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International students

Immigration Advice for EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals

Last updated: 14 January 2021

The UK left the European Union on the 31st January 2020, as a result of the Withdrawal Agreement being passed by the UK Parliament, and being agreed by both the UK and the EU. This change may have implications for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals wishing to live and/or study in the UK.

Transition Period

The UK and the EU have agreed to a transition period, that takes effect now that the UK has left the EU. This transition period began on the 31st January 2020 and will continue until 31st December 2020. It is possible that this transition period may be extended, as it may be that more time is needed to refine the details of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

During this transition period, EU/EEA/Swiss nationals can continue to exercise freedom of movement within the UK. New students will be able to enter the UK using their passport, and continuing students will be able to remain in the UK.

At the end of the transition period, currently agreed as the 31st December 2020, it is expected that the specifics of the deal between the UK and the EU will take effect, and that freedom of movement will end. It is therefore important that you are prepared to transition from freedom of movement onto an appropriate visa category before the end of the transition period, so that you have the correct permission to remain in the UK as we enter 2021.

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU settlement scheme is designed to offer EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their eligible family members living in the UK the opportunity to protect their residence in the UK after the UK leaves the EU (separate agreements were made with EEA EFTA states and with Switzerland so that citizens of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein and their eligible family members are also able to participate in the scheme). The scheme will continue to operate throughout the transition period and then for an additional 6 months, into the summer of 2021.

The settlement scheme is not only for those who intend to settle in the UK after studying. It is immigration permission, which can lead to settlement, but does not have to be used to gain settlement. With permission under the scheme there will be no restrictions on study (where you study or what you study).

Those who have been living in the UK for less than 5 years will be given ‘pre-settled’ status, and those having already been in the UK for more than 5 years will be given ‘settled’ status.

More information on this scheme can be found here.

New Immigration System

The UK Home Office have announced a new immigration system, which is due to be implemented in 2021, once freedom of movement has ended.

In advance of this, the UKVI have already launched the new route for students, aptly named the ‘Student Route’.

Any students arriving in the UK up to the end of December 2020 will be permitted to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme from within the UK. Students arriving from January 2021 onwards will be expected to apply for a Student Route visa. More information on the Student Route visa and its
requirements can be found on the Visas and Immigration section of our webpage.

Enrolling with the University

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be able to travel to the UK up until the end of 2020, and enrol at the University of Gloucestershire with freedom of movement. However, students must ensure that they apply for a relevant immigration category that permits study prior to the end of December 2020,
and supply the University with a copy of this documentation. The University has a duty to the UK Home Office to ensure all students studying with us hold the appropriate immigration permission.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your immigration status and eligibility to study in the UK, please contact the University’s Immigration Compliance team via

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