If you arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020, there is very little that will change as long as you register for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you are an EU citizen and you start living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
If you arrive from 1 January 2021 onwards, there are changes because the UK government has announced the introduction of a new UK points-based system. EU, EEA and Swiss national will be included in the new points-based system, and will require a visa to enter, work, live and study in the UK. For most students, this will mean applying for a student visa, similar to the current Tier 4 student visa route, full details have not yet been confirmed but the UK Government has created tailored guidance, which can be found here. Please note the Government has not yet published the detailed rules.
If you do arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards, you will need to apply for a student visa if you are studying a course, which is longer than six months in length. You will need to complete an application, pay an application fee (£348 fee for students as at September 2020), and have a current passport or other valid travel document. You will also need to pay a fee called an Immigration Health Surcharge. This gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service. Students receive a 25 per cent discount on the usual cost of this surcharge. Details of costs will be available shortly.
These new arrangements will take effect from 1 January 2021, once freedom of movement between the UK and European Union (EU) has ended.
If your course begins in January 2021, we strongly recommend that you enter the UK before the end of 2020 if possible, so that you can enter the UK without a visa and apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.
After completing a degree course on a student visa, you will then be eligible for the new graduate immigration route (post-study work visa) to stay and work in the UK for a further two years – or up to three years after a PhD course
To recap the main changes are:
- Arrive in the UK before 1 January 2021: No changes
- Arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 and start your course before 31 July 2021: Changes to immigration status, no changes to fee status
- Arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 and start your course after 1 August 2021: Changes to immigration status and fee status (for studies in England or Scotland)