post-Brexit immigration routes for EU students FAQs

changes for EU students applying to UK schools

With the UK set to officially leave the EU on 31st December this year, a new immigration framework has been put in place which will effect all EU nationals travelling to the UK, including students. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the new system.

will I need a visa to study in the UK after Brexit?

From 1st January 2021, EU students studying in the UK will fall into 3 categories: 

1. Students eligible for the EU settlement scheme (either pre-settled or settled status).

2. Students that are not eligible for the EU settlement scheme, studying in the UK for a period of up to 6 months.

3. Students that are not eligible for the EU settlement scheme, studying for more than 6 months and up to 6 years.

NOTE: Only students intending to study for longer than 6 months will require a visa.

what is the EU settlement scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) enables citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to stay in the UK and continue to work, study and access benefits and services such as NHS healthcare broadly on the same basis as they currently do. It is free to apply.

In order to apply, a person must be resident in the UK by 31st December 2020. If they have been resident in the UK for more than 5 continuous years, they are eligible for settled status.

The deadline for applying is 30th June 2021.

what is the difference between the student and child student categories?

The Student Visa category replaces the Tier 4 General Visa. This is for both EU and non-EU nationals who wish to undertake a period of study in the UK over 6 months. They must be aged 16 and above.

The Child Student category has replaced the Tier 4 Child Visa. This is for EU and non-EU nationals who wish to undertake a period of study in the UK longer than 6 months and who are between 4 - 17 years old.

how much will a UK visa cost?

- Student / Child Student (out of country) £348 with a £470 per visa year IHS fee*  

- Student / Child Student (in-Country) £475 with a £470 per visa year IHS fee*

 * The IHS fee is a compulsory health surcharge which gives access to NHS services.

what is the visa processing time?

The standard processing time for a UK visa is 15 days. It is recommended that applications are made as far in advance as possible.

Bear in mind that a visa application made from outside the UK can be started 6 months before the UK school start date noted on the CAS.

For applications from within the UK, the application can be started 3 months before the start date noted on the CAS.

can I still apply to a state boarding school in the UK?

Students with either pre-settled or settled status can apply to UK state boarding schools. Students travelling on a child student visa or under the visitor category will only be permitted to study at an independent boarding school, language school, residential study programme etc.

if I travel to the UK as a visitor, can I apply for a child student visa in-country?

No. Students must return home to submit a new application.

If a student on the visitor route initially enrols for one term, can this be extended termly?

No. Students using the visitor route are not permitted to study on a long-term course through frequent short trips and extensions.

Do I need to provide proof of finances

No. European nationals are exempt from providing evidence of funds.

Will I need to complete an English Language test as part of my application for a Child Student visa?

No. This is only required for the general Student visa.

Can I continue my studies on the IB after I finish my IGCSEs on the same visa?

The CAS issued by the school in support of your visa only covers one 'course' and your visa will only be valid for that period. If you plan to return to the UK to continue your studies on the IB at your current school, you will need to apply for a new visa and your school will issue you with a new CAS.

An application can be submitted either from within the UK or in your home country during the summer holidays.

where can I find the latest information?

The latest immigration information can be found on the UK government website - under visas and immigration.

You can also contact the UK embassy or a specialist visa application centre.

find out more by listening to our latest podcast from Bright Sounds

podcast logo

Bright Sounds Season 2: Ep 12: EU student immigration routes post Brexit

  • This week we are joined by special guest Naomi Goldshtein, Senior Manager at Fragomen, a leading legal firm dedicated exclusively to Immigration services Worldwide. Naomi helps to answer some frequently asked questions regarding the new immigration routes for EU students.