Students Staff

Immigration overview

Applying for a visa to study in the UK

If you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland it is likely that you will require a visa to enter or remain in the UK to study.

The type of visa you need to apply for will depend on your circumstances including, what passport or travel document you hold, the length of your proposed study and where you are applying from. The UK Visas and Immigration website will tell you if you need a visa to study in the UK and if so what type to apply for.

British Nationality

Some British nationals require a visa to study in the UK, even though they may be entitled to apply for British citizenship and/or pay home fees. Check the Home Office website for more information and make sure you obtain the correct immigration permission to study your course with us.

European and Swiss nationals

Citizens of the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland have the right to free movement and residence in the UK so don’t normally need a visa to study. This will not change for those entering the UK to start their course in 2018.

I have dual nationality, do I need a visa?

If you enter the UK using your European passport you won't need a visa to study in the UK.

UK’s decision to leave the EU

The UK intends to leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. You can read the latest news, guidance and policy papers on the UK governments "UK leaving the EU: what you need to know” page and can receive updates by registering for announcements. Once negotiations are concluded we will provide further guidance for European nationals wishing to study at our University post Brexit.

Further guidance for EEA & Swiss students and their family

Read the guidance from UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) about living and working in the UK as a European student.

Immigration web pages and advice

Please note the Home Office change immigration rules and requirements regularly. Whilst we aim to ensure that the information contained in these pages is kept up to date there may be times when this is not the case. Please do not rely on these pages alone.

  • Check the Home Office for all the latest immigration updates and information.

Where can I get further advice?

International student support is integrated at the University of Essex and so various departments and services at the University provide documents, advice and guidance to our students and applicants. We recommend you start by reading the information and guidance contained in these pages. If you can’t find what you are looking for or need further advice you can contact the relevant service.

Immigration advice and services are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)
and we as an institution have to abide by the Commissioner's Code of Standards. The OISC has the power to investigate complaints made about immigration advice and services provided by an institution. We can only provide advice to University of Essex applicants and students. We only provide advice to University of Essex applicants and students.