Guidance

Studying in the UK: guidance for EU students

What citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland studying, or planning to study in the UK should consider.

What all EU students already studying in the UK should do to continue living in the UK

Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who were living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The EUSS means citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will be able to stay 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.

If you want to stay in the UK you’ll have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Check how to continue living in the UK.

EU students starting a course in the UK from 1 January 2021

You will need to check if you need a UK visa, if you’re planning to study in the UK from 1 January 2021 as you will not be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme unless you were living in the UK before 31 December 2020.

You can apply for a Student visa if you are over 16 and plan to start a course with a provider who can act as a licensed student sponsor.

You may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead if you’re 16 or 17 and want to study at an independent school in UK.

You do not need a visa to study in the UK for courses up to 6 months, as long as you are studying at an accredited institution; this includes English language courses.

You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you’re studying on an English language course which lasts up to 11 months.

Before entering the UK, read the information on changes to UK immigration and borders as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) to make sure you are prepared.

There is also specific guidance for new and returning international students coming to UK higher education institutions.

Erasmus+ placements in the UK in the 2020 to 2021 academic year

Your placement as part of the current Erasmus+ programme should continue as normal. Contact your college or university in the EU if you need more information.

Course fees and funding to study in the UK in the 2020 to 2021 academic year

You will be able to access student finance if your course in England starts in the 2020 to 2021 academic year, provided you meet the residency requirements. This will be available for the duration of your course.

If you secure a place in the 2020 to 2021 academic year, but subsequently defer the start of your course until the following academic year, or if you wish to undertake a separate follow-on course in 2021 to 2022, then the rules governing student support for 2021 to 2022 entry will apply to you.

Changes to funding from the 2021 to 2022 academic year

For courses starting on or after the 1 August 2021, you will be eligible for student finance if you have citizens’ rights (or if you are an Irish citizen covered by the Common Travel Area arrangement).

Student Finance England will ask you to provide evidence in order to be awarded undergraduate, postgraduate and further education financial support.

Irish citizens living in the UK or the Republic of Ireland

You’ll need:

  • evidence of your Irish nationality
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK, Islands or Ireland for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

Someone with settled status under the EUSS

You’ll need:

  • evidence of your settled status
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK or Islands for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

EU nationals with pre-settled status

You’ll need:

  • evidence of your pre-settled status
  • evidence of your identity
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

Family members of EU nationals who have pre-settled status

You’ll need:

  • evidence of your pre-settled status
  • evidence of your identity
  • evidence of your family member’s identity
  • evidence of your relationship with your family member
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

Migrant or frontier workers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland with pre-settled status or a frontier worker permit

You’ll need:

  • evidence of pre-settled status or permit
  • evidence of your identity
  • evidence that you are a frontier or migrant worker
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

Family members of migrant or frontier workers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland with pre-settled status

You’ll need:

  • evidence of your pre-settled status
  • evidence of your identity
  • evidence of your family member’s identity
  • evidence of your relationship with your family member
  • evidence that they are a frontier or migrant worker
  • evidence that you have lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before your course starts

We have also published more detailed information about student finance eligibility for the 2021 to 2022 academic year which includes greater detail on specific groups of people.

You should ask the relevant student funding body if you’re eligible for any support if you’re studying in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Published 31 January 2020
Last updated 28 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added information about student visa options and links to guidance for students returning or coming to the UK in January 2021.

  2. Updated with information about eligibility for student finance in the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

  3. Updated with information about changes to funding from the start of the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

  4. First published.