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.

EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss nationals

Until the UK leaves the EU on the 29/3/2019 - citizens of the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland have the right to free movement and residence in the UK.

From the 30/3/2019 until 31/12/2020 - European, non-EEA and Swiss nationals will still be able to come to the UK without applying for permission to enter before you come but what you apply for when you are in the UK will depend on whether the UK leaves the EU having agreed the Withdrawal Agreement or not and how long you want to stay.

I have a permanent residence document from the UK government, do I need to do anything?

You’ll need to apply to continue living in the UK by either applying to the EU Settlement Scheme or for British citizenship, if you’re eligible.

I have dual nationality, do I need a visa?

If you have dual nationality with a country that is outside the EU, you can use your EU/EEA or Swiss passport to enter the UK.

Brexit - 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.

Please also see the Brexit advice and support for students web page.

In the meantime, UKCISA have included information on their website and along with Universities UK, NUS and British Council have created a short series of films answering questions about Brexit and a document containing frequently asked questions.

EU Settlement Scheme for current students

From the 21 January 2019 the EU settlement scheme will be open to most students. Please see our EU Settlement Scheme page for more information.

Irish Nationals

Irish citizens will continue to have the right to live in the UK, this will not change after the UK has left the EU and you will not need to apply to the settlement scheme.

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 are only able to provide advice to University of Essex applicants and current students.