The UK immigration system


On 10 September 2020, the UK Government announced the UK’s new and improved student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system and is now open for applications. These routes replace the existing Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child) student routes.

All prospective international students, including those from Europe, coming to study at international boarding schools in the UK after the end of the transitional period, will need to apply through the student route before coming to the UK. All students applying through the new student route will need to demonstrate that they meet the required 70 points. These required points will be achieved if the student can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.

EU/EEA and Swiss student’s resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, already in attendance or looking to attend an independent school in the UK, do not need to apply through the route. They, and their family, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to do so. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.

The UK has a world-leading education sector with some of the best boarding schools in the world and will continue to welcome talented and high potential international students. There will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study.

The early launch of the route aims to give prospective students looking to attend a boarding school in the UK the maximum time to prepare. Those applying will be able to make an application up to six months in advance of travel to the UK. This new route creates for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutes and students making it more straightforward to access the best boarding schools in the UK.

Do I need a visa?

Before 31 December 2020

Non-EU citizens who wish to study in the UK before 31 December 2020 are required to hold a visa to confirm their right to study. Click here to check if you need a visa.

EU citizens who wish to study in the UK before 31 December 2020. If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status. Click here to read more.

From 1 January 2021

EU and non-EU citizens wishing to come to and live in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to demonstrate their right to be in the UK and the entitlements they have. All applicants will receive written confirmation of their immigration status. EU citizens will additionally be provided with secure access to their immigration status information via an online service which they will be able to use to confirm their rights and to access services when necessary, instead of a physical status document. Click here to read more.

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