Brexit – what does it mean for prospective students?

We understand that the UK’s decision to leave the EU raises some questions about EU citizens’ ability to come to the UK. As Brexit negotiations continue, there is still some uncertainty about some details of this. Here, we are sharing the details that we do know, and also what our expectations are in the event of different scenarios.

Please note that reference to EU nationals here includes nationals of the 26 EU member states (other than the UK and Ireland), nationals of the member countries of the EEA and nationals of Switzerland. It also includes family members of EU nationals. Nationals of Ireland will continue to be able to live, study and work in the UK without restriction.

The UK is expected to leave the EU on 31 October 2019. The Prime Minister has made clear he intends this to be the case even if no deal has been agreed.

  • Scenario 1 – The UK parliament agrees a deal by 31 October 2019

    The EU Withdrawal Agreement will come into force. Part of the Withdrawal Agreement confirms the rights of EU citizens to come to the UK until 31 December 2020 with no additional immigration requirements. EU citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to stay in the UK indefinitely.



    What does this mean for programmes starting in 2020?



    You will be able to study at LBS in the same way EU citizens have been able to do so under free movement rules.



    The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees that until 31 December 2020:

    • You and your family members can continue to come to the UK in the same way you can now – no visas or additional documentation will be required.
    • You and your family members resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 can stay here with no further immigration requirements.
    • If you have been here five years, you can stay indefinitely. You will be required to apply for “settled status”.
    • If you have been here less than five years, you can obtain “pre-settled status” until you become eligible for “settled status”.
    • “Settled status” will only lapse after five years’ absence from the UK.
  • Scenario 2 – The UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019

    The EU Withdrawal Agreement will not be valid. There will be alternative arrangements in place from 31 October 2019.



    What does this mean for programmes starting in 2020?



    • You can come to the UK visa-free until 31 December 2020
    • You will be able to work and study in the UK on this basis until 31 December 2020.
    • To stay past 31 December 2020, you will be able to apply within the UK for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR)
    • Euro LTR means you can stay in the UK for 3 years for work or study
    • After 3 years, you will have to apply for immigration permission under the new UK immigration system.
  • Applicants for progammes starting in 2020 – “no deal” Brexit

    There are alternative immigration arrangements in place if there is a “no deal” Brexit. From 31 October 2019 this would mean:


    • You can come to the UK to work or study for 3 months visa-free
    • During that 3 months you will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLR)
    • ELTR means you can stay in the UK for 3 years for work or study.
    • After 3 years you will have to apply for a different visa
  • Joining LBS from 2021 onwards

    From 1 January 2021, EU and non-EU nationals will require the same immigration permission to study in the UK. The government is currently developing the new immigration system, with an expectation of a form of work visas through a “Points Based” system, based on an applicant’s skills and abilities. We expect this to suit LBS students wishing to stay and work in the UK.



    For student visas, the UK government has committed to increasing accessibility to the UK for international students. We are confident that the new immigration system will support this aim, making it straight-forward for all non-UK students to study at LBS.



    On 11 September, the UK government announced a re-introduction of a 2 year post-study work period. Following successful completion of a degree from a trusted UK institution, graduates will be able to stay and work in the UK for up to 2 years. This is expected to be in place for students starting studies in the UK from September 2020.



    We will continue to monitor developments with the new proposals and update information when it is available.



    If you are a non-EU national, there have been no changes to student visa requirements



    This information is subject to change, and provides a high level view of the situation. Should you require specific advice about your own situation, we advise you consider taking separate legal advice.


    This information is correct at 12 September 2019.

This information is correct at 12 September 2019.