Brexit information for students

Leeds is an international university, and we continue to attract, welcome and support students from across Europe and around the world. This page provides information about applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for EU/EEA/Swiss students who are resident in the UK or will be before 31 December 2020, as well as links to Brexit information for other groups of current and prospective students.

This page was last updated on 20 November 2020   

Brexit is the term used to describe the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union (EU) at 11pm GMP 31 December 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 COVID-19 pandemic. 

Immigration status and permission

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, if you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student arriving to study in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 you will not require a visa to enter the UK to start your studies. However, if you are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 then you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

We recommend you apply to the EUSS 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) 

This page provides further advice for students who can apply to the EUSS.  

Students who are not eligible to apply for EUSS can find further information here:

  • If you are a new EU/EEA/Swiss student intending to travel to UK from 1 January 2021, for a period of 6 months or more, please see our information here about applying for a visa  
  • If you an EU/EEA/Swiss exchange student intending to travel to the UK from 1 January 2021, for a period of less than 6 months, please see our visa information here   
  • If you are a UK citizen planning to or already working or studying in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, please see the information here  

Applying to EUSS If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national who is now resident in the UK or will be before 31 December 2020

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their eligible family members can still come to the UK until the end of the transition period (11pm on 31 December 2020) and if you are resident in the UK before that date, you can apply for immigration permission to remain in the UK under the UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).  This maintains your rights to live, work and study as an EU national and will give you the option of remaining in the UK for up to 5 years if you wish. 

The EUSS application process is free and user-friendly. 

You must provide evidence of your identity (digital passport) and a photograph of your face, evidence of UK residence, and declare certain criminal convictions. 

If you remain resident in the UK, you can submit the EUSS application up until 30 June 2021. We recommend you apply as soon as possible. If you are granted Pre-Settled Status, you will be able to travel out of and return to the UK without obtaining further immigration permission after 1 January 2021. 

If you are planning to leave the UK (e.g. for the winter break) and return after 31 December, we recommend you apply to EUSS straight away and take evidence of your pre-settled/settled status, and other proof of residence such as a tenancy agreement, with you when you travel. 

If you have not yet arrived or returned to the UK you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card), in your home country before travelling.  

If you already have EU Permanent Residence/ILR as an EU national: 

If you already hold EU Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain as an EU national, read this information about applying under the EU Settlement Scheme as this may offer additional benefits. 

British Citizenship: 

If you are considering applying for British Citizenship in the future, please read the eligibility requirements here.  

If you were previously resident in the UK but have recently been absent  

The EUSS is also available to those who were resident in the UK before the end of the transition period and who meet the eligibility criteria, but who are temporarily absent from the UK for certain reasons (eg. pregnancy, study, and absences directly related to Covid-19 may be considered).  If you have lived in the UK before, you can apply straight away or up to 11pm GMT 31 December 2020 even if you are currently overseas (for example, you are remote studying in Term 1 or you are currently in a period of study abroad).   

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student who has previously been resident in the UK but is currently absent (for example, if you have been studying remotely in term 1 but plan to return to Leeds), we recommend that you apply to EUSS as soon as possible and before 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020. 

UKICSA have also published information about EU Settlement Scheme and absences from the UK

Further information  

Immigration permission:  

EUSS applications: 

EUSS application video: 


UKCISA – Student and Visitor Visas: 

If you need further advice

If you have specific questions, please contact the International Student Advisers (Visas and Immigration) 

Fees and Finance 

For information about fees and finance for current and future taught students and postgraduate researchers, please see the information here.   


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

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

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