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Information for students

Freedom of movement between the UK and EU ends on 31 December 2020 and from 1 January 2021 the UK will implement a points-based immigration system.

International students, including EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, can now apply for their visa to study in the UK in 2021, through the new and improved Student route which forms part of the UK's points-based immigration system. 

All prospective international students, including EU, EEA and Swiss nationals coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply to the Student route, or the Child Student route if they are aged between 4-17 years old. See further guidance for EU/EEA and Swiss students.

Will I be able to continue living in the UK?

EU, EEA and Swiss students and their family members who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and should not apply under the points-based immigration system. EU citizens must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 to be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and should apply by 30 June 2021. Students should still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme even if they do not intend to stay in the UK by 30 June 2021. Students should still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme even if they do not intend to stay in the UK long-term. It is free to apply and applications can be made online here.

What about course fees and funding for the 2020-21 academic year?

You will be able to access student finance if your DMU course starts in the 2020-21 academic year or before, provided you meet residency requirements. This will be available for the duration of your course.If you secure a place in the 2020-21 academic year, but defer the start of your course until the 2021-22 academic year, the rules governing student support for 2021-22 entry will apply to you.

What are the changes to funding from the 2021-22 academic year?

If your course starts on or after 1 August 2021 you’ll no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and further education financial support from Student Finance England unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are able to benefit from the citizens’ rights agreements
  • You are an Irish national living in the UK or Republic of Ireland - benefits of Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement will continue.

You can learn more about what access to higher education support EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals have in the UK from 2021/22 onwards on's Access to Student Finance from Academic Year 2021/22: FAQs page.

Will EU students need a visa to study in the UK?

If you arrive in the UK before 1 January 2021, you won’t need a visa. If you plan to stay in the UK after 1 January 2021 (to complete your full course, for example), you must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible after you’ve arrived in the UK, and by 30 June 2021 at the latest.

If you plan to arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. Your visa application must be accepted before you arrive in the UK. If any courses last less than months, you'll still require entry clearance but you can apply for a short-term visa.

What about staying and working in the UK after my studies?

All international students in the UK – including EU nationals that entered the UK from January 2021 onwards with a student visa – will be able to apply for the UK’s new Graduate Route to stay in the UK for two years after their degree (or for three years after completing a PhD) to work or look for work at any skill level, providing they successfully complete their course.

EU nationals that have successfully applied under the EU Settlement Scheme will be able to continue to live and work in the UK without making further application.

Will I need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge to access NHS services

The Immigration Health Surcharge is paid by people applying to work, study or join family in the UK for a time-limited period of more than six months. It also applies to those who seek to extend their stay. 

Individuals who pay the charge may access the comprehensive range of NHS services in broadly the same manner as a permanent UK resident. This means they generally only pay charges that a UK resident would also pay, such as prescription charges in England. 

As of 27 October 2020, the Immigration Health Surcharge has risen to £624 per person per year, and the discounted rate for student visa holders, those on the Youth Mobility Scheme and children under the age of 18 is £470. Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicant. 

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge if they’re applying to come to the UK to work, study or live from January 2021, through the Points-Based Immigration System. For further information about the Immigration Health Surcharge, visit GOV.UK.

What’s happening with the Erasmus+ programme?

The UK and DMU remain full participants in the Erasmus+ programme until 31st December 2020. Erasmus+ projects in the UK will continue to be funded by the European Commission as normal, even if activity takes place after 31st December 2020, and will run until their normal completion dates.

The next cycle of the Erasmus+ programme (2021-2027) is currently being developed by the EU. It is not yet known whether the UK will participate in the programme after the 2020-21 academic year. This will be subject to UK-EU negotiations as part of the transition period.

For more details, please see the DMU Global Erasmus+ Brexit webpage and Erasmus+ placements in the UK.

What does Brexit mean for students on accredited courses?

One effect of Brexit will be that The Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive, the process where UK and EU nationals benefit from a simplified recognition procedure for certain regulated professions and automatic recognition for sectoral professions (doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, lawyers, architects or engineers) will cease to apply in the UK after the transition period.

The recognition of academic qualifications is overseen by the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The UK’s participation in the EHEA will not change as a result of any future relationship with the EU, and academic qualifications will continue to be recognised in the same way as currently.

For regulated professions, under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the UK and EU will continue to ensure UK nationals who are resident or working in the EU (and vice versa for EEA nationals in the UK) will continue to have their professional qualifications recognised, as long as they obtained a recognition decision before the end of the transition period. This will include individuals who applied before the end of the transition period but do not receive a recognition decision until after 31 December 2020.

Swiss nationals will continue to have their professional qualifications recognised in the UK, as long as they obtained or applied for a recognition decision by the end of a four-year grace period following the transition period. 

What will change for qualifications recognition after the end of the Brexit transition period?

Excluding those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals wishing to practise regulated professions in the EEA, irrespective of where they acquired their qualifications, and EEA citizens with qualifications acquired in the United Kingdom will need to have them recognised in the relevant Member State on the basis of that country’s rules for third-country nationals and/or third-country qualifications.