Updated 19 November 2020   

The withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU has been ratified and on 31 January 2020, the UK entered a transition period which ends on 31 December 2020. 

Negotiations concerning the UK’s future relationship with the EU are ongoing despite the disruption caused by the Coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic. 

Leeds is an international university, and we continue to attract, welcome and support students and staff from across Europe and around the world.

EU nationals employed at the University are encouraged to read the For Staff website which has a dedicated section on Brexit.  

The UK government website provides information for EU and UK citizens on Brexit.    

EU/ EEA/ Swiss students and postgraduate researchers applying to, or already studying at, Leeds

Immigration status

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, if you are an EU/ EEA/ Swiss student arriving to study in the UK on or before 11pm on 31 December 2020 you will not require a visa to enter the UK to start your studies. 

We recommend you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if:

  • you are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and plan to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021 
  • you are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and plan to leave and re-enter the UK from 1 January 2021 (for example to take a trip home while you are studying)
  • you were previously resident in the UK but have recently been absent for certain reasons (for example if you have been remote studying in term 1)


EU/EEA/Swiss students who have not yet entered the UK, and whose programme continues beyond 30 June 2021, we recommend that you start living in the UK before 31 December 2020 and apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which will give you the option of remaining in the UK for up to 5 years if you wish.

For more information about applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, please see our Brexit information for current students.

If you plan to arrive in the UK to start your studies on or after 1 January 2021 you will require a visa to enter the UK to start your studies. 

Courses of more than 6 months - Student Route 

If you intend to arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 to study a course which is longer than 6 months, you must apply under the new Student Route

View more detailed information on submitting a Student Route visa application (formerly known as Tier 4). The UK Government has produced this useful guidance for EU students. You can also contact the University’s International Student Advice team if you have questions.

You can make your student visa application from 5 October 2020, but your visa will be valid from 1 January 2021. The application process is different to non-EEA students, in that you are not likely to need to attend a visa appointment but can self-enrol biometric data, and that you will receive a ‘secure digital status’ when your visa is granted, not a vignette or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Keep your Boarding Pass/flight/travel details as evidence of your date of entry into the UK.

To apply for a visa, you must:

  • Be sponsored by the University of Leeds (issued with a CAS* - see below)
  • demonstrate English Language ability
  • have the financial ability to support yourself in the UK during your studies

You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge at £470 a year for the length of your visa; this entitles you to access NHS services in the UK.   

On a Student Route visa, students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week. See full guidance on work entitlements.  

*Before you can apply for a student visa you must have accepted an unconditional offer from the University. You will then need to contact us to request a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies). You need a CAS before you can apply for your visa. To request a CAS you will need to email casqueries@leeds.ac.uk. We recommend that you request your CAS before 11 December 2020 to allow enough time to apply for and receive a visa before you need to travel.

Courses of less than 6 months – Visitor Route

Students who wish to come to the UK from 1 January 2021 for courses (not including English courses) of less than six months can now do so under the visitor route. 

Find out how to enter the UK with visitor visa immigration permission

The visitor visa does not permit work or access to healthcare services and you cannot switch or extend this visa in the UK.   

You are advised to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or arrange Comprehensive Travel Insurance before arriving.

Keep your Boarding Pass/flight/travel details as evidence of your date of entry into the UK.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has advice for EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens currently studying in the UK and those who plan to study in the UK. 

If you have further questions, you can contact the University's International Student Advice Team.

Healthcare in the UK

Information about healthcare for EU nationals, after the UK has left the EU, is available on the UK Government website and on our health care page for students.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has more detailed information on how healthcare works in the UK.

Fees and finance for taught students

Non-UK EU students starting their course in the 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 academic years will continue to have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. This includes taught postgraduate courses starting in January 2021.

EU students who currently receive student loans and/or grants from Student Finance England (SFE), and EU nationals starting courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year can find information about this from Student Finance England and the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

The UK government has announced changes to funding from the 2021-22 academic year onwards. Non-UK EU students starting their course in the 2021/2022 academic year or later will not be eligible for Home or UK fees status or UK government loans. You will need to pay International student tuition fees.   

Current EU postgraduate researchers

EU postgraduate researchers who started in 2019 or earlier will continue to be classified as ‘home/EU’ and qualify for this level of fee and financial support for the duration of their course at Leeds.

Postgraduate researchers already studying at Leeds will also receive confirmation direct from their funders.

Potential EU postgraduate researchers

We expect financial arrangements for future non-UK EU postgraduate researchers to be confirmed by each funding organisation when financial packages are publicised.

We will continue to provide updates through these pages and the student and Doctoral College newsletters.

UK citizens planning to or already working or studying in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland

Travel documents and immigration

Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip. 

If you’re planning travel from 1 January 2021 onwards, the passport service website has more information.

Healthcare in the EU

The Government has issued guidance on healthcare access for UK residents after the UK leaves the EU.  

The Government is advising UK nationals who ordinarily reside in the UK and will be studying in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland before 31 December 2020 and will still be studying in that country from 1 January 2021 to apply for a new UK European Health insurance Card (EHIC). Read information and guidance on the EHIC application process.  

You should ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance. It’s important to make sure all your health and personal needs are covered.

Find out more about insurance for study abroad students. Read the University’s travel insurance policy.  

Erasmus+ funding for students planning to study or work in the EU in 2020/21

Erasmus+ funding will be granted to eligible students who start or are due to start their placement in the 2020/21 academic year.  

If you plan to work or are already working in the EU, terms and conditions of employment may vary depending on the country in which the work placement takes place. For more information please check UK Government country-specific guidance

More information about Erasmus+ funding for Leeds Students is available here.

Read updates and advice from the British Council on Erasmus+.

European study exchanges and work placements from 2021/22

The Erasmus+ programme is currently being reviewed by the EU and its budget and programme content post-2021 is being decided. It is not known if the UK, or countries in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, will participate in the programme after the 2020-21 academic year. 

The University of Leeds is committed to continuing exchange agreements with our European Higher Education partner institutions after 2020/21, regardless of the decision the Government and the EU take about the UK’s future involvement with the next phase of the Erasmus+ programme. However, grants for European study abroad and work placements will be dependent upon the outcomes of future negotiations. We can’t guarantee that all our existing European partners will continue to host Leeds students and it’s expected that some partnerships will change. 

We are working to secure places for our students at partner universities, with extra consideration for degrees that have a compulsory study abroad requirement.

While the University endeavours to keep this information as up to date as possible, it cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For the latest information from the government, please visit GOV.UK. Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are also available on the Universities UK website