The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020. If you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, this will affect your immigration status.

Information last updated on 26/01/2021

The UK has left the EU and the post-Brexit transition period ended on 31st December 2020. This means that EU/EEA nationals are no longer eligible come to the UK under freedom of movement laws.

Staying in the UK

If you were living in the UK before the transition period ended on 31st December 2020, you (and your family members) are welcome to stay in the UK. To do this, you will need to apply for permission under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Applications for the EU Settlement Scheme are free and straightforward. You have until 30th June 2021 to apply; if you want to stay in the UK, you must apply before this date.

Our International Student Advice Service run regular workshops to help support you with your application for the EU Settlement Scheme. Please book a space if you need assistance, want to learn more, or have any questions.

Returning to the UK

If you were living in the UK before 31st December 2020, and you have temporarily left the UK, you may still be able to return and apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

A temporary absence will not break your UK residency (sometimes called your "continuous qualifying period") as long as you have not been overseas for longer than your permitted period of absence:

  • This is usually 6 months (in any 12 month period)
  • It can be up to 12 months for important reasons (such as illness or military service)

The government have confirmed that if you have been studying remotely from overseas due to Covid-19, this will not break your UK residency as long as you return to the UK within 12 months of leaving.

It's really important that you are not out of the UK for longer than your permitted period of absence, otherwise you will break your residency and may be subject to visa restrictions when you return. If you are concerned about this and would like to discuss your individual circumstances, please get in touch with our International Student Advisers.

Coming to the UK

Even though the UK has now left the European Union, you are still welcome to come to the UK to study. However, if you were not living here before the end of the transition period, you will need to apply for a Student Visa.

Our dedicated teams will support you with every step of the visa application process. Please also refer to our guidance on submitting a student visa application. You must have the appropriate visa before you travel, as it may not be possible to do it when you arrive.

Please be aware that nationals of the EU/EEA can still enter the UK without applying for a visa in advance, but only as a visitor. This means that you cannot work and there are restrictions on the type of study you can do. You can also only stay in the UK for a maximum period of 180 days, which in most cases will not be enough to undertake one of our programmes.

If you come to the UK as a visitor, you cannot change to any other type of visa, so it is really important to get your visa in advance.

Immigration policy changes frequently. We have made every effort to ensure that this information is correct at the time of writing but it remains subject to change. You should always refer to to ensure that you have up-to-date information.