Students - residence rights
Affected by Brexit?
On 1 January 2021, the rules for EU citizens living in or moving to the UK will change. The same applies to UK nationals living in or moving to an EU country.
I have permanent residence in the UK/EU or will acquire it during the transition period
In principle, you and your family members will continue to have permanent residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.
I reside in the UK/EU but am not yet entitled to permanent residence
In principle, you and your family members will continue to keep your current residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.
I want to move to the UK/EU
You and your family members may move to the UK or to an EU country under the current EU rules until 31 December 2020. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must then apply to the EU settlement scheme. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities whether you have to register and if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.
I want to go to the UK/EU for a short stay
I need help
If you think that your rights under EU law are not being respected, contact our assistance services.
You have the right to live in the EU country where you are studying for the duration of your studies if you:
- are enrolled in an approved educational establishment
- have sufficient income, from any source, to live without needing income support
- have comprehensive health insurance cover there.
National authorities may not require your income to be above the level that would qualify you for basic income support.
You could lose your right to stay in the country if you finish your studies and cannot prove you are working or have sufficient resources to support yourself.
Reporting your presence and registering your residence
During the first 3 months of your stay, your host country cannot require you to register your residence. You can do so if you wish.
After 3 months, your host country may require you to register your residence with local authorities, to show that you meet the conditions to stay as a student and obtain a document confirming your right to stay.
You will need:
- proof of enrolment at an approved educational establishment
- proof of comprehensive health insurance
- declaration that you have sufficient resources to support yourself without needing income support: resources may come from any source
You don't need to provide other documents.
Can you be requested to leave or be deported?
You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer meet these requirements, the national authorities may require you to leave.
In exceptional cases, your host country can deport you on grounds of public policy or public security - but only if it can prove you represent a serious threat.
The deportation decision or the request to leave must be given to you in writing. It must state the reasons for your deportation and specify how you can appeal and by when.
If you have lived legally, meeting the conditions to stay in another EU country, for a continuous period of 5 years you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence there. This means that you can stay in the country as long as you want.
Your continuity of residence is not affected by:
- temporary absences (less than 6 months per year)
- longer absences for compulsory military service
- one absence of 12 consecutive months, for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, work, vocational training or a posting to another country
You can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside the country for more than 2 consecutive years.