If you have Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and let us know using a simple form. All the details are available here.

International travel and visas

See guidance about overseas travel as well as the visas you need to study at Sussex while the Coronavirus situation is ongoing.

Leaving the UK

Make sure you’ve updated your term-time address on Sussex Direct so we know how to contact you in an emergency.

If you’re a student visa holder, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires us to hold up-to-date contact details for you. If you are staying on campus, please also complete this short survey so we can stay in touch and make sure you have the latest information about how we are supporting you.

For more advice about travelling during the spring vacation, see this UKCISA news item.

Travelling home

Check any Covid-19 and quarantine restrictions before you travel. These can include completing a passenger locator form, quarantining in a managed hotel room or having to self-isolate when you arrive in your home country.

Seek advice from your country’s embassy or consulate in the UK if you are considering returning to your home country. You may find that travel options are limited. You should not travel if you have symptoms of Covid-19 yourself, or if you live in shared accommodation with people who are self-isolating.

Remember you will need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before you return to England.

Visa issues

If you are trying to leave the UK but cannot do so before your visa expires, for example, due to travel restrictions, then you must take action to avoid becoming an overstayer. UKVI currently operates an Exceptional Assurance scheme for this. The scheme can only be used for visas that expire between certain dates, so check back to make sure you can use it.

Important: You must make an Exceptional Assurance application before your current visa expires to avoid becoming an overstayer.

If you are considering making an application, you can see UKCISA advice on Exceptional Assurance or contact our immigration advisors for advice on your circumstances.

Entering the UK

There are government restrictions on travel to the UK from outside the Common Travel Area, which mean you need to quarantine when you arrive.

You must quarantine for ten days and take two PCR tests, on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine. You must book PCR tests through the Government portal before you travel.

If you have booked a Test to Release through the existing scheme, this test can still be used, however it would be in addition to the two mandatory tests mentioned above.

Countries with a UK travel ban

Some countries are on a Government red list for health reasons, which means there is a travel ban into the UK.

If you are from, or travelling through, countries on the red list, you can travel if you have residence rights in the UK (a valid student visa vignette or BRP).

However, you need to arrive at specific airports and quarantine in a hotel. Check the costs carefully before you travel.

There are strict fines for people who do not follow these rules.

All students who need to self-isolate after travelling should report Covid-19 self-isolation to the University.

If, at any time after this, you develop Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and let us know using our symptom reporting form.

Coronavirus travel advice

Travel Health Pro is an expert organisation supported by Public Health England and a range of other expert health organisations. See Travel Health Pro information about travelling and Coronavirus.

The UK government has a dedicated Coronavirus Immigration Helpline for people affected by travel restrictions:

The UK Council of International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has detailed information for international students.

Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you are a current EU/EEA student, and you are outside the UK, see our Brexit Hub for information or contact an immigration adviser.


Visa guidance

If you're studying an undergraduate or taught Masters course, check this information.

My course has not finished. My student visa expires soon. I am in my home country due to Coronavirus. Do I need to do anything?

There will be no impact on your student visa if you study remotely in your home country and continue to engage with your studies as instructed by your School. The UK government has confirmed that remote study is acceptable for the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year, so your visa will remain valid. Check our Coronavirus guidance for more details about when you will be expected to return to teaching in person.

If your visa will expire soon, or has already expired, but you still need to complete your course or resit exams, you will need to apply for a new visa before you travel to the UK. You should receive a new CAS. See how to apply for a new visa while overseas.

Important: The Graduate Work Route visa is expected to be introduced in Summer 2021. If you would like to apply for this visa, you must meet the eligibility requirements. One important requirement is that you must be present/return to the UK before a government deadline and complete your final semester here. We do not know if this will change due to the current situation. Check our information on the UK return deadlines and the scheme so far.

Will my visa be cancelled?

Whether you are studying a course with us in the UK or overseas, as long as you remain actively engaged with your degree programme, as instructed by your School through online teaching and assessments, your student visa will not be cancelled (curtailed) by the government. You do not need to do anything. Contact our student immigration advice team for any guidance you need about your visa situation.

If you have formally deferred or permanently withdrawn from your studies, we would report this to the government as usual. Your student visa will no longer be valid.

Police registration

If you have a police registration appointment booked, or you have not yet registered, check our guidance on registering with the police or changing police registration details.

Research students

Check our guidance for Doctoral Researchers. We know many situations require personalised advice so don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Research Student Office: researchstudentoffice@sussex.ac.uk. For advice related to your visa, contact our student immigration advice team.


More advice

Contact our immigration advisers for advice and support on any immigration or visa issue. We can offer video advice sessions via Zoom.

Check our international student information on the Student Hub if you have general queries.

NHS treatment if you get Covid-19

NHS treatment for Coronavirus (Covid-19) is free for everyone. For more information, see advice from the UK Council for International Students (UKCISA).