Visas and travel

Updated 24 March 2021

Current students with a Student/Tier 4 visa

Current students can find general visa and immigration information on our For Students website visa pages.

If you are studying remotely outside of the UK please see the advice on our page about remote study and your student visa. 

If you are an applicant or offer holder, please visit the visas and immigration section of our Preparing for Leeds pages and our FAQs for applicants and offer holders. 

If you have questions about your visa that are not answered on these pages, please email internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk. Please use your full name and Student ID in any correspondence with the University.   

You can also check UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKICSA) website for information for international students in the UK.  

I have a Student/ Tier 4 visa that is due to expire but intend to remain in the UK to continue studying

If you have a Student/ Tier 4 visa that is due to expire and you intend to remain in the UK you must continue to submit a CAS request and submit a visa application as usual. 

My visa has expired and I cannot leave the UK for COVID-19 related issues:

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has issued some temporary guidance for people who are unable to leave the UK – see the UKCISA website for regular updates (this information changes regularly). Contact the International Student Advice (visas and immigration) team at internationalstudents@leeds.ac.uk. 

Will being ill with COVID-19 affect my visa?

If you are ill for any reason, you should always report your illness to your academic school. If your illness is related to COVID-19, your absence will count as authorised and it will not affect your visa.

We understand that this situation may affect students in different ways and you may need practical help or emotional support. View our information about how we can support you.

Travel advice for students who want to return home

Students in the UK who want to travel home internationally.

Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated. You must follow UK government guidance on international travel during the national lockdown. Under the national lockdown, students resident in England (including international students) must follow the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should therefore not travel abroad or within the UK, unless you are leaving home to travel for a legally permitted reason. Such reasons would include moving home permanently, or if you have a medical need to do so – which would include for mental health reasons. 

The UK government has confirmed that students are allowed to return home once for Easter break, including journeys that involve international travel. However, in order to minimise transmission, we strongly advise students not to travel, and to remain in their term-time accommodation.

If you do decide to travel, you should be aware that there are currently quarantine and testing requirements for all people arriving in England. This applies for all returning students and you’ll need to book and pay for a travel test package and, if required, a quarantine hotel. You can find more information about these requirements on our arrival webpage. You should also be aware that travel restrictions may change while you are away, making it more difficult or expensive to return to England.

If you do travel home, you must follow government travel advice while in the UK to ensure you are travelling safely and you must not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Before you travel, you must complete a travel declaration form demonstrating that you have a legal reason to travel.

You should also check any restrictions in the country you are travelling to. For example, you may require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test and you may need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country.

We recommend that you contact your airline to find out what is required from passengers when entering your home country. You can also contact your national embassy in the UK for information about travelling home.

You can book a free and fast asymptomatic COVID-19 test on campus but this test is a Lateral flow test, not a PCR test. It is not currently possible to get a test from the NHS if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus. You can search online for private COVID-19 testing in Leeds.

For travelling purposes, you will need to check with your destination as to the rules and criteria they require for you to travel there. Lateral flow tests provided on campus cannot be used to meet UK government testing requirements on arrival in England. 

We understand that many students are experiencing unexpected costs related to COVID-19. If these costs are causing you financial pressure, contact LUU Help and Support for advice about sources of hardship funding.

Travelling home for Easter

Please visit the Spring term arrangements page for information about travelling home for Easter and returning to campus after the break.

You can read more about the UK government guidance on Easter travel on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.

Study abroad and work placements

The University is now supporting taught students to plan and take part in:

  • UK-based work placements
  • Overseas work placements
  • Study abroad

Travel permissions are subject to change in line with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice.  

International travel to countries the FCDO has identified as exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ travel is permitted.  

The University does not recommend travel to destinations where the FCDO advises against ‘all but essential’ travel for work or study placements. Applications for exceptional permission will be considered for some destinations in this category.  

For more information on what this means for study placements, please visit the Study Abroad Minerva organisation. For work placements, contact your Faculty Employability Team in the first instance.  

Please keep your Placement/ Study Abroad Coordinator up to date with your plans and respond quickly to any requests for information.

Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated. We strongly recommend considering the potential impact of travel restrictions changing once you have arrived at your destination.

It is also important to consider that advice on self-isolation might change for different geographical locations and this could affect you upon your return to the UK.

Students currently abroad on a study or work placement who want to return to the UK

If you are on an international study or work placement, please continue to follow the UK Government advice and that of your host institution/organisation and country. The UK government is currently advising that “countries may bring in new measures with little notice such as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules. Travellers should be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.” Please consider the risk and impact of being unable to return to your host country in time to meet the requirements of your placement or to collect your possessions.

Before travelling to the UK, you should:

  • check entry requirements and restrictions that have been introduced due to coronavirus (COVID-19) that have been introduced due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • ensure that prior to departing for England they have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result taken within three days of departure to their transport operator. Find out more about coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England
  • complete a passenger locator form
  • note that all inbound UK travel corridors have been temporarily suspended to protect against new international variants. All passengers are now required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. Find out more about the Government’s travel advice 
  • confirm whether you are travelling from a red-list country, there are different arrival procedures for individuals travelling from a red-list country and individuals travelling from a country not on the red-list.

Fieldwork

The University is now supporting taught and PGR students to plan for fieldwork in the UK. You will need to complete and have the full fieldwork risk assessment (including COVID-19 mitigation measures) approved. More information is available on the wellbeing, safety and health website

Planning for international fieldwork (both for research and for taught courses) can now begin, although with so many unknowns, we recommend that you plan UK-based fieldwork instead wherever possible. If you still think your international fieldwork is essential, you would only be able to travel to international countries from 2021 and need to follow very stringent approval processes. Of course, international travel may be prevented at the last minute, due to fast-changing government (and local) rules.

If you are currently booked to attend an international trip with the University please contact your event organiser or Head of School.