Visa Information for Current Students

What is changing?

The UK’s improved 'Student visa', using a points-based immigration system, is open for applications. The Student visa is an improvement to the previous Tier 4 route and is a more streamlined experience. 

Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid, and those eligible can also apply for the Graduate route. 

Which kind of visa you need depends on your specific situation, so please check the FAQs below. You can also check if you need a visa on the UK government website.

Coronavirus updates

If you are unable to travel to the UK due to the COVID pandemic, UKVI have concessions recognising the disruption to international travel. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 now have until 21 June 2021 to apply (updated from 6 April 2021).

FAQs for current EU/EEA and Swiss students

EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You have until 30 June 2021 to do so.

Check carefully which of these residence/study situations in the FAQs apply to you. 

If you are unsure or need more information, please contact advisory@abertay.ac.uk.

I arrived before 31 December 2020

If you began your course in 2020 and were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021. It is free to apply. 

Find out more about the EU Settlement Scheme on the UK Government website.

I deferred travelling to the UK until 2021

If you began your course in 2020, but deferred coming to the UK until after 1 January 2021:

You need to apply for a Student visa before you travel.

The UK Government website has specific information for students from EU/EEA or Switzerland.

I temporarily left the UK

This is specifically for EU/EEA & Swiss students who are studying a UK course, have left the UK temporarily, but have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and were not in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If you are midway through your course but not currently in the UK, you can apply to the EUSS from outside the UK, so long as you are able to prove you are still continuously resident here.

This means that you must prove that you have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period, with the exception of a single permitted absence of up to 12 months for an important reason. This is such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.

If you have remained continuously resident in the UK, then you can qualify for Settled or Pre-settled status under the EUSS and can apply from overseas or from the UK.

If you have broken your continuous residence here, then you should have resumed your residence in the UK by 31 December 2020 in order to be eligible for Settled or Pre-settled status.

If your continuous residence here was broken, and you were unable to return to the UK by 31 December 2020, you need to apply for a Student visa under the points-based immigration system in order to return to the UK.

Find out more about the UK Government's EU Settlement Scheme.

See full details on the UK’s points-based immigration system for students.

I am arriving/starting my course in 2021

For students applying to start a course in the UK in 2021.

You need to apply for a Student visa through the UK's points-based immigration system. Applications are now open.

Find more about the Student visa application process on our Visa Information page for new students.

Please also check the UK Government's Immigration page for EU/EEA and Swiss students.

EU Settlement Scheme: Settled and Pre-settled status

Settled status for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens

You will usually get Settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme if you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period (called 'continuous residence').

If you have Settled status you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. 

The deadline is 30 June 2021 and it is free to apply. Find out more on the UK Government EU Settlement page.

Pre-settled status for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens

If  do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually get Pre-settled status. 

You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. You can then apply to change this to Settled status once you have 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your Pre-settled status expires. 

Anyone with Pre-settled status can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing this status. But you will need to maintain continuous residence to qualify for Settled status.

The deadline is 30 June 2021 and it is free to apply. Find out more on the UK Government EU Settlement page.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens with Settled or Pre-settled status can:

  • Work in the UK.
  • Use the NHS for free.
  • Enrol in education or continue studying.
  • Access public funds such as benefits and pensions, assuming you are eligible.
  • Travel in and out of the UK.

Visit the UK Government EU settlement scheme for more details. 

New Graduate Route - opens 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021 international students can apply for the 'Graduate Visa route'. This enables you to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years after graduation. That limit is three years for doctoral students.

The Graduate route is a different visa from the Tier 4 or Student visa, and you must apply from inside the UK to be eligible.

This means graduates can work flexibly, and switch jobs if needed. You don’t need a job offer to be eligible, and there is no minimum salary requirement. 

Find out more about the Government Graduate Visa Route.

In all cases, if you still have questions, please contact advisory@abertay.ac.uk.