Visas and travel

Updated 11 January 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.

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). You should also consider whether you will need to self-isolate when you return, and check any restrictions in the country you are travelling to, and whether you will also need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country.

Some countries now require evidence that you have not tested positive for COVID-19 before you can board a plane to travel there. 

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. 

You can apply for financial help to cover the cost of this test from LUU’s Emergency Hardship Fund. The application will be fast tracked to meet students’ travel needs wherever possible. The fund has been made available to support students and postgraduate researchers who are in financial hardship and need help to cover the cost of the test. Applicants will need to show evidence of the cost and of their financial circumstances. To apply, please contact LUU Help and Support and request an application form: advice@luu.leeds.ac.uk or 0113 3801420.

We recommend that you also contact your national embassy for advice and information on 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. 

Students currently abroad 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.

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.  

This list of countries will be reviewed on 1 February 2021. The following destinations are open for applications: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

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. Some countries may not currently have entry or exit restrictions, but given the rapidly evolving nature of the coronavirus situation, 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.

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.