Schools & Education

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Schools & Education: International Students

Immigration and Visas

Citizens of the 27 European Union (EU) countries are entitled to free entry into the UK to study or work. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

This also applies to citizens of other European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and of Switzerland.

Overseas students from outside these countries can study in Scotland if they can show that they have been accepted on a course and can support themselves financially.

practical-info.png Practical info

If you come into the UK as a student you must spend at least 15 hours a week in study, and you must be able to meet the cost of the course, maintenance and accommodation without working.

However, if you have a student visa you can work 20 hours a week during term time and 40 hours a week during holidays.

Normally there are no restrictions on your spouse and children working in the UK, if you will be studying longer than one year. 

Most overseas students will need a visa to enter the UK. However, nationals from certain ‘non visa’ countries will only need a visa if they are staying longer than six months.

If you enter the UK on a student visa you should make it clear to any immigration and visa officers that you intend to return in your home country at the end of your studies.

If you are applying to come to work in the UK then the success of your application depends on a number of factors including your age and your skills. Stating that you wish to live in Scotland can earn you extra points as Scotland is classed as a region of low population. 

Visit the Home Office website to find out if you will need a visa.


To find out more about courses provided by colleges and universities in Edinburgh have a look at the "Colleges & Universities" section.

Tuition fees

Although students in the rest of the UK have to pay fees, the Scottish Government has abolished tuition fees throughout Scotland (this applies to undergraduates only coming over from European Union countries to study in Scotland as well as to those whose home base is in Scotland).

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