This page provides information for Study Routes into the UK for European Nationals.

// EU Settlement Scheme

1. When can a European national apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

European nationals who entered the UK prior to 31st December 2020 to study may apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. They have until 30th June 2021 in which to file the application.

Where European nationals are already in the UK and undertaking study, it is recommended to apply under the scheme as soon as possible.

2. If a student arrives in the UK on 5th January 2021, can they still apply under the scheme?

No, not unless they have been previously studying in the UK before 31st December 2020. If they intend to study for more than 6 months, they will need to submit a Student/Child Student application, or if they intend to study for less than 6 months enter as a Visitor.

3. If an Italian child has previously lived in the UK but has been back in their home country for the last two years, can they apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

Under these circumstances this would not be possible.

4. Can European students study a state boarding schools?

State schools are unable to provide immigration sponsorship. Unless the student has secured Pre- Settled Status or Settled Status (or are eligible to do so by 30 June 2021), or holds a status whereby they do not need to be sponsored by a school, European nationals will not be able to study at a state funded school from January 2021.

// Short Term Study in the UK

The Visitor route must not be used for long periods of study through short successive trips to the UK.

5. If a European national is studying in the UK for 6 months or less, do they need a visa?

No. From the 1st January 2021 a European national will be deemed a non-visa national. They will be able to enter the UK as a “Visitor” to study in the UK for a period of up to 6 months. No prior immigration permission is required before they travel.

6. How much does entry via the Visitor route cost?

Free of charge.

7. What documents, if any, would a European national need to carry if they intend to study in the UK for a short period?

European nationals are permitted entry into the UK through the e-gate system. As such, they will not be permitted to show any documentation upon arrival in the UK other than their passport.

However, should they be questioned by an Immigration Officer, or the e-gates are not be working, it is recommended that the following is in their possession:

  • Valid passport for the duration of their stay in the UK.
  • Letter from their school confirming acceptance onto a course of study in the UK for no longerthan 6 months.
  • If under the age of 18 years, a letter from their parents consenting to; travel arrangements,confirmation of where the child will study, accommodation arrangements and financialsupport.
  • Departure ticket dated within 6 months of first date of entry.
  • Evidence of private medical insurance.Visitors are not required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. Please see below section of Student/Child Student requirements below.

8. When a European student is studying in the UK as a Visitor, can they go home at half term and come back in the same status?

Yes. Where a student is enrolled at a school for 6 months or less, they will be permitted to return home for holidays. The student can then return to complete their period of study in the UK.

9. If the student initially enrols for the winter term and then wishes to stay for the remaining spring and summer terms, is this possible?

This is not recommended. A student is not permitted to undertake a long-term course of study in the UK through frequent short trips.

10. If a student has been in the UK for 6 months and then wishes to extend to study long term, can they do this from within the UK?

Should a student wish to study long term in the UK (over 6 months) they will be required to apply for a Student/Child Student visa.

It is not possible to “switch” from Visitor to Student/Child Student status from within the UK. They must do this from within their home country or a country in which they hold residency rights (excluding the UK.)

11. If a European student completes 6 months in the UK and returns home for the summer, can they return for a further 6 months in September?

A Visitor must not intend to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits or make the UK their main home. As such, recurring trips to the UK for 6 months or being enrolled for longer periods could lead to refused entry.

It is therefore recommended that Visitors do not stay in the UK for more than 6 months in any 12- month period.

12. If a parent is accompanying their children to the UK to drop them off or collect them, what status do they enter the UK under?

Parents may enter the UK as a Visitor. If the parent is a European or a non-visa national no prior immigration permission is required.

// Student/Child Student Immigration Category

13. What is the difference between the Student and Child Student categories?

The Student category has replaced Tier 4 General. This is for European and non-European nationals who wish to undertake a period of study in the UK over 6 months. They must be aged 16 years or above.

The Child Student category has replaced Tier 4 Child. This is for European and non-European nationals who wish to undertake a period of study in the UK over 6 months. They must be aged between 4 – 17 years.

Most students entering the UK to study at an independent boarding or day school will apply under the Child Student route, unless they are 18 years of age.

14. If a European student aged 17 years and 6 months applies to complete his A-Levels in the UK under what category should he apply?

This will be dictated by the sponsoring UK school at which the student will attend. In most cases a school will still issue the CAS under the Child Student category as this attracts less documentary requirements at visa application stage.

15. What documentation is needed in order to secure a CAS?

A school’s process to issue a CAS will vary from one to another. In most circumstances copies of the following documents are collected before the CAS is issued:

  • Child passport & any previous UK visas (if applicable)
  • Parent’s/legal guardian’s passport
  • Birth certificate & English translation
  • School reports/letters of recommendation
  • Payment of a deposit

16. What documents do we need to apply for the visa?

This will depend on the residential circumstances of the student, but in most situations the following will be required:

  • Passport of the student – this should cover the duration of their study in the UK
  • CAS document from sponsoring school
  • Letter from parents consenting to the student’s study and residential arrangements, travel and financial support during their time in the UK
  • Birth certificate (plus English translation)

Additional documentation will be required subject to non-boarding residential arrangements.

17. What is the process to apply for a UK visa?

European nationals will follow a simplified visa process to secure a Student or Child Student visa:

  • European student will apply and follow admissions process for school/college
  • Place is confirmed and a CAS document is issued by the sponsor
  • Student collects required supporting documentation and applies for Student or Child Student visa online
  • Applicants with a chipped passport can download the UK Immigration: ID Check app to submit their bio-metric data. The entire visa process can be completed at home. Where the applicant does not have a chipped passport, they must attend a UK visa application centre to submit their bio-metric data and passport.
  • Visa applicants will be emailed once their application is approved. Chipped passport – the applicant will receive a digital status with a link to an online portal where this can be viewed. Unchipped passport – the applicant will have a visa stamped in their passport valid for 3 months. They must enter the UK within this time to collect their Bio-metric Residence Permit from their school or local post office.

18. How much does a Student / Child Student visa cost?

CategoryVisa FeeIHS Fee
Student / Child Student (Out of country)£348£470 per visa year
Student / Child Student (In-Country)£475£470 per visa year

19. Do all students have to submit evidence of finances?

No. European nationals and other select nationalities detailed in the Immigration Rules are exempt from evidencing funds as part of the visa application process.

20. Could proof of finances be requested?

In very rare circumstances evidence of finances can be requested as part of the visa process. We would not expect this to be requested unless there were concerns over other documentation provided to support an application.

If the Student is applying from within the UK and has been in the UK for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and no bank documentation is required.

21. If proof of finances is requested during the visa process, what evidence must be shown?

Although this situation is highly unlikely, the following evidence would be expected based on the student’s living arrangements:

Living ArrangementsFunds Required
Boarding at a residential independent schoolThe student (or their parents) must have enough funds to pay the outstanding course fees and boarding fees for one academic year
Living during term-time with a private foster carer or close relative who is a British Citizen or settled in the UKThe student (or their parents) must have enough funds to pay the outstanding course fees for one academic year.
The private foster carer or close relative must have funds of at least £570 per month for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months (£5,130)
Living with a parent or legal guardian who holds permission as a Parent of a Child StudentThe student (or their parents) must have sufficient funds to pay the outstanding course fees for one academic year; and
(a) if no other children are accompanying the parent, £1,560 per month for each month of the course up to maximum of 9 months; and
(b) if any other children are accompanying the parent, £625 per month of the course for each additional child, up to maximum of 9 months
Aged 16 or 17 and living independentlyThe student (or their parents) must have sufficient funds to pay the outstanding course fees for one academic year and either:
(a) 1,265 for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying in Londonor
(b) £1,015 for each month of the course up to the maximum of 9 months where studying outside London.

22. Do all students need to complete an English language test?

No. Child Student applicants do not need to submit evidence of English language as part of the visa application process.

Student applicants, must submit evidence of English language unless they fall under one of the exemptions.

23. Do all students need to submit a Tuberculosis test?

No. Only where an applicant has been present in a country listed in Appendix T of the Immigration Rules for a period of 6 months immediately prior to the date of application.

24. Where a student completes IGCSEs and moves onto A-Levels or the IB, is this deemed academic progression?

Yes. A CAS can only be issued to cover the period of one course. As such a new CAS and visa application must be filed when student wishes to continue to study in the UK.

As the move from IGCSE to IB is deemed a new course, the application can be filed from within the UK. As this often takes place over the summer holiday, many students often choose to apply from outside of the UK.

25. What are the visa processing times?

Standard visa processing times are approximately 15 working days. Many locations do provide expedited services which attract additional fees. This will vary from country to country.

It is recommended that a visa application is filed as far in advance as possible. A visa application can be filed from outside of the UK 6 months before the UK start date noted on the CAS.

For applications filed from within the UK, application can be filed 3 months before the start date on the CAS.