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Guidance for EU Students Studying in the UK

Are you a student from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland? Do you know what to do now that the UK has officially left the EU? We’ve summarised the Government’s guidance for EU students below to make sure you are aware of the steps you need to take.

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and are living in the UK on or before the 31 December 2020 and still want to remain living in the UK, then you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). This is free to apply to and you have until the 30 June 2021 to apply. Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EUSS.

The EUSS means, those individuals from the above countries are able to stay and are able to work, study and access benefits such as the NHS broadly on the same basis as they currently do.

EU Students Starting a Course in the UK from 1 January 2021

If you plan to come to the UK to study from the 1 January 2021, you may need a student visa to study. A student visa is needed if you plan to be in the UK longer than 6 months. If you plan to be a student in the UK less than 6 months, then a visa is not required. However you must be studying at an accredited university. You cannot study at a state funded school or academy, do a course that lasts longer than 6 months, do paid or unpaid work or get public funds.

You can apply for a student visa in the UK if you are over 16 and have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor, have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course and can speak, read and write English.

If you are applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a student visa is 6 months before you start your course. If you are applying for a student visa within the UK, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before the start of your course. You must apply 28 days before your current visa expires.

How long you can stay depends on the length of your course. You can read the guidance for how long you can stay here.

If you are on an Erasmus+ programme 2020 to 2021 academic year, your placement should continue as normal. Contact your college or university if you need more information.

Student finance for EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic or Liechtenstein nationals from August 2021

If you are starting a course on or after the 1 August 2021, you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get student finance.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, if you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, then you will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22.

This change will also apply to Further Education funding for those aged 19+, and funding for apprenticeships. It will not affect students starting courses in academic year 2020/21, nor those EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefiting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

For further advice please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website or the UK Government website.

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