Visa and immigration
Information for EU/EEA Nationals
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Free movement between the UK and the European Union ended on 31 December 2020 and on 1 January 2021, the UK implemented a points-based immigration system that prioritises skills and talent over where a person comes from.
Student Visa or EU Settlement?
Before you apply to study in the UK under the points-based immigration system, you should check if you’re eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- you have a later deadline – for example, you’re joining a family member who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 – for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse
If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK
- you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse
Please note that ‘EU citizens’ referred to in this guidance should be read to include EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. Those resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. You will also need to pass relevant checks, including UK criminality checks. You can continue to visit the UK for up to six months without applying for a visa and may participate in a wide range of activities, including tourism, visiting family and friends, short-term study and business-related activities, such as events and conferences. Irish citizens’ status continues to be protected as part of Common Travel Area arrangements. Therefore, Irish citizens do not require permission to come to the UK (except in a very limited number of circumstances), and as a result, are not eligible to apply under the new points-based immigration system
If you need to apply for your student visa through the points-based immigration system, you must begin your application on GOV.UK - https://www.gov.uk/student-visa/apply and you will need to demonstrate that you meet the relevant criteria and score the number of points required for the visa you’re applying for.
As part of you student visa application, you will need to verify your identity. Most people will be able to do this using a smartphone, through the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, as part of the online application. Those who cannot use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app will need to attend a Visa Application Centre. You will need to pay an application fee and, if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months, you may have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which will enable you to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
The processing times for applications vary depending on the visa you are applying for and the service available. You must apply and receive confirmation that you have been successful before you travel to the UK.
Most people will be able to do this using a smartphone, through the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, as part of the online application. This will enable a smoother journey and will allow you to have a fully online experience. To do this, you will need a biometric passport and a compatible smartphone. The app is free and is compatible with Android phones and iPhone 7 or newer models. If you do not own a compatible phone, you can use the app from a family or friend’s mobile phone. No information is stored on the phone or app after you close it. If you do not have a biometric passport or access to a compatible smartphone, or if ID verification through the app is not yet available for the route you are applying through, you will need to attend a Visa Application Centre. You should still start your application on GOV.UK. If you are directed to attend a Visa Application Centre you will be given further information about this process and what documents you will need to provide upon your visit.
Receiving your decision and accessing your eVisa If you apply through the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you will receive written notification, normally via email, if your application is successful. You will use your UKVI account credentials to sign in to the View and Prove service on GOV.UK, where you can access your online immigration status information (this is called an eVisa) and prove your rights in the UK. If you successfully apply through a Visa Application Centre to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will receive a vignette in your passport to travel to the UK, and then a biometric residence permit (BRP) once you arrive in the UK. You will still be able to use some online services to evidence your right to work and right to rent rather than having to rely on your physical documents. A guide about viewing and proving your immigration status (eVisa) is available on GOV.UK.
If you complete identity verification at a Visa Application Centre and are successful in your application, you will receive a sticker (called a vignette) in your passport and will be granted a Biometric Residence Permit after your arrival in the UK. This will allow you to use some online services on GOV.UK, such as evidencing your right to work. When making your journey to the UK, you will need to travel with the same document you made your application with. From 1 October 2021, you will not be able to use an ID card to enter the UK. You will need to provide a passport. You must apply and receive confirmation that your visa application has been successful before you travel to the UK.
Travelling to the UK From 1 October 2021
You will not be able to use an ID card to enter the UK. You will need to provide a valid passport. You can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if you:
- have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 but have not received a decision yet
- have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
- have a Frontier Worker permit
- are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- are a Swiss national Swiss Service Provider.
When crossing the UK border, information will be checked digitally on arrival, and those with a UKVI account will not routinely need to prove their status. To prevent unnecessary delays at the border, it is important to ensure the document you travel on is registered to your account, which you can do by updating your details if you intend to travel on a different document (for example a new passport). Further information on viewing and proving your immigration status is available on GOV.UK
When making your journey to the UK, you will need to travel with the same document you made your application with. For example, if you use your biometric passport to apply, you will need to travel using this.
Being a low-risk national means you are under a differentiation arrangement. You do not need to submit evidence of your finance with your visa application. You must send/upload any other documents relevant to our application. However, you must still ensure that you are in a possession of documents to evidence that you meet the Student visa requirements on the date you submit your online application, as the UKVI can request these documents at any time while your application is being processed.
You have to submit fewer documents with your initial application. You can apply in any country outside the UK where you are a resident- where you legally living.
You may also need to :
- TB test certificate if it applies to you- https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa
- Police Registration-inside the UK - https://www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police
If you are a national or a passport holder of one of the following countries below and you are applying in your country of nationality or in the UK, you do not have to submit evidence of your money with your Student visa application:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Republic of Cypris, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece , Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zeeland, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunesia, UAE, USA, holders of British National ( Oversea passports), passports issued by Hong Kong Sar, Macau SAR, Taiwan
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your immigration status in the UK or require help with a Student Visa application.