EU Nationals must now apply for a Student visa to study in the UK

The UK has a world-leading education sector and continues to welcome talented and high potential students to universities, further education and English language colleges, and independent schools. From 1 January 2021, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who wish to study in the UK must apply for a Student visa unless they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. For the first time, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens must apply under the same legal framework as non-EEA citizens. The new changes come as a result of the UK’s formal departure from the European Union, ending free movement rights.

What is a Student visa?

The UK Student visa under the new immigration points-based system is for all international students (including EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens) who wish to come to the UK to study at a registered institute. There are two categories; Student visas, for migrants coming to the UK for post-16 education and Child Student visas for children between 4 and 17 years old coming to the UK for their education. Child Students can only study at independent schools. 

There is no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study, and the UK is seeking to increase the number of international students in higher education.

Who should apply for a Student visa?

The UK officially left the European Union on 1 January 2021, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who now wish to study in the UK after 1 January 2021 are required to apply for a Student visa under the new points-based immigration system that prioritises skills and talent over where a person comes from.

How to apply for a Student visa?

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who wish to apply for a UK Student visa must submit an application under Appendix Student to the Immigration Rules. To be eligible for a Student visa, Applicants must demonstrate that:

  • Applicants must show that they are genuine students;
  • Applicants must have an unconditional offer from an approved sponsoring institution. When Applicants apply for a Student visa, they will need to provide their reference number from the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which is provided by the education provider once they’ve offered you an unconditional place on a course;
  • Applicants must show that they are taking a course that leads to an approved qualification at an appropriate level of study
  • Applicants must show they have any relevant academic qualifications needed to undertake the course;
  • Applicants must show that they can financially support themselves during your studies in the UK;
  • Applicants must show that they can speak, read, write and understand English to the required standard for the level of course they intend to study.

What you can and cannot do on a Student visa.

Once the Student visa is granted, the Home Office decision letter will confirm the permitted and prohibited activities on the visa. Applicants studying a full-time course can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time (full-time employment permitted outside of term-time). Applicants cannot claim public funds (benefits) and pensions, work in certain jobs, or be self-employed.

Applicants who have successfully completed their course at undergraduate level or above in the UK will be able to apply for a Graduate visa to stay and work or look for work for a maximum period of two years (three years for Ph.D. students) after completing their studies. This visa route will open in summer 2021 to international students who complete a course at a higher education provider, with a track record of compliance with the UK Government’s immigration requirements. You will also be able to move into different visa routes if you have a suitable job offer from a sponsor and can meet the requirements of a route.

How much does a Student visa cost?

A Student visa costs £348 if applied for from outside of the UK and £475 if you are applying from within the UK. It is possible to apply for your family members to join you but you must pay a separate visa fee for each person. Applicants will also need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge. As a student, you will receive a 25% discount on the Immigration Health Surcharge. The discounted Immigration Health Surcharge is currently £470 for Student visa holders.

When should I apply for a Student visa?

Applicants can apply for a Student visa up to six months before the course starts. However, they should start preparing early to ensure the application is approved without any issues or delays. As part of your application, Applicants will need to verify their identity either by using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app or by attending a Visa Application Centre.

Who does not need to apply for a Student visa?

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will not need to formally apply for a Student visa to study in the UK. However, they will be required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. Applicants will be granted Pre-Settled or Settled status depending on the length of their residence in the UK.

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months without having to apply 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/conferences.

How our immigration solicitors can help submit an EU Student visa application

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in all visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of different clients in different categories. The key to submitting successful applications is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application ensuring a successful result. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our immigration solicitors to submit an EU Student visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an EU Student visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful EU Student visa applications with our immigration solicitors

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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