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Important, changes are sometimes made to the UK immigration system at short notice and we may not be able to update these pages straight away. You should always check the UKBA website for the most up to date information and UKCISA for the latest news.
Have a look at our frequently asked questions on International Students’ issues for fast answers to common queries with links to more in depth information if needed. Simply click on the question to see an answer.
To go straight to our detailed information please go to the bottom of the page for links to our leaflets, or drop us an email or make a call, if you have not found an answer to your specific question.
All prospective students will need to meet British Immigration requirements in order to study in the UK. You will be required to have entry clearance as a student (also known as a student visa). Please be aware that nobody can change from a visitor visa to a student visa while in the UK.
The UKVisas website will help to answer initial questions and you can also find information and advice on entry clearance and visas on the UKCISA website. You should apply for a student visa in the country of which you are a national or where you are legally settled. You should contact the nearest UK Embassy/High Commission and they will explain the procedures for applying for a student visa. See the UKBA’s site for a list of visa application centres overseas.
Family allowed is only spouse and children. Children must be under the age of 18 when they first enter the UK. For further information see the UKCISA Guidance Notes on Your Family’s Immigration.
Information on bringing your spouse and children to the UK can also be found on the UKBA website. Spouse/children will need to obtain entry clearance in the form of a visa from the British High Commission or Embassy in their own country before travelling to the UK.
If they are already in the UK they will need to apply for a PBS dependant visa and complete the PBS Dependant form.
Please note that there have been changes to the immigration system for students. Full details can be found on the UKBA website.
Banking in the UK
UK banks are subject to strict financial regulations when opening accounts for non-UK students. These require thorough data checking to prove your identity. Different banks apply the rules in different ways, so some accounts are easier to open than others.
• All banks will provide international students with a basic bank account
• The bank will give you a cash card. This is not a credit card, but you can use it to withdraw cash from a bank and to make payments in shops.
• If you are only in the UK for a short time, you won’t be able to get any form of credit
• Many people use automated facilities, such as ATMs or cash machines
• You can also bank by telephone and by using the internet
• You can still visit the bank if you wish – this can be slower, and opening times are limited
Most major UK banks have branches in Sheffield and you are free to choose which one to use.
There are many banks to choose from, including NatWest, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds TSB and Barclays. Most of the banks have a monthly fee for international student bank accounts but do come with inclusive services, such as insurance or a railcard.
Before deciding which bank you want to use, look thoroughly at what you will be charged and what you will receive in return. Go to a branch or visit the bank’s website to find
information on their services for international students.
Opening your account
You must go to the bank in person to open your account. You must take
• Your passport and ID card (if you have one)
• Proof of funding or sponsorship (if any)
• Proof of current address, for example, tenancy agreement or letter from the University
• Your enrolment letter as proof of your address in your home country
Avoid going to the bank from 11.30am-2.30pm (11:30-14:30) – it can get very busy. Don’t visit the bank in large groups – the service is quicker if you go on your own. Check out information online about the different banks.
If you’re a student from another EU country, you can apply for financial help towards the costs of studying in England, Northern Ireland or Wales. Help may also be available if you’re a migrant worker from an EEA (European Economic Area) country or Switzerland, or if you’re the child of a Turkish worker in the UK.
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for:
• help with tuition fees only
• help with tuition fees – and also help with living costs and certain other expenses
Help with tuition fees
As an EU national, or a family member of an EU national, you can generally apply for financial help towards the cost of tuition fees when studying in England, Wales or Northern Ireland if:
• you have been living within the EEA and/or Switzerland for at least three years when you start your course, and
• your main reason for being in the EEA and/or Switzerland was not to receive full-time education
• if you or your parent, guardian or partner were temporarily employed outside the EEA and Switzerland for all or part of the three-year period, you may still qualify for help.
Find a list of EEA countries
EEA and Swiss migrant workers
You may also be eligible for financial help with tuition fees if you are an EEA or Swiss migrant worker or self-employed person in the UK. A migrant worker is someone who is not a national of the country they’re working in.
You may qualify for EEA or Swiss migrant worker status if all the following apply:
· you are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland
· you are working in the UK
· you will have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the EEA and Switzerland for at least three years when you start your course
You may also qualify if you are a family member of an EEA or Swiss migrant worker in the UK.
Children of Turkish workers
You could get help with tuition fees from 1 September 2006 onwards if you qualify as the child of a ‘Turkish worker’. Help is generally available if all of the following apply:
· you’re the child of a Turkish national who is ordinarily resident in the UK, and who is, or has been, lawfully employed in the UK
· you have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the EEA, Switzerland or Turkey for at least three years when you start your course
· you will be resident in the UK on the first day of the academic year in which your course starts
Help with living costs and other expenses
As well as help with tuition fees, you may be able to apply for help with living costs and certain other expenses if you:
· have lived in the ‘UK or Islands’ (the UK plus the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for three years or more when you start your course
· are a student from England who’s returning to the UK to study after having exercised a right of residence elsewhere in the EEA or Switzerland
· have EEA or Swiss migrant worker status, or
· qualify for help as the child of a ‘Turkish worker’, as described above
If this applies to you, you’ll need to follow a different application procedure.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify for finance as an EU student, contact the Student Finance Services European Team at the Student Loans Company.
Student Finance Services European Team
PO Box 89
Helpline: (+44) (0) 141 243 3570
Open: Monday- Friday 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
There are very few sources of funding for international students and a big demand. Information about the schemes offered by Hallam University and links to other potential sources of funding can be found here
Currently you can work up to 20 hours per week term-time and full-time during university holiday periods if it states on your visa that you have permission to work. Students below degree level can only work 10 hours. However, the government are proposing changes so please check the UKBA’s site for the most up to date information.
Don’t suffer in silence, please contact the International students team, who have different activities, where you can socialise and meet new people.
Don’t forget you are welcome to get involved in any Union activities. We have lots of cultural and religious societies as well as lots of activities that are just about having fun. Go to the get involved section of this site to find out more.
If you are currently:
· in the UK as a student under Tier 4, and you want to extend your stay in this category so that you can continue your studies here; or
· in the UK under a different immigration category, and you want to become an adult student here under Tier 4 (General). Depending on your current immigration category, you may or may not be able to apply under Tier 4 (General) – see ‘More information’ below.
Before you apply, you should read the Can you apply? pages and use our points calculator to find out whether you are likely to score enough points to make a successful application.
If you think you are eligible to apply, download the application form and policy guidance. You can find these on the UKBA website
As part of your application, you will need to enrol your fingerprints and facial photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) with the UKBA in order to obtain a biometric residence permit.
Check out whether you are eligible to apply for a new visa on the UK border Agency website
For more information contact the international student support team on telephone 0114 225 3813 or e-mail email@example.com.
If you are studying in the UK for less than six months and are not from a European Union country you are not eligible for free health care. We strongly advise you to take out your own medical insurance cover.
National Health Service (NHS) charges and additional medical insurance
International students staying in the UK for less than six months are entitled to the following services free of charge:
* Temporary registration with Student Health at SHU (students are seen at Porter Brook Medical Centre over the vacation period.) This means you can consult a doctor or nurse free of charge if you require medical treatment or advice during your stay.
* If you need a prescription you will have to pay for the medication, excluding the contraceptive pill and emergency contraception pill which are both free.
* Emergency treatment at an NHS hospital
* Emergency dental treatment at an NHS hospital
* Emergency eye treatment at an NHS hospital
Students who are not from European Union (EU) countries have to pay for the following services and are therefore advised to have medical insurance to cover these costs:
* Registering with another GP surgery in the Sheffield area. The doctor could see them as private patients and charge accordingly.
* Medication from a pharmacy that has been prescribed by a doctor.
* Non-emergency NHS hospital treatment. This would include follow-on treatment after an emergency treatment.
* Private hospital treatment, including private physiotherapy, dental and optical treatment.
* Non-emergency NHS dental treatment.
* Non-emergency NHS optical treatment.
* Ambulance transport to hospital as a result of a road traffic accident. A charge for this service is made by the ambulance service.
You may not be charged for NHS treatment if:
* You have lived in the UK for a number of years or working abroad (please seek advice on your position if this applies)
* You are a refugee
* You have a communicable disease
* You are required to receive psychiatric treatment.
Certain midwifery services and contraceptives are also free.
EU nationals exempt from charges
Austria • Belgium • Denmark • Finland • France • Germany • Greece • Iceland • Ireland • Italy • Liechtenstein • Luxembourg • Netherlands • Norway • Portugal • Spain • Sweden
Nationals and residents of the following countries are also exempt from charges:
Anguilla • Australia • Barbados • British Virgin Islands • Bulgaria • Channel Islands • Czech and Slovak Republics • Falklands Islands • former Soviet Union States (except Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) • Gibraltar • Hong Kong • Hungary • Isle of Man • Malta • New Zealand Islands • Russia • Montserrat • Poland • St Helena • Turks and Caicos
The UK Council for International Student Affairs, UKCISA, provides advice and a range of free, downloadable advice sheets – click on the link below for their advice sheet on health
This depends on whether you meet the requirements for any of the schemes that the UK Government operates.
NB The Post Study Work route is now closed to new applicants.
At the moment, the schemes that are most significant for students who have finished their studies are:
* Tier 2 for jobs where no one in the resident labour market can be recruited, and occupations where there is a shortage of qualified workers. This replaced work permits and some other work routes from 27 November 2008
* Tier 1 (General) for those with a degree, work experience and prior earnings at a certain level. This replaced the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme
The UK Council for International Student Affairs, UKCISA, provides advice and a range of free, downloadable advice sheets – click on the link below for their advice sheet on working after your studies:-
If you are struggling with your finances then you should speak to an independent adviser for further support, and to see if there is any help available to you. You can come in and speak to our advice centre regarding your finances, or check out our range of resources on the website.
We recommend that you use Sheffield Hallam University’s Accommodation Services who can help you find somewhere to live in either halls or private rented accommodation. Everyone listed with the university are accredited and have to abide to a code of conduct.
UKCISA have produced 2 guides on finding accommodation in the UK:-
ukcisa – Information on work, visas, funding & all aspects of International Student life
Home Office – Home Office application forms
International Office – International Office, SHU
UK Visas – To check if you need a visa
Comfort Zone – A booklet helping to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time while in the UK
British Banking Association Information for International Students – Useful information about how to open a bank account. Contains a table of banks that will open accounts for International Students.
Can’t find what you’re looking for or need further help? Don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 225 4148.