Immigration and visas

UK Immigration rules and guidance

The Home Office update and amend the Immigration Rules and Guidance regularly so please see below for the relevant links. Please read the Home Office website to keep up-to-date with changes to UK immigration law and guidance.


Below are the categories of the UK’s Immigration Rules that apply to the majority of those wishing to come to the UK to study. However, there are many other types of immigration permission that allow study in the UK that are not mentioned below. If you are planning to study certain subjects at postgraduate level, you may need to apply for an ATAS certificate to study in the UK.

Student route

The Student route applies to students wishing to study for more than 6 months in the UK and includes rules for Student Dependants. The University of Essex is a Student Sponsor with a track record of compliance.

Home Office guidance for EEA/Swiss nationals about the UK’s points-based immigration system.

Guidance for sponsors

Visitor route

The Standard Visitor route allows some study of up to 6 months duration.

Visa National list

ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)

Some Essex PhD students require ATAS clearance from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office before they can study. Nationals from certain countries are exempt from ATAS.

Visa and Immigration Guidance for Home Office Staff

UK Government COVID-19 Concessions and Guidance

Guidance for Student sponsors, migrants and short-term students about temporary concessions. These are to be read alongside the Immigration Rules and Guidance. Read the UKCISA guidance for further information about the COVID-19 immigration concessions.