It is important that you get the right visa for your study in the UK. The length of time you can stay in the UK depends on your visa.

European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss nationals

The UK is leaving the EU on 31 December 2020 and therefore the UK immigration requirements are due to change.  Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you are a current Study Abroad student residing in the UK and you intend to remain in the UK until the end of the 20-21 academic year, we advise that you apply for the EU settlement scheme before 31 December 2020. You can find further information on the Brexit Information for Students pages

After 1st January 2021 you will need a visa for study in the UK. The type of visa you apply for depends on the length of your course.

Study visas

There are two types of visa to choose from, they are the Student Visa and the Visitor Visa.

If you are studying for a period of more than six months, you must apply for a Student visa before travelling to the UK. Read our step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Student visa.  

If you are studying for a period of less than six months on any other programme starting from 1 January 2021, you can choose to apply for a Student visa or a Visitor Visa. A Visitor Visa is suitable for most students, but a Student Visa allows you to work part-time while you are studying. Read our comparison guide to help you decide which visa to apply for.

If you are studying with Leeds International Summer School (LISS), you need a Visitor Visa.

Visitor Visas

Applications for the Visitor Visa can be submitted from 1 December 2020; guidance has not yet been published but you can check for updates on the UKCISA website.

If you choose to apply for a Visitor Visa there are two ways to apply, depending on your nationality:

If your nationality is on the UK Government’s list of visa national countries you must apply online before you travel. Check if your country is on the list of visa national countries.

If your nationality is not on this list (an EU/EEA/Swiss national or non-visa national country) you can choose to apply online before you travel or you can get the correct immigration permission when you arrive at the UK airport (EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and non-visa nationals) but, if you do this, you must follow the rules listed below:

If you choose to get the immigration permission when you arrive, you must follow these rules:

  • You must see a Border Control Officer and get a ‘Visitor Visa’ stamp in your passport.
  • Please do not use the electronic ePassport gates as you will not receive the correct immigration permission stamp if you enter the UK this way.
  • You can download or print this request for passport stamp document to present to a Border Force Official upon arrival when seeking permission to enter the UK. 
  • You must not enter via the Republic of Ireland. If you do, you will not pass through UK immigration control and you will not get the correct permission for study in the UK. You will only have permission to remain in the UK for 3 months. This means you will need to leave the UK and enter again the correct way.
  • Always carry your University of Leeds offer letter, proof of accommodation booked in Leeds and your most recent bank statements with you in your hand luggage to present to an Immigration Officer, to provide evidence for the purpose of your stay.
  • Confirm that you are coming to the UK to study if you are asked what the reason for your visit is.

Work is not permitted on the Visitor Visa and you can’t stay longer than 6 months or switch into another immigration route on this visa in the UK.