Brexit and exchange to the United Kingdom
Please note: due to ongoing discussions and adjustments, the situation remains unclear in many cases even after the UK has left the EU on 1 January 2021. This unfortunately means that despite our efforts to provide complete and up-to-date information no rights may be derived by the information published here. Always double check the information and procedures as published on the UK government websites yourself. You will find the URLs to these websites below.
- General information coronavirus and your exchange
- General Brexit information and your exchange to UK
- Specific Brexit information and study exchange to UK
- Specific Brexit information and traineeships to UK
General information about the coronavirus and your exchange period
Whether you can go on an international exchange depends amongst others on the applicable travel advice for that specific destination and the current Radboud University’s policy on student exchanges in light of the Corona virus. This means that you can only start preparing an exchange after you have met all requirements and if Radboud University agrees to facilitate international exchanges in the next semester. You can find the requirements and other relevant information about the coronavirus and your exchange period here.
General Brexit information and exchange to the UK
Since 31 December 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the European Union. Below, you will find what consequences this possibly has for your exchange to the UK:
Erasmus+ grant remains (partially) applicable for an exchange to the UK
If you are going on an exchange to the UK after 31 May 2023, you can apply for an Erasmus+ grant for up to 100 days. You are allowed to go on an exchange for more than 100 days (up to 1 year), but you will receive a grant for no more than 100 days. This applies to both studies and internships.
You can do an online check to see if you need a visa on the British government's website. After this check, you can also see what documents you need to bring with you for verification by immigration control. See below the sections Specific Brexit Information Study Exchange and Specific Brexit Information Internship for detailed information on these visas.
Required travel documents
If you are travelling to the UK for a study exchange or a work placement, you will need to bring a number of travel documents. Immigration services can request these at any time, both upon entering the UK as during your stay.
To travel to the UK you will require:
- A valid passport
After 1 October 2021 Dutch identity cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document. After this date you will no longer be allowed to enter the UK with an identity card only. We therefore recommend that everyone travels to the UK with a passport.
You may also be asked to show:
- a Letter of Acceptance/CAS on official headed paper proving you’ve been accepted to study at your host institution
- a letter from your home university which explains the relevance of your study/training abroad. Here, your Learning Agreement and your allocation letter from Radboud University can be useful
- that you’re able to financially support yourself during your stay (or have funding from someone else to support you). Remember to bring your Grant Agreement with you as part of this proof
- that you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)
- that you’ve arranged accommodation for your stay
- that you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
For international students who are studying in the Netherlands and want to go on an exchange to the UK, the coverage depends on laws and regulations and the nationality of the student, EU/EEA or non-EU.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at the moment is temporarily still valid in the UK, but this may change in the future. EHIC coverage may not be sufficient which means that you might require additional insurance. So make sure you travel properly insured! Read more about this in: Healthcare for visitors to the UK from the EU - Travel Insurance.
Not sure if you are sufficiently insured for your stay abroad in the UK? Check this easily via the Aon Student Insurance QuickScan. If desired, you can also insure yourself directly with Aon. However, you are free to choose another insurer, as long as you are adequately covered for medical expenses.
Important note: in the UK COVID-19 testing and treatment is free of expenses if you have been contacted by the council and were asked by them to take a test. NHS treatment for people contaminated with the Corona virus is also free of charge for everyone.
Specific Brexit information and study exchange
Whether or not you need a visa will strongly depend on your specific situation. You can do an online check to see if you need to apply for this visa. It also provides information about the documents you need to bring for the check. Please also read the information below for more details on specific procedures.
I am going on a study exchange for a period shorter than 6 months
You very likely do not have to apply for a study visa.
The UK Points-Based Immigration System permits a study period of 6 months within the regular visitors procedure via the so-called Standard Visitor Route, under the condition that you study at a recognized institution (check the list here). This is the case with all of our exchange partners. Important note: via this route you are not allowed to work in the UK during your stay. Important: this route does not allow you to work in the UK during your stay!
Please note: in case of a non-European nationality, you might still be requested to apply for a visa for a stay less than 6 months after all. Here you will find an overview of nationalities that do need to apply for a visa. You can apply for it online. If your nationality is not mentioned on the list, you do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK.
You will not receive a stamp in your passport for a short stay under the Visitor Route. However, you are not allowed to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months. Make a note of the date you arrived in the UK (and when you actually have to leave again)!
Also note that the Immigration Services may still ask you for valid travel documents for a short study exchange (see above under required travel documents).
I am going on a study exchange for a period longer than 6 months
You need to apply for a study visa.
This is only possible when you will be studying at an institution recognised as a 'licensed sponsor'. The latter applies to nearly all institutions of higher education. You can find an overview on: Register of licensed sponsors: students.
In order to be eligible for this visa you need to meet different criteria, like a letter of admission of the host university and proof of sufficient financial means.
The costs for this visa are £348. You might be charged with a so-called 'immigration health surcharge’ (IHS) allowing you to make use of the NHS (National Health Services). The immigration health surcharge calculator can help you calculate the specific surcharge. If you have a valid EHIC card, you can apply for restitution of this health surcharge.
Your host institution will contact you and guide you in this visa process. Contact the host institution yourself in case of specific doubts about how and when to start the visa application.
Please noet: as soon as you arrive the British Immigration Control will give you perission to enter the country, presumably through a stamp in your passport. This is the start date of this 6 month period. You will NOT get such a stamp when you enter the UK via Ireland! Therefore always make sure to travel directly to the UK! If you do not get such a stamp you don't have the permission to study in the UK.
Specific Brexit information Traineeships
The regulations regarding internship exchanges to the UK still change regularly, especially when it comes to visa applications. Keep a close eye on the official channels and if possible, ask your traineeship institution for advice on applying for your possible visa.
I am going on an internship exchange in 2021/2022 or 2022/23
Whether you need a visa depends on the type of internship, the location, and how long you will be doing the internship.
Research internship at host university
If you are doing a research internship at a university for less than 6 months, it may be possible to go to the UK via the Standard Visitor Route for visas. In that case, you do not need to apply for a visa. However, the host university has to recognise the research internship as "research as study" and not as "research for work". In the latter case, you have to apply for the T5 visa. This also applies to research traineeships of longer than 6 months, even if they are regarded as 'research as study'.
All other types of internships
You need to apply for the Tier 5 Government Exchange visa, regardless of the purpose of your internship. This includes research internships that are considered "research for work" by the host institution. The Tier 5 visa allows you to work or intern in the UK for the time you want to intern, plus 14 days.
Applying for a Tier 5 visa includes several steps and takes a lot of time: an application (incl. Certificate of Sponsorship and Biometric Residence Permit) can take at least 3-4 months. So start well in advance!
The costs for this visa are £244. For certain nationalities, including Dutch residents, there is a discount of £55. In addition, you may have to pay a so-called 'immigration health surcharge' (IHS) which allows you to use the NHS, the British health services. You can calculate these costs with the immigration health surcharge calculator.
How does the request for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) work?
In order to request a visa, you first need to request a CoS-number. As mentioned before, it can take 10 weeks before you receive your result of the CoS-request. It is thus important to start in time.
As a first step, it is important to check whether the organization you will do your internship can request a CoS. If your internship organisation is listed on this link, they can apply for your CoS as a licensed sponsor. In case they are not listed, the International Office (IO) for your faculty can request a CoS. There is an overview of all the documents you need to submit at either the organisation of your internship or the faculty IO. You can find this overview on page 3 of the following document.
After you received your CoS-number you can start your visa application for a Temporary Work visa. Normally it takes around 2 to 3 weeks before you get the results of the visa application. For more information, check here.
Are you going to do an internship after May 2023? Then the organisation where you will be doing your internship needs to be a government recognised sponsor. Look for the list of recognised sponsors on the website of the British government.
Biometric Residence Permit
As part of your Tier 5 visa application, you will also have to submit your biometrics (fingerprints and passport photograph) to a Visa Application Centre. In the Netherlands, this is in Amsterdam. If you stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will also be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You need to collect this pass in the UK within 10 days of the arrival date they have indicated in their application form. Where to collect it is stated in the allocation letter you receive after successful allocation. For shorter stays, you will not receive this pass, but you will still need to provide your biometrics as part of your visa application. It is currently unknown how soon you can get to the Visa Application Centre in Amsterdam. So don't wait too long to make an appointment!
Websites with up-to-date information
Always follow the advice of your host institution and/or double check the information on the official UK government websites below:
Andere pagina’s met nuttige informatie voor internationale studenten in de UK: