Updated 12 March 2021.

This page contains information for international students coming to Queen Mary, as well as information for students going abroad as part of their studies, including exchange programmes and work placements.

International students arriving in the UK

What do international students need to do when they arrive in the UK?

From 15 February, all passengers arriving in the UK are required to:

Passengers travelling from one of the 33 counties on the Government's 'red list' of travel ban countries must follow the guidance on booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England.

Immigration permission

Check any implications on your student immigration permission on the Advice and Counselling Service’s Immigration and Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page.

If you are a member of staff and have concerns about your immigration status due to coronavirus, please contact

Information for students going abroad as part of their Queen Mary studies

Exchange programmes

The Global Opportunities Office and your Queen Mary School have sent out guidance to all students currently participating in overseas programmes and students due to participate in programmes abroad during the 2021/22 academic year.

If you have any questions, please contact or your School Study Abroad Coordinator.

Modern Languages students from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film should contact

International travel

Queen Mary follows UK Government and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice when planning international travel. This advice sets out the risks that you may face if you go to another country, including non-COVID risks, if you are able to travel abroad. The FCDO continues to advise against all ‘non-essential’ international travel to many countries and territories as well as ‘all travel’ to others. You should check the country page for your destination.

If an international trip is planned to a country or territory where only essential travel is permitted, it will be the decision of a student’s Queen Mary School/Department whether an activity (such as a work or exchange placement) is considered 'essential' and can therefore go ahead.

If your school/department deems the activity taking place overseas as ‘essential’, the placement can go ahead and Queen Mary insurance cover will be in place (note that all students would need to register for Queen Mary insurance and complete a risk assessment. There are also exclusions around cover and changes in policy relating to cancellation due to Covid-19, see insurance section below).

If the FCDO advises against ‘all travel’ to a country or territory, students would not be permitted to travel.

Declaration form for international travel

Students will need to carry a completed declaration form for international travel with them and a letter or proof of membership of an academic institution to show that they are legally allowed to travel abroad from England.

Travel policies are subject to change

Please note the information displayed on this page is subject to review and change by Queen Mary University of London.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve and advice changes from sources such as Public Health England and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Queen Mary may need to change/update its policies in response. Travel policy changes may include but are not limited to further travel restrictions and/or measures such as a travel ban for specific countries or regions.

Travel guidance

  • Before booking your travel please check current restrictions and visa requirements. Please also review the guidance for travelling overseas issued by the Queen Mary Health and Safety Directorate. On the website, you will also be able to find guidance for completing risk assessments, including Covid-19 Secure Risk Assessment templates for placements, fieldwork and offsite research activities.
  • If Travel is approved by your school/department to countries where only ‘essential’ travel is permitted, and during such time of a trip (or even prior to departure) the FCDO advice is re-enforced “against all but essential travel” then cover will apply. 
  • Recent changes in the insurance policy mean that cancellations which are related to Covid will not be covered. If trips are cancelled due to Covid, in the first instance students should be able to change their flights/travel arrangements or get a voucher/refund. This does not affect any Medical claims for Covid, cover still applies. 
  • It may be worthwhile taking into consideration the booking of only Flexible and refundable tickets, but learning of any implications Airlines may have for further disruption in their own Cancellation Policies before doing so.  RSA strongly recommend seeking any refunds from Airlines and/or Travel Management Companies in the first instance should you need to cancel a trip.
  • It is advisable when considering travel applications, to review any local/foreign travel and border restrictions, as any delays/cancellations etc. resulting from Third Country conditions could fall under the exclusion of regulations made by any public authority or government or persons with the authority under legislation or licence to make regulations;’.


In respect of the Queen Mary RSA Personal Accident and Travel Insurance Policy, please note:


  • All travel insurance claims should be notified directly to RSA, providing you have registered on TravelCertin advance of your trip – the traveller can liaise directly with RSA using the claims email address: where claims are reviewed and considered.
  • a completed travel insurance claim form
  • a letter or email from the host organisation of cancellation of event due to coronavirus
  • evidence of flight invoice
  • hotel invoice
  • travel insurance cover note. 

For travel outside of the exempted countries, only essential travel is allowed. The FCDO does not have a definition of what is essential or non-essential travel.  This is a decision for Queen Mary’s Schools to make, based on the risk and our duty of care for you and your individual degree/programme/placement. There may be significantly different risk profiles depending on the country you intend to visit.

Should you believe there is an essential need to travel, then please validate your request with your School and complete the relevant risk assessment form for studying/working overseas.

If an event is going ahead but the traveller decides not to travel, the insurers will not accept a travel insurance claim as this is considered 'disinclination to travel’. However, if the host cancels the trip, you may be able to claim.

Registering for Queen Mary travel insurance

All students going overseas must register for the Queen Mary insurance using TravelCert and retain a copy of the insurance details/certificate provided.

Trips to high-risk areas

In the first instance, check with the airline or travel management company (Key Travel) for any refunds.

Placements and study programmes

If Queen Mary has decided to cancel the trip and not the host, we are unfortunately unable to claim for flights or hotels through the insurers as this is considered 'disinclination to travel’.

Please check with the travel management company (Key Travel) whether any costs can be reimbursed.

How to make a travel insurance claim

You should notify the insurer (RSA) directly of any travel insurance claims by emailing them at

Send the following as attachments to your email:

Visit the Travel Insurance page for more details and to download a travel insurance claim form.

For any travel booked outside of the travel management company (Key Travel), a £50 excess will be deducted.

Due to the high number of claims, the process can take up to six to eight weeks.