Swiss students in the UK

King's College in Cambridge
King's College, Cambridge © Pixabay

We appreciate your understanding that the Embassy of Switzerland cannot give binding information or advice for individual cases.

1. Course fees and financial support for students

a. Students starting or continuing courses in the academic year 2020/2021 (i.e. up to 31 July 2021)

There has been no change to the regulations that have been in place for recent years. This means that children of Swiss nationals are not typically eligible for ‘home fees’ unless they are living in the UK as workers or living in the UK with their Swiss parent. In Scotland, students may be eligible for ‘home fees’ even if their parent does not live there.

For more information please refer to the fees guidance of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Home or Overseas fees: the basics

b. Students already living in the UK in 2020 and starting a new course in the academic year 2021/2022

For children of Swiss nationals already living in the UK before 31 December 2020, there are no changes to the regulations that have been in place for recent years. This means that Swiss students are not typically eligible for ‘home fees’ unless they are living in the UK as workers or living in the UK with their Swiss parent. In Scotland, students may be eligible for ‘home fees’ even if their parent does not live there.

For further information please refer to the fees guidance of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Home or Overseas fees: the basics

c. Students moving to the UK to start a new course in the academic year 2021/2022

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status or financial learner support for courses starting in academic year 2021/2022 (i.e. starting on or after 1 August 2021). This means that British universities are free to charge Swiss students full international fees which vary depending on the institution and the course.  Further information:

England: Studying in the UK: guidance for EU students

Scotland: Brexit - Need to know

2. Immigration and visa

In 2021, the UK will implement a new points-based immigration system (PBS). This means that from 1 January 2021, Swiss nationals who do not already live or work in the UK, and are not a family member of someone who does (i.e. Swiss nationals who are not covered by the Citizens’ Rights Agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom), will need to meet specific requirements and apply through the points-based immigration system to study in the UK. They will also need to pass relevant checks, including UK criminality checks. Swiss nationals can continue to visit the UK for up to six months without applying for a visa, and may participate in a wide range of activities, including tourism, visiting family and friends, short term study and business-related activities such as events and conferences. For studies of more than six months, a new ‘Student Route’ Visa has been introduced as part of the points-based immigration system.

a. Prospective students moving to the UK in 2021

EU, EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply through the Student Route of the PBS, ahead of arriving in the UK. This includes those who have started their course remotely in autumn 2020. Further guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss students can be found on the UK government website.

UK points-based immigration system: EU student information

EU, EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to six months without applying for a visa, and may participate in short term study.

b. Prospective students already living in the UK in 2020 and starting a new course in the academic year 2021/2022

Swiss students who are already resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply for a visa through the Student Route if they apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (they have until 30 June 2021 to do so).  

Information on the EU Settlement Scheme (pre-settled/settled status)

For further information please refer to the advice of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) regarding Brexit for EU, EEA and Swiss students on the UKCISA website.

Brexit: immigration, fees and student support for when you arrive