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Health and Wellbeing

International students leaving the UK

By QMAdvice 26 Mar 2021


This blog was written by the Advice and Counselling Service at Queen Mary.

International students should remain at their term time accommodation, and must not leave it to travel abroad or within England, unless they are leaving their accommodation to travel for a legally permitted reason. You could be fined for leaving, or trying to leave, the UK without a reasonable excuse.

Legally permitted reasons could include moving home, travelling for compassionate reasons, travelling for study, or if you have a medical need to do so – which would include mental health reasons. A list of reasonable excuses for international travel from the UK is published in the UK government’s regulations.

International students are also allowed to return home once for their Easter break, which includes a journey involving overseas travel, subject to any requirements in their destination country. Please take into account that travel restrictions could change whilst you are overseas, and decide if you still wish to travel. You are permitted to travel if you are enrolled on a course at Queen Mary and you need to travel outside the UK to return home on one occasion on or after 29 March but before 29 April 2021 for the purpose of a vacation. This is confirmed in paragraph 4. (b) (ii) of the UK government’s regulations.

If you have a legally permitted reason to travel, you must complete the travel declaration form. I would suggest that you also carry evidence of your legally permitted reason for travel. For example if you are travelling as an international student permitted to return home once, I would advise you carry a Student Status letter showing you are a fully enrolled student. If you are travelling for medical reasons, then carry a letter from your doctor.

Please also check the UK government’s requirements in place before you return to the UK.

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