Information for EU nationals

The University of Westminster is a global university and has a strong and historic commitment to promoting equality and embracing diversity. As a place to work or to study, we strive to strengthen our reputation as a welcoming and inclusive organisation. We are committed to our European partners and to supporting our European staff and students.

Even though the UK has started the process of leaving the EU, there are no immediate changes in the way that people move, trade or study. It is important to emphasise that until the UK formally leaves the EU, EU law will continue to apply within the UK. 

The UK Government announced on 21 April 2017 that EU students applying for university places in the 2018/19 academic year, as well as those starting in 2017/18, will remain eligible for financial support.

Please find below some frequently asked questions and answers for EU students in the UK, as well as links to further information. These will be updated as new information arises.

Do I need a visa to come to the UK?

You do not need to apply for a visa if you are an EU national or a national of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Switzerland. If you have dual nationality (EU and Non-EU) then you can enter the UK with a valid EU/EEA/Swiss passport. You do not need to obtain a Tier 4 visa.

I am coming to start a course in September 2017. What documents do I need to bring to the UK?

If you are an EU national, a national of Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein (EEA) or a Swiss national you can enter the UK with either your passport or your National Identity Card. Once you have enrolled on a full-time course at the University you will then be exercising your right of residence as a student.

The UK government has recently confirmed it is a requirement for EEA national/Swiss students and their family members to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) while they are in the UK. You can show that you have CSI by:       

  • Having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) This must be obtained from your EEA country of residence and is sufficient evidence of CSI if you will only be in the UK temporarily (for example, to study a course). Each country has its own information on how to apply for the EHIC card. The EHIC card will only be valid for showing that you have CSI if you do not intend to stay permanently in the UK.
  • A certificate showing that you have entitlement to healthcare through insurance obtained in another country (forms S1, S2 and S3) or
  • By taking out a private Comprehensive Sickness Insurance policy. The cost of this will depend on your individual circumstances. There are several insurance companies who offer CSI policies and it may be preferable to take out insurance in the UK once you have arrived.  Travel insurance is not enough.

If you are not able to obtain an EHIC card or S1, S2 or S3 form in your home country, for  example because you are not normally resident in that country or you are not covered when you are studying outside your country, then you must take out a private CSI policy.  Also, if you plan to apply for permanent residence rights in the UK based on your residence as a student you will need to show that you and your dependants were covered by a private CSI policy.

For more information on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, please visit the UKCISA website; and see the information on residence cards and health care below.

Residence cards

You do not need any additional documentation, but it can be helpful to apply for a Registration Certificate to prove your right of residence. You need to apply on form EEA (QP). If you are a Croatian national you need to apply on form CR1 instead.

Under current rules, you can apply for the Right of Permanent Residence after you have lived in the UK for at least 5 years. Please be aware that to qualify for permanent residence, you must show that you and any dependants had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance or that you were exercising a right of residence as a migrant worker.  If you have been exercising a right of residence as a student during the 5 year period, having the EHIC card from your home country will not be considered sufficient evidence of CSI. This is because the EHIC card is only acceptable evidence of CSI for students who do not plan to stay permanently in the UK. 

If you are working in the UK during your studies, you may be able to apply for a residence certificate as an EEA Migrant Worker instead of as a student.  Migrant Workers are not required to show evidence of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.  Please read the Home Office  guidance on EEA ‘qualified persons’.

Also make sure that you keep evidence of the date of your arrival in the UK and evidence of your continuous residence since your arrival. You will need independent evidence of your residence for Residence Permits and for Student Finance England funding.

For more information please visit the UKCISA website.

How will Brexit affect my student finance and fees?

The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals and their family members who are currently attending a degree level course or who start a course in September 2017 or September 2018 will continue to be eligible to pay the home rate of tuition fee and for Student Finance England funding (SFE) for the duration of their course. SFE will assess funding applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans and grants in the normal way. You can read more about this on the Student Loan Company website.

You can find more information on what student finance you may be eligible for and how to apply on our funding page for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. If you are a new student starting a course in September 2017 and you intend to work in the UK while you are studying, make sure you arrive in England before 1 September 2017  You can read more about this on the UCKISA website.

How will Brexit affect my student finance?

The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals and their family members who are currently attending a degree level course or who start a course in September 2017 or September 2018 will continue to be eligible to pay the home rate of tuition fee and for Student Finance England funding (SFE) for the duration of their course. SFE will assess funding applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans and grants in the normal way. You can read more about this on the Student Loan Company website.

You can find more information on what student finance you may be eligible for and how to apply on our funding page for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. If you are a new student starting a course in September 2017 and you intend to work in the UK while you are studying, make sure you arrive in England before 1 September 2017  You can read more about this on the UCKISA website.

Will I pay the Home or Overseas rate of tuition fees?

As long as you are an EU national and you have lived in the EU/EEA or Switzerland for the last 3 consecutive years before starting your course at the University of Westminster you should be assessed for the Home/EU rate of fees. If you are an undergraduate student you will also normally be entitled to a government loan to pay the tuition fees. If you are a postgraduate student you can apply for the new postgraduate loan.

If you are an EU national but you do not normally live in the EU/EEA, it is likely that you will be charged Overseas fees and you will not be eligible for the undergraduate fee loan or the postgraduate loan.

If you are an EEA national (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) or a Swiss national, you will normally be charged Overseas fees and will not be eligible for the undergraduate or postgraduate fee loan unless you, your parents or partner are EEA/Swiss nationals and are working in the UK and you are resident in the UK by 1 September of the year you start your course.

Should I open a bank account?                   

We recommend that you open a UK bank account soon after you arrive in the UK. It is the safest and most effective way of managing your money and making and receiving payments and can also be used to show evidence of your residence in the UK. For more information about opening a bank account please read our web page about banking.

What documents will I need to show at enrolment?

At your enrolment session, you’ll need to bring your original passport or National Identity card as well as your original degree or diploma certificates and certificates for any other academic qualifications your Admissions office has asked you for. If you have applied for a Student Finance Services EU Fee Loan or Student Finance England funding, you will also need to bring evidence of this.

Can I work in the UK?

All EU, EEA and Swiss national, apart from Croatian nationals, can work in the UK without restriction. If you are a Croatian national you will need to apply for a yellow Registration Certificate before you can start work and you can only work up to 20 hours per week during term time.

If you have not worked in the UK before you will need to apply for a National Insurance number. Students pay income tax in the same way as other workers, but often do not earn enough to have to pay tax. The tax-free allowance for a single person in 2017–18 is £11,500 (April to April). When you start work for the first time you will need to ask your employer to fill in a ‘starter checklist’ for you so that you don’t pay too much tax.

If you work in the UK, you may qualify for additional Student Finance England funding as long as you are working enough hours and as long as you are resident in the UK by 1 September of the year you start your course.

Can I get medical treatment in the UK?

You must apply for European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your home country before coming to the UK. If you do not have an EHIC card you can be charged for hospital treatment in the UK. Each country has its own information on how to apply for the EHIC card. Make sure you apply for your card before you arrive in the UK and bring it with you. This will cover you for medical treatment on the same basis as a UK resident as long as you are a student and do not plan to stay permanently in the UK.

You may also be able to show your entitlement through a Certificate of Entitlement to Healthcare (S1, S2 or S3).

If you cannot get an EHIC Card or an S1/S2/S3 certificate from your country of nationality, for example because you are not normally resident in that country or you are not covered when you are studying outside your home country, then you must show that you have a private Comprehensive Sickness Insurance policy to cover medical costs in the UK. Travel insurance is not enough.

If you are resident in the UK as a Migrant Worker and not as a Student you do not require CSI. Please read the Home Office guidance.

For more information on medical treatment please visit the UKCISA website.