India has become the latest addition to UK red-listed travel ban countries. In the past UK has also banned two South Asian countries Bangladesh and Pakistan in the last month. Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary announced they’ve found Indian passengers with a COVID-19 positive which carrying a new variant with a total number of 103 cases till now.

Indian residents can’t travel to the UK if they’ve been in India past 10 days. Other British and Irish citizens travelling from India must undergo 10 days hotel quarantine. India will be added to the list at 4 am, Friday 23 April. As a result of this, many international students willing to study in the UK will be facing many issues.

In the sub-continent COVID-19, positive patients are increasing significantly and the UK government want’s to monitor its progress very closely. The summer is expected to have a full rollover of vaccinations in the UK. The new COVID-19 variant found in India is very concerning for the UK.

How is the travel ban impacting international students?

It is obvious if you are a student from India and had planned to travel within the next few weeks then definitely travel plan should be revised. Due to the travel ban for Bangladesh, India and Pakistan living residence, many international students won’t be able to join to study in UK on time.

Once an international student’s study visa approved by UKVI they plan to travel but the travel ban will not allow them to fly so easily. Most airlines will not allow boarding students. However, there’s the confusion creating by the airline members that they will allow the students but they need to do 10 days hotel quarantine upon arrival to UK borders.

Things are not easy as we expect. In general, students are in this dilemma to start their degree online or defer to the next available intake.

There’s also another issue is once a visa approves UKVI issue only single entry 3 months visa vignette in the passport. For that, there’s always a rush to travel within that time. Like in the past, UK used to provide a full study permit visa in the passport sticker but these days they are providing a Biometric residence permit upon arriving in the UK. This is good for the long run but the pandemic circumstances are not easy options for the students.

List of travel ban countries in the UK

A total number of 40 countries included in the red-list name. The latest additions are India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Kenya in the red-listed country list to travel in the UK. For a complete or updated country list click here.

Can International student travel to the UK if the student country of residence in the red-list? 

Since the situation is very unpredictable the answer is also not straightforward. The instructions and guidelines for students are vague. Many say the student can travel but need to be 10 days hotel quarantine and others say not until their country of residence lifted up from the travel ban lists. So this is a very complicated situation for all of us.

However, the guidance actually allow international students (new or return) to come in the UK even from ref list country. The guidance say’s

British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from India will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different requirements apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Here third country nationals also refers students with valid UK student visa from any country.

If you travel from red-listed country you should keep this information printed out (from UKVI website) and carry while travel so that you can show to the relevant authorities asking questions.

If you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter. You must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

The Department of Education quotes “residence rights includes those with an entry clearance or visa that grants such leave, for example, students, holders of existing leave to enter or remain such as those students with biometric residence permits, and holders of EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’) leave.”