Student visas for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals
Are you an EU, EEA or Swiss student? Here’s what you need to know about getting your student visa
If you were in the UK before 31 December 2020
If you want to stay in the UK after 31 December 2020, you would need to have applied for permission to stay under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
The deadline for applying was 30 June 2021.
It may be possible to make an application after the deadline in cases where UKVI think there are 'reasonable grounds' for missing the deadline. Please check pages 34 to 41 of the EUSS Caseworker Guidance.
If you make a late application your legal status in the UK will not be protected and you may face problems with renting and employment until EUSS permission is granted.
Eligible applicants who made a valid application by 30 June 2021 (where this is your deadline) will continue to be protected while your application is pending and until an outcome is finally determined. Further information can be found on the UKCISA website.
A list of acceptable documents to prove your residency in the UK can be found on the government website.
If you arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and intend to arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a student visa under the UK Government's new Student Route.
You will need to apply before arriving in the UK.
You cannot switch to the Student Route visa in the UK if you have entered as a Standard Visitor. You must apply in your home country.
If you began your course in autumn 2020 and have a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) issued on or after 5 October 2020, but haven't yet travelled to the UK, you will need to apply for a student visa under the new Student Route.
If your CAS has now expired please contact the International Student Advice team.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Reimbursement eligibility
From 1 January 2022, EU and Swiss full-time students studying in the UK can apply for a reimbursement of the IHS fee.
If you are a student from the EU, your reimbursement will be backdated to include any payments made for a visa starting on or after 1 January 2021.
If you are a student from Switzerland, your reimbursement will be backdated from 1 November 2021 even if your visa started earlier.
You may be entitled to a full or partial reimbursement of your IHS payment if you meet all of the following criteria:
- full-time student in UK higher education
- your visa started on or after 1 January 2021
- you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
- you do not work or do not intend to work in the UK
You will need to consider whether you intend to work in the UK before deciding to apply for the IHS reimbursement.
This is because if you work in the UK, your EHIC will no longer be valid as your home country will no longer be responsible for your healthcare while you are in the UK.
If you get an IHS reimbursement you can only use your EHIC to access ‘medically necessary treatment’ during your stay.
Medically necessary treatment means healthcare that cannot reasonably wait until you return home, such as:
- emergency treatment and visits to A&E
- treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition
- routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
We recommend that you buy insurance to cover any healthcare requirements not covered by your EHIC.
More information about eligibility and the application process can be found on the UK Government website.
If you have been granted Settled or Pre-settled status
You do not need to apply for a Student Route visa if you have applied for, and been granted, Settled or Pre-settled status.
Further information about immigration for EU, EEA and Swiss students can be found on the UKCISA website.
Important information about the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
Providing the correct documents
99% of refusals for EUSS are due to not providing the correct evidence to prove eligibility.
It is very important to provide evidence of your continuous residence in the UK, to prove your eligibility for either pre-settled or settled status. Remember that this evidence must be proof of your residency in the UK before 31 December 2020.
A full list of acceptable documents can be found on the government website.
Periods of absence – Pre-Settled Status
If you have been granted pre-settled status, this status will be lost after a continuous absence of more than two years from the UK.
If you intend to apply for Settled Status following your Pre-Settled Status, after 5 years of a continuous qualifying period of residence, you need to be mindful of periods of absence from the UK that could affect your eligibility for Settled Status.
We are unable to advise individuals on continuous qualifying periods of residence or periods of absence from the UK, but additional information can be found on the UKCISA website.
Periods of absence – Settled Status
‘Settled status’ under the EU settlement scheme granted to Swiss citizens and their family members will be lost after a continuous absence of more than four years from the UK.
‘Settled status' granted to everyone else under the scheme will be lost after a continuous absence of more than five years from the UK.
If you apply late for the EU Settlement Scheme
EEA citizens and their family members who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will have their rights protected as the Home Office continues to support those wanting to stay in the UK.
The Home Office has put in place comprehensive arrangements to enable those with reasonable grounds for missing deadline to apply to the EUSS.
To provide reassurance to late applicants the Government will protect their rights until their application and any appeal is decided.
If you are coming to the UK for an Exchange or Study Abroad course
You'll need one of two visas, depending on the length of your exchange or study abroad.
Contact us for more information
If you have any queries, please contact the International Student Advice team by emailing email@example.com.