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 has not changed following the result of the UK referendum and will not change for 2017 entry. We will post updates on any longer term changes when they are known. You can also read our Vice-Chancellor's response to the referendum.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has information for European students on their website.

If you have dual nationality and enter the UK with your European passport you won't need a visa to study in the UK.

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.