Officer Cricle
Lauren Kaye

Welfare and Community Officer

We realise that many aspects of life in the UK may be different from in your home country, and this may include your rights and responsibilities. We can give you advice on a wide variety of issues including housing, academic misconduct and your employment

Check out our FAQ's below for further information or contact us.

What support is available to me?

A useful source of information and advice for International students is available from the UK council for international student affairs (UKCISA). Below is a link to their website and contact details. https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/What-is-UKCISA

What if something goes wrong?

You can find out more information about these issues on our Academic, Money, and Housing pages.

Whilst the same rules and regulations will apply to all students, if you are an International student some of these situations may also affect your visa. If you have any concerns or need some advice on your visa conditions you should contact the International Experience Team.

I have a VISA related problems/questions

You can get in touch with the International Experience Team.

I have a VISA related problems/questions

You can find regularly updated information on your employment options as an international student wanting to work in the UK following your studies, or in the future, by visiting the UKCISA website. 


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 Gov.UK website for the most up to date information and UKCISA for the latest news.

UKCISA- Latest news for international students

Gov.UK Visas and immigration

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.

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

Which bank?

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 enrollment 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.

Are EU students eligible for loans, grants, bursaries or benefits; and how to apply?

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.

For information about who is eligible and what help you might get see the UKCISA website

Details of eligibility for UK welfare benefits can be found here 

For more information contact the Advice Centre at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union

Am I eligible to a free medical treatment and do I need to apply for a health insurance?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs, UKCISA, provides information on a range of issues on their website.

What should I do if I want to stay in the UK and find a job after my studies?

This depends on whether you meet the requirements for any of the schemes that the UK Government operates.
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.

Tier 1 (General) for those with a degree, work experience and prior earnings at a certain level. This replaced the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) This gives an additional 12 months leave in the UK to eligible graduates of participating Universities. Sheffield Hallam University is currently participating in the scheme. Please talk to the International Student Support team if you would like to apply.

See the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) for more information on working after your studies.

I am an international student, and I have a question about my finances

If you are struggling with your finances then you should speak to us here at the Union advice centre  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.

How Can I find accommodation in Sheffield

We recommend that you use Sheffield Hallam University’s Accommodation Services (http://www.shu.ac.uk/accommodation/ )who can help you find somewhere to live in either halls or private rented accommodation. Look for a property which is ‘snug’ accredited for peace of mind that the property and the landlord are of a good standard.

(snug logo)

UKCISA have produced a guide on finding accommodation in the UK