? The Student Accommodation Service and Unipol Student Home can help.

You may also find our UK Money Explained and Budgeting Tools and Tips useful.

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Before you open a bank account, see the pages of our website ‘UK Money Explained’ and ‘Living in the UK’. Most major banks have branches around Leeds and near both main campuses.
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Computers with access to MyBeckett, email and printers are available in the Libraries and Student Hubs at both Headingley and City Campuses.

Council Tax

If you are studying full-time and living in Halls of Residence, or in a student-only private house, you do not have to pay Council Tax.  If you live in private housing, you may need to get a Council Tax Exemption form.

For further information, see the UKCISA guidelines about Council Tax.


Counselling is a free service that offers you a safe, confidential time and place to talk with someone who is trained to listen and to help you improve issues you are experiencing.  

Please complete the online registration form to register for Counselling with the Student Wellbeing Centre - it just takes a few minutes.  We aim to contact you within 3 working days of receiving your form.

Please note that while we aim see students as quickly as possible, we are not usually able to offer appointments immediately.


It is important that you look after your own safety and the security of your belongings at university, in public and at home.  For advice on what to do, see the page of our website called ‘International Students Health & Wellbeing’. If you need the police, telephone the Emergency Services on 999.

Culture Shock

Coming to a new country with a new way of life and language, without your friends and family, is often very stressful. The Student Hub can help.  During Induction, the Chaplaincy will present a comedy drama which many students have found helpful.  Visit or call 0113 343 5071 for more information.
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You should register with a doctor's surgery shortly after arriving in Leeds, doctors in the community are called General Practitioners or GPs.  See the page of our website ‘International Students Health and Wellbeing’.  

Motoring in the UK – will your licence cover you? 

Not many of you will be driving whilst staying in the UK but if you do one of the most important things to notice is that we drive on the left. 
You must hold a licence which is valid in the UK. Please follow the following link to find out more information:

If you’re convicted of a motoring offence, the courts can fine you and endorse your driving licence with penalty points. 

Each endorsement has a unique offence code and is allocated „penalty points‟ on a scale from one to eleven, depending on the severity of the offence. Endorsements must stay on your driving licence for four or eleven years depending on the offence. 

You’ll need to produce your driving licence to the police, fixed penalty office (FPO) or when you appear at court.

Disability Advice

If you have a disability, please contact us as early as possible to discuss support that may be required. Contact the Disability Advice team for more details.


An NUS card (National Union of Students) will give you discounts in many shops, cinemas and Student Union-run events, and an ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) gives discounts on national and international travel. Find out more from the Student’s Union.

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Entertainment & Eating Out

Leeds has a large range of restaurants and bars that cater for all tastes.  The West Yorkshire Playhouse and Grand Theatre in Leeds show dances, musicals and opera, and there are many cinemas.  Going out can be as expensive or as cheap as you like.  Remember to take your NUS card with you!  

English Language

Academic English and Study Skills classes for International Students - can help you improve your academic English and adapt to life in Leeds.  For more, see the page of our website ‘University Support and Advice Services: Support That Stays’ or email  

Emergency Services

Call 999 on any phone if you need the police, fire service or an ambulance in an emergency.

EU & EEA Students after Brexit

A deal has been agreed and the UK has left the European Union. As an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen your immigration status will not immediately change if you were already a resident in the UK before 01 January 2021. EU citizens who arrived before this date, who wish to remain in the UK after 01 January 2021 will need to apply to the EU settlement scheme. You can apply to the scheme for settled or pre-settled status depending on how long you have been continuously resident in the UK. If you have resided in the UK for 5 consecutive years without any absence of 6 months or longer in any 12 month period, and/or one absence of up to 12 months for an acceptable reason, then you will be eligible to apply for settled status (concessions are in place for those affected by Covid-19). If you have resided in the UK for a shorter period of time, then you will be eligible to apply for pre-settled status. If you are granted pre-settled status you can subsequently gain settled status once you have met the 5 year threshold.

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arrived in the UK before 1st January 2020 can apply to the settlement scheme now, for free. The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who plan to arrive in the UK from 1st January 2020 must apply for the appropriate visa
  • On 21 January 2019 the Prime Minister waived the application fee for the EU settlement scheme. If, however, you applied during the previous test phases of the settlement scheme and paid an application fee, you can now apply for a refund on the website.
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For information on tuition fees and how to pay, see the page of our website ‘UK Money Explained'.
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Coming back to the UK for Graduation? Need visa and immigration advice on planning your return? Contact Student Immigration Advice & Compliance on

Graduating this year? book your tickets and gown in advance on our graduation website:

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See the page of our website ‘International Students Health & Wellbeing’.
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Immigration Advice

See Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team and UKCISA.  


Contact Endsleigh at or ask the Student’s Union for advice.

International Students Club

The International Students Club is open to all international students. They run trips, social activities and fun events throughout the year.

Student Immigration Advice and Compliance

Our Student Immigration Advisors are available to talk in confidence to discuss any matters that may be troubling you. Appointments and Visa Workshops are available at City Campus and at Headingley Campus. Contact Jo Harrison on or Clare Newton on

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Job opportunities are listed on My Hub. More information on jobs and careers can be found by visiting

JobCentre Plus

The Jobcentre Plus can help you find part-time work in Leeds as well as give advice about National Insurance and Income Tax. Email for more information.

To look for work, visit to explore the latest employment opportunities. 

You must be careful not to work more hours per week than is stated on your visa.

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Kirkgate Market

Kirkgate Market on Vicar Lane in the city centre is a covered market with over 800 stalls, you’ll find everything from fresh fruit and fish to household goods and clothing. The market is often much cheaper than supermarkets and local shops!
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Compliance with the UK Laws
Drinking in Public 

Most of the laws about alcohol are contained in the Licensing Act 2003. 

Social customs and laws on drinking in public vary significantly around the world. Currently it isn't illegal to drink in public. However many areas have alcohol-free zones that target town centres and/or residential areas where there is a particular issue with drinking in public. 

Being drunk and disorderly in a public place is illegal; although providing you don't do any damage or give the police verbal abuse, the most they'll usually do is take you back to the police station and put you in a cell so you can sleep it off.


The law on drugs is complex; but if you're caught with an illegal substance, ignorance is not a defence. 

Maximum penalties if you are caught: 
  • Class A: Seven years in prison and/or a fine for possession, life imprisonment and/or a fine for possession with intent to supply. 
  • Class B: Five years in prison and/or a fine for possession, 14 years in prison and/or a fine for possession with intent to supply. 
  • Class C: Two years in prison and/or a fine for possession, five years prison and/or a fine for possession with intent to supply. 

Talk to FRANK” is the national drugs helpline offering free, confidential information and advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also have a useful website at You can call FRANK on 0800 77 66 00 or text a question on 82111. The cost of sending a text to FRANK is the same as a standard text message, which will depend on your network tariff. Information and advice is also available via the website.

If you are arrested for any reason 

When a police officer makes an arrest, he or she is taking you under the care and control of the law. This means that for the time being you lose certain freedoms, such as to go and do as you please... but in return you are given certain rights which protect you against unreasonable treatment. 

If you are arrested, you have the right to know why you have been arrested. At the police station you will be entitled to: 

  1. See a solicitor - Whether you are arrested or go to a police station voluntarily, you are entitled to free legal advice from a solicitor who will advise you while you are being questioned. 
  2. Read a copy of the Codes of Practice, which explains the procedures the police should follow in such circumstances. 
You can be detained by the police only if they do not have enough evidence to charge you and they have good reason to believe that they can obtain further evidence. You cannot normally be held for more than 24 hours without being charged or released.


There are so many things to see and do in and around Leeds that it has its own website! Visit Leeds has tourism information and dates for open air festivals, concerts, clubs, restaurants, art galleries and more.  You may also like to try Leeds Inspired.  


Our libraries can be found in the Leslie Silver Building, City Campus and the James Graham Building, Headingley Campus. Find our more about everything on offer on the Library website.

The Living Room

A Tuesday night home away from home for international students living in Leeds! Make new friends, have fun and discover British culture!

Lost Property

Lost Property can be handed in to staff at any of the Student Hubs or Security desks.  If you lose something, tell the staff and they will let you know if anyone finds it and help you to report it to the police if necessary. Find out more about Lost Property.

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See Post Office.


Metro co-ordinates the bus and train services in Leeds and West Yorkshire.  You can buy a Student Plus Metrocard for cheaper bus and train travel around West Yorkshire. Go to for lots of useful information.

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National Insurance

You will need a National Insurance number if you want to work part-time. For more information, see the UKCISA website.   


Is an independent confidential listening service, which you can call on 0113 380 1380 (Information) or 0113 380 1381 (Listening) between 8.00pm- 8.00am during term-time. You can talk to the volunteers about anything bothering you, however they cannot give you advice. Their website is here:

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MyBeckett provides internet access to University information, email and other services, 24 hours a day, from home or at university. Find out more about the MyBeckett portal.

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Police Registration

For more information about registering with the police on arrival, or informing them of a change of address, see the page of our website, Registering with the Police.  

Post Offices

Post Offices are usually open from 9.00 am - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.00 am – 12pm on Saturdays. You can post mail, buy stamps and pay bills at most offices. Visit to find your closest branch and its opening times.
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In the UK it is considered good manners to stand in line and wait your turn.  Waiting for a bus for example, or waiting to be served in a shop or café. If you push in front of other people, they may become angry with you. 
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Discrimination against anyone, or abuse- verbal or physical- because of their race is not acceptable!  If you or anyone you know has been affected by racism, contact the Students' Union Advice Service.

Religious support

Leeds Beckett welcomes and support students of all faiths, beliefs and nationalities. Facilities include prayer rooms on each campus for Muslim students. The Chaplaincy offers friendship and support for individual students, and runs events and clubs such as the International Students Club. For more information, call 0113 343 5071 or go to their website.

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The situation in the UK may be different to what you are used to at home, so it is important you learn about UK crime prevention and take sensible precautions. 
Top safety tips 

  • stick to well-lit busy streets and avoid walking home alone after dark 
  • lock windows and doors at all times, especially when you leave the house 
  • don’t leave valuables unattended, even for a few minutes. 
If you have any safety questions, or in the unlikely event that you are a victim of crime, there is lots of support available to you. 
If you are on the University campus, or in University accommodation you should contact the University’s Security Office in an emergency. If you are in the city centre, elsewhere in Leeds or further away, you can contact the police to get urgent help. 
University’s Security Office 
This service operates 24-hours a day, every day of the year. Security staff offer crime prevention advice, respond to emergencies and deal with lost property. Contact them for information and advice or to report a crime. University Security Office (Emergency after hours contact):
James Graham Building
Headingley Campus
Leeds, LS6 3HF
Telephone: +44 113 812 3716
Emergencies (Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade)
The police service keeps Leeds safe, attends emergencies off campus and gives crime prevention advice.  
In the event of an emergency, phone 999 for immediate assistance. The call is free, so you can use your mobile or any telephone box. Only use the number if you need an immediate response. When the call is answered you will need to say which service you require; the Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade. You will also need to provide your personal details and the details including the exact location of the emergency.
Dial 101 for any non-emergencies or to report a crime. The emergency number for police off campus is 999, where there is a danger to life, or a crime is in progress.  

Creating Confidence – Personal Safety 

Download the Creating Confidence personal safety guide here.


Smoking is not allowed inside any of the Leeds Beckett buildings, in shops, cinemas and public transport, and in parts of most restaurants and bars. From 1st July 2007 there was a total ban on smoking anywhere indoors, unless you are at home. Be aware of other people’s feelings, even when you are outside- they might not like you smoking near them!  

Student Accommodation Service

For advice about living in Halls of Residence, call the Student Accommodation Service on 0113 812 5972 or email:    

Student Hub

Staff at the Student Hub at both City Campus and Headingley Campus may be able to help you with non-academic matters, and they can also help you access a range of student support services.  Click here or visit them in person.    

Student’s Union

The Leeds Beckett Student’s Union (LBSU) is a central part of Leeds Beckett social and academic life, for staff and students! They also run their own Student Advice Service.  For more information, go to the Students' Union website.
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Amber Cars ‘no cash’ taxi service
If you find yourself stuck without money and unable to get home, Amber Cars (taxi firm) will take you home in exchange for your student ID card. Your card will be dropped off at Leeds University Union and you can pick it up and pay your taxi fare when it’s convenient.
Tel: 0113 202 2117 Web: Amber Cars

TV Licence

If you want to watch television in your Halls of Residence or private housing, you will need to get a TV Licence. You can buy one online from

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UKCISA is the Council for International Student Affairs in the UK, which provides essential information and advice for international students. Go to the website to see their range of factsheets.  


Police generally wear black and white uniforms, often with a bright yellow jacket.  Officers of The Fire Service in Leeds and Paramedics (staff who attend accidents and emergencies) also wear uniforms while they are on duty.  All uniforms have badges identifying which Emergency Service they work for.   University Security staff wear black trousers with a blue shirt and jacket.  


Unipol is an organisation which helps students find private rented accommodation. They are based at 155-157 Woodhouse Lane, (near the City Campus).  Call them on 0113 243 0169, email: or visit their website.
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The Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team can help you to fill in your visa extension form and can assist you with any queries that you may have.  Please make sure to let us know well in advance of your visa expiry date if at all possible to allow us to provide you with any help you need.

Contact us to book an appointment.
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In Britain women have the right to be regarded as equal to men in all areas of life.  It is normal to see women having careers, socialising together and going out alone.  The following organisations may be helpful for women:  

Family Planning Association: information and advice on all aspects of sexual health, contraception and related issues.  Call 0845 122 8690 or visit    

Equal Opportunities Commission: this agency is working to eliminate discrimination on grounds of gender.  Call the Equality Advisory Support Service on 0808 800 0082 for confidential advice or visit


If you are thinking about working, take a look at the up to the minute information provided by UKCISA.

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‘Xmas’ is another word for Christmas- a time for celebration but it can also be a time when you might be feeling a bit lonely or homesick if you are not going home for the holidays.  Try to arrange some activity or a place to visit when the university is closed. 
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Yorkshire Dales

Leeds is less than 20 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which is famous for its beauty. You can get there easily by bus or train; for more information see the Metro website

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Zebra Crossings

Roads in Leeds- especially in the city centre- are very busy, sometimes with fast moving traffic, and crossing the road safely can be difficult.  Use ‘Zebra crossings’, where you can wait for the traffic to stop.  There are other types of pedestrian crossings where you push a button and wait for the symbol of a walking man to turn from red to green before you cross. Try to use crossings whenever you can.

This page was last modified: 03/06/2021

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