Brexit: Updates affecting applicants from the EU

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The agreed date for the UK to leave the European Union is 31 January 2020 or earlier if the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed before that date. Brexit will likely lead to changes to the system for EU students coming to the UK to study.

The situation will be different depending on whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not. These FAQs contain all the information universities have so far about what will happen if the UK leaves the EU with the current withdrawal agreement, or with no deal at all. Both the UK and the EU are working very hard to ensure that a no-deal scenario is avoided.

Depending on future discussions between the EU and UK, it is also possible that the UK may leave the EU with a different deal, or that the UK’s departure from the EU may be delayed.

*Information provided by Universities UK and the British Council in their Studying in the UK FAQ 2019-20 Document. If you'd like to know more, students are encouraged to visit the UK Government website or UKCISA website.

Fees for EU Students

What is the situation at the moment?

Most EU nationals have the same fees as home students throughout their degree. Exact fee levels vary in different parts of the UK. EU nationals are eligible for varying levels of financial support depending on where in the UK they study. In Scotland, undergraduates do not usually pay any fees.

What will change with Brexit?

Withdrawal Agreement: UK governments have confirmed that EU students who begin their degrees in or before the academic year 2019-20 will still be eligible for home student fees and financial support and that nothing will change for them throughout their full degree.

No Deal: The UK government has confirmed that this will be the case in England whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal. We are waiting for similar announcements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information, students are encouraged to visit the UK Government website or UKCISA website.

Will I have to apply for a Visa?

Withdrawal Agreement: You will not need a visa if you are arriving before 1 January 2021. You may need to register on arrival in the UK if you will be staying for more than three months.

No Deal: If you are arriving in the UK between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, you should apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, which will allow you to remain in the UK for three years.

If you will arrive in the UK from 2021 onwards, you should apply for a student visa. Applying for a visa is not something to worry about: hundreds of thousands of students from across the world successfully apply for student visas every year. UK universities offer lots of help to guide their students through the application process.

For more information, students are encouraged to visit the UK Government website or UKCISA website.

Will my UK degree still be recognised in the EU?

UK degrees are recognised in many countries around the world, and there are a number of agreements between different countries that support this. Some of these are not related to the European Union which means that after the UK leaves the EU, most academic qualifications will still be recognised.

Recognition of some professional qualifications is more complicated, but UK universities are hoping that the mutual recognition of professional qualifications will continue. You can to find out if your chosen subject is academic or professional by speaking to your university.

Will I be able to stay in the UK after my degree?

Withdrawal Agreement: Any student arriving in the UK before January 2021 will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’. This will allow you to stay in the UK for five years and then apply for ‘settled status’. Once you have settled status, you’ll be able to remain in the UK indefinitely. If you have already been in the country for five years you can apply for settled status straight away.

Once you are in the UK, you can apply for pre-settled status or settled status for free from 30 March 2019 here:

If you are starting study from January 2021, you will need a visa to stay in the country.

No Deal: If you arrive in the UK any time after 30 March 2019 and have applied for European Temporary Leave to Remain, you will need to apply for a visa after three years when your Leave to Remain expires.

For more information, students are encouraged to visit the UK Government website or UKCISA website.

Can I still apply for my Research Council Funding for my PhD?

Yes, currently EU students remain eligible to apply for UKRI-funded PhD scholarships starting in the academic year 2019/20 and UK universities are seeking confirmation that this will be the case under any Brexit scenario.

For more information about PhD scholarships, please visit the UKRI website.