EU and international students

For information regarding your application, teaching and learning, please also read the other FAQs in this section.

Are there any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

For all students planning to travel to the UK, it is important to be aware of the current rules and requirements relevant to your circumstances before travelling. The situation is changing on a regular basis, so we strongly advise you regularly check the advice available from the UK government.   

If you’re travelling to England, what you need to do depends on where you have been in the ten days before you arrive. Currently, if you have been in a country or territory on the:

  • green list – you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day two;
  • amber list – the rules for quarantine requirements and the number of required PCR COVID-19 tests will vary according to your personal vaccine status and the country from which you're travelling. If you've been fully vaccinated in the US or in many European countries, you won't need to quarantine when you arrive in England, or take a day eight PCR test (you will still need to take a day two PCR test). It's important that you're familar with the most up-to-date government guidance
  • red list – you must quarantine in a hotel and take two COVID-19 tests. 

Please refer to the UK government  guidance for the full list of countries in each category (red, amber and green) and make sure you understand what is required before travelling and entering England. These rules apply even if you have been vaccinated.

What support can you offer to students coming from UK ‘red list’ countries who will need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK?

This applies to new and returning (continuing) University of Manchester students for the academic year starting September 2021.

We are pleased to confirm that the University will reimburse the cost of a required quarantine stay in a government approved hotel, for students who are travelling from a designated ‘red list’ country.

Under the current UK rules for international travel, the UK government regularly reviews the categorisation of international destinations listed by red (requiring quarantine in a government approved hotel), amber (requiring a period of quarantine in your home/residence) and green (no quarantine required). These designations are subject to change, typically every three weeks.

As you make plans for your studies in the UK, please familiarise yourself with the updated arrival rules appropriate to the country you are travelling from, and regularly review the UK government information.

We strongly recommend that you travel with enough time to undertake the maximum quarantine period (ten days) before the latest start date for your course. For courses without a remote study option, any quarantine must have been completed before their latest start date/latest acceptance date (as advised on your CAS). This means you must be in Manchester, fully registered and able to physically attend classes.

What support can you offer to students coming from UK ‘amber list’ countries who will need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK?

As of the 2 August 2021, if you've been fully vaccinated in the US or in many European countries, you'll not need to quarantine when you arrive in England, or take a day eight PCR test. You'll still need to take a day two PCR test.

The University has negotiated a discounted PCR testing package with Regenerative Labs, an approved government supplier, to help students travelling to Manchester from outside the UK to fulfil their testing requirements during quarantine.

We strongly recommend that you travel with enough time to undertake the maximum quarantine period (ten days) before the latest start date for your course. For courses without a remote study option, any quarantine must have been completed before the latest start date/latest acceptance date for your course (as advised on your CAS). This means you must be in Manchester, fully registered and able to physically attend classes. 

If you're travelling from an amber country and choose to travel later because you're planning to take a day five Test to Release test to exit quarantine earlier than the full ten days, or enter the UK with a recognised double or single vaccination without the need to quarantine, then you do so at your own risk. 

It’s important you check all guidance thoroughly to ensure you're able to travel, quarantine and isolate as expected in the UK. Please review the government guidance on travel for further information. 

I am under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK. Will I be able to travel to the UK in September 2021 or early October 2021 (prior to my latest start date)?

The UK has a 'traffic light system' for travel from different countries and different quarantine arrangements. 

Fully UK vaccinated and people under the age of 18 – amber rules

You don't need to quarantine or take a test eight days after you arrive in England if you're either:

  • fully vaccinated in the UK or under the UK vaccine programme overseas;
  • under 18 on the day you arrive in England and resident in the UK or in a country with a vaccination programme approved by the UK;
  • part of a UK-approved vaccine trial.

You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 whole days before the date you arrive in England. You'll need to book and take a day two test.

Red list quarantine and under the age of 18

Under the current published government rules, there is no provision for unaccompanied minors (under the age of 18).  

The stated options for minors within red list quarantine include being accompanied by a parent/guardian or ‘appropriate adult’ or to be met to co-quarantine in the red list accommodation by an adult already in the UK.  

The section on ‘unaccompanied minors’ states: 

Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone. Arrangements should be made by the parent or guardian to travel with their child and to enter managed quarantine with them on arrival.

If it is not possible for someone with responsibility for the child to travel with them, the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC by emailing: MQS_new_Exemptions@dhsc.gov.uk at least 14 days before the date of travel, and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

In general, a child will not be able to travel alone unless the parent, guardian or appropriate adult already in the UK can enter managed quarantine with the child on their arrival. Adults completing the booking on behalf of a child they have responsibility for should include details of an appropriate adult who will be in the UK who is designated to enter managed quarantine.

Please note that if you're able to arrange someone to quarantine with, then The University of Manchester support package for quarantine costs would only cover you as the student. 

We will be monitoring changes in the ‘traffic light’ coding of countries as this is reviewed by the government every few weeks.   

Deferrals

If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their Admissions Team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

I'm under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK. Will I be able to start my course in September 2021?

This will depend on your individual circumstances: 

  • where you turn 18 between now and September (we'll try and be flexible to latest arrival date in the UK up to the 1 October. This means ten days quarantine up until 11 October);
  • whether you can travel to the UK and quarantine;
  • if your course has told you that they have a remote study option until January then you may want to take up that option. You may need to bear in mind that there may still be travel restrictions (including for under 18s) later in the year. 

Deferral

If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

Can I choose to study remotely for all or part of Semester 1?

Not all courses are suitable for remote study.

If your course allows remote study in Semester 1, then you'll be able to choose this option from outside the UK.

If you haven't yet received your CAS and you'll be studying all of Semester 1 remotely from outside the UK, you'll receive it 3-4 months before the start of Semester 2. If you plan to travel to the UK during Semester 1, please inform your admissions team who will create your CAS for you.

If you've already received your CAS, please check the latest acceptance date recorded. If you intend to travel after this date you should contact visa@manchester.ac.uk who will advise you further.

The UKVI doesn't permit students with a student visa to study entirely remotely from within the UK. If your course permits remote study in Semester 1 and you choose to travel to the UK, you'll need to attend the blended learning option for your course, and that includes face-to-face teaching on-campus.

If I've already obtained my student visa for my course and I choose remote study in Semester 1, will I need to apply for a new visa?

If you've used your CAS in visa application and obtained a 90-day vignette, but not entered the UK to collect your BRP card, you'll need to apply for a replacement vignette if your current vignette will have expired by your date of travel. You won't need a new CAS to apply for a replacement vignette.

If you've used your CAS in visa application and obtained a 90-day vignette and previously entered the UK to collect your BRP card, you don't need to apply for a new visa or a replacement vignette – your BRP card is your full visa and permits travel (unless you've been notified otherwise by either the Student Immigration Team or the UKVI).

Can I also study Semester 2 remotely?

While the UKVI permits students with a visa to remote study from outside the UK until 6 April 2022, the University hasn't decided whether remote study will be available to students in Semester 2, but we will update this information when we have more details.

Will studying remotely from outside the UK affect my eligibility for the Graduate Immigration (post study work) visa?

If you're studying an eligible degree course, the UKVI has confirmed that remote study from outside the UK during Semester 1 won't affect your eligibility for the Graduate route visa.

The deadline to enter the UK to maintain eligibility for the Graduate route is 6 April 2022, however note that at present the University has not made a decision on remote study in Semester 2 which starts on 7 February 2022, but we will update this information when we have more details.

Further information can be found on student support pages.

How do I apply for a visa?

To apply for a visa to study here, international students must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the University. The CAS is a unique reference number which confirms that the University has agreed to be your sponsor and provides information about you and your study to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as part of your visa application. The earliest you can apply for a student route visa is six months before the start date of the course.

Our guidance will help you complete your online visa application form and tells you what documents are required as part of your application. Please read this guidance carefully, including the financial evidence requirements.

Student route (formerly known as Tier 4) applications can take up to three weeks to be processed and may take longer at busy periods or if your application has to be processed by a British embassy in another country. You can find out how long it will take for your application to be processed from the UKVI website.

Full details can be found on the student route visa area of our student immigration and visas pages.

How do I get my CAS number?

If you require a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) from us for your visa appointment. You won't need to request a CAS. We'll generate a CAS when you're eligible to receive one. Once you have accepted an unconditional offer for your programme, and paid any mandatory deposits required, your academic School will start the CAS process. You'll be sent a draft CAS email asking you to confirm that your details are correct. Once you have replied to the draft CAS email, we'll process your CAS and email it to you as soon as it is ready, but no more than six months before your course start date.

Please read our guidance before you start to fill in your student route application and download our guide to completing the online visa application form.

I'm an EU/EEA or Swiss student, how do I get a UK study visa?

From 1 January 2021, EU/EEA (except Republic of Ireland) and Swiss nationals will need a visa via the student route to study in the UK unless they have pre-settled or settled status  (or have applied for such). This isn't related to COVID-19, but is part of the new immigration rules as a result of Brexit.

You can apply for a visa via the UK government website and you’ll usually get a decision within three weeks.

To arrange this visa, you'll need a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number from your School or Department and it will be sent to you after you've accepted an unconditional offer.

Full details can be found on the student route visa area of our student immigration and visas pages.

The Visa Application Centre (VAC) in my home city is closed. What should I do?

If your Visa Application Centre (VAC) is closed due to coronavirus restrictions, you have the option of submitting your biometrics in another country to allow you to continue with the visa process.

You’ll need to ensure you’re permitted to travel to that country beforehand. When you apply online you must select the country where you'd like to submit your biometrics at the start of your application. This concession is valid up until the 31 December 2021. 

It is important to note that when 'selecting a VAC in another country worldwide' in the online form, you shouldn't select the UK. This will not provide you with the correct permissions to travel to the UK as a visitor for the visa process. 

To confirm if the VAC is open for passport return in your country, check with:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East;
  • VFS global for all other countries.

I'm an EU/EEA/Swiss National, will I pay international fees?

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, EU other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22. These students will therefore be changed the international rate of fee.

There are certain exceptions including those who meet residency requirements and have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement scheme; full details can be found on our Impact of Brexit on fee status page. You may also wish to read the guidance published by the Departement for Education and their set of FAQs.

Can I apply to the University without an English language test?

Yes, you can apply to the majority of courses at Manchester without an English language test. You may be considered for a conditional offer where you have English language (and/or academic qualification) conditions outstanding. English conditions would need to be met before you could be accepted on the course.

Which English language tests are accepted?

The University recognises a number of English language tests including TOEFL, Pearson PTE and IELTS. Information can be found on our English Language Requirement page.

The University offers 10-week, 6-week and 4-week pre-sessional courses which may be appropriate for some applicants. The length would depend on your current English language level and the level required for the degree programme you are applying to. Your Department will advise you on the length of course they'd like you to take where appropriate.

Further information can be found on the University Language Centre website.