Applying for a Student Visa
EU, EEA and Swiss students coming to live in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for and secure a Student visa before arrival. Please see our Student visa webpage for further information. EEA nationals already residing in the UK by 31 December 2020 should not need to do this but will need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the relevant deadline in order to regularise their status. Please see the information below.
Brexit, EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals
This information is for current and prospective EU, EEA and Swiss students.
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. From 1 February 2020 the UK entered a transition period which will end on 31 December 2020. This information sets out advice for current and prospective students from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein following Brexit.
Travelling to and from the EU before 31 December 2020
During the transition period nationals from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will still be able to travel freely between the UK and the EU. You won’t need to do anything different or provide any additional evidence.
Remaining in the UK after 31 December 2020
If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and are already resident in the UK and want to stay beyond 31 December 2020, we recommend that you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you are eligible.
Advantages of making the EU settlement scheme application:
- It is your opportunity to protect your residence in the UK after 31 December 2020
- It is free of charge, whereas there will be a charge for Student visa applications to live and study in the UK after 31 December 2020
- You do not need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge and will be able to continue to access the UK health services, whereas there will be a charge for this if you apply for a Student visa to live and study in the UK after 31 December 2020
- It is a straightforward and short online application, in most cases it will take only half an hour to complete
- Holding this status will mean that you can continue to work and study in the UK without having to apply for additional immigration permission after 31 December 2020
- Holding this status will mean that there will be no restrictions on study (where you study or what you study)
- Holding this status will be the most straightforward status to have when travelling to and from the EU before 31 December 2020 as well as after 1 January 2021 when free movement will end
The deadline for applying for EU settlement is 30 June 2021, however, we recommend that you apply as soon as possible, particularly if you will travel between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021, to ensure that you are not considered under the new rules when you return to the UK. The application process is straightforward and free. Depending on how long you have been in the UK you will get either pre-settled status, which allows you to stay for a further 5 years from that date or settled status, which allows you to stay in the UK for as long as you like.
If you wish to apply for EU settlement, please follow the steps below:
1) prepare your supporting documents: if you don't have a National Insurance number and/or haven't been working in the UK for 5 years you will need to obtain a student status letter to prove when you commenced studies (to show that you were living in the UK before 1 January 2021) OR any other documents, such as a tenancy agreement, to show that you were living here if you moved to the UK before you started your studies.
2) prove your identity: download the EU Exit ID Document Check app onto an Android device and use it to prove your identity by scanning your face and passport. If you don’t have a suitable device you can prove your identity by post or go to an identity document scanning location. You can find a list of these locations here.
3) log in and complete the application online: this can be done on any device.
Travelling to the UK from 1 January 2021
A new immigration system is being introduced from 1 January 2021. Students from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein coming to live and study in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for and secure a Student visa before arrival. Applications made in the UK under the new Student rules before 1 January 2021 will have their application rejected. Applications made outside the UK will only be granted leave that commences on or after 1 January 2021. Please see our Student visa information for more details on how to apply for a Student visa.
Alternatively, nationals from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein already residing in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme which would allow them to remain in the UK without being subject to the new immigration rules. Please follow the instructions above regarding 'Remaining in the UK after 31 December 2020' to apply for EU settlement.
Immigration information for EU, EEA and Swiss students
If you would like to read further information about the implications of Brexit, please see UKCISA. The implications depend on when you arrived, or will arrive, in the UK. There are also details of how you will be affected in a deal or no deal scenario.
- UKCISA regarding how Brexit will affect EEA students and their families and information regarding the EU Settlement Scheme
- Brexit: information for current students on our website
- Brexit: information for prospective students on our website
- Government plans in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit and UKCISA's update
- Universities UK regarding a 'no deal' Brexit scenario