See guidance about overseas travel as well as the visas you need to study at Sussex while the Coronavirus situation is ongoing.
Entering the UK
It is vital that international students follow Government rules on entering the UK.
What you need to do
There are a few things you must do to follow the law on international travel.
UK Coronavirus regulations mean most students travelling from outside the UK must quarantine for 10 days on arrival. Please factor this quarantine period into your travel plans.
To understand what you must do when you have booked your travel (such as plane tickets), check the UK government website.
|Action to complete||Green||Amber||Red|
|Passenger locator form||yes||yes||yes|
|Managed quarantine at hotel||no||no||10 days|
|Quarantining at own accommodation||no||10 days||N/A|
|Test to Release scheme||N/A||On day 5||no|
|PCR testing||On or before day 2||On or before day 2||On or before day 2|
|Further PCR testing||no||day 8||day 8|
As a step-by-step summary, you must:
- take a coronavirus (Covid-19) test and get a negative result up to three days before you travel
- book a travel test package – as part of the package, you do the following:
- book two Covid-19 PCR tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantine
- complete a passenger locator form detailing where you will quarantine upon arrival
- plan your quarantine in the UK as follows:
- red list countries: if you have travelled from or through a red list country within 10 days of arrival, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. This applies to students who are British or Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, e.g. international students. You must pre-book this in advance. The University will provide financial quarantine support
- amber list countries: if you have not travelled from or through a red list country, but have travelled through amber list countries, you must quarantine in your own pre-arranged accommodation for 10 days (unless you meet the definition of being fully vaccinated). See our financial quarantine support
- If you have only travelled through green list countries, follow the UK government green list advice.
- Show your negative pre-travel PCR test and confirmation of your travel test package to officials on your journey. You won’t be able to travel without them
- Be ready to present proof of study documents along with necessary travel documents on arrival to the UK.
Important: If you don’t do these things, you may be delayed, fined or denied entry at the border.
Travel advice can change – such as whether a country is on the red, amber or green list. Speak to your travel insurer to understand the implications of changing travel dates and check our visa guidance to see if you need to travel.
Travel from an airport
Government guidance says quarantining travellers from amber list countries should not use public transport unless they have no other option. Find out about travelling to Sussex by taxi from Heathrow or Gatwick airport.
We’ve put together a Covid-19 Quarantine Support Package for students travelling from red list countries or amber list countries to help you through the quarantine you must undertake on arrival in the UK.
This package will support you financially and help ensure that you can join us as soon as possible for in-person teaching.
Find out about the financial help available if you need to quarantine after arriving from abroad.
You can also see information from the government for international students arriving from red or amber list countries and a letter from Universities minister Michelle Donelan MP [PDF].
Once you are at Sussex
You can book additional Covid-19 lateral flow device tests once you have been told you can come on to campus.
We encourage all students to get tested regularly to keep everyone safe.
If you are self-isolating in University-managed accommodation, you should report Covid-19 self-isolation to the University on the day that you arrive and check in. This is a condition of you rent-free 10-day quarantine period.
Find out what to do if you are arriving late.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
- Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.
EU Settlement Scheme
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. For advice related to your visa, contact our student immigration advice team.
Contact our immigration advisers for advice and support on any immigration or visa issue. We can offer video advice sessions via Zoom.
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).