Travel advice for staff and students

Travelling within the UK and EU on or after 1 January 2021

New Year’s Eve 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition period and the end of free movement between the UK and the EU.

The University’s Brexit Working Group has put together the following guidance for staff and students:


The UK Government Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a dedicated website with up-to-date travel advice after Brexit.

You can get latest updates from the FCO Travel Advice Twitter feed (@FCOTravel) and via the hashtag #PrepareforEUExit

The University’s Estates team has information on travel disruption around campus. Many travel providers also have specific Brexit advice relevant to their services on their website, including Eurotunnel and National Express.

There is more information on the potential impact of Brexit on students and staff on the Brexit pages of our website.

We highly recommend you plan your journey before leaving home and be prepared for travel disruptions that may occur after you have left home.

Many travel providers are assisting passengers with journey planning though their websites and social media. 

The University’s Transport Team has information and guidance that may assist you to plan your journey, as well as some useful links to travel providers' websites, mobile apps and journey planners.

Ensure you plan your journey before leaving home. Be prepared for travel disruptions and follow the Government’s Covid safer travel guidance.

We are in touch with Kent Highways and are getting updates as they are available. Should there be any transport issues affecting the Campus Shuttle or our regional roads or railways, our Estates transport team will be providing updates on their website and on their social media channels.

Leaving the EU without a deal could affect travel to and from the UK in a number of ways. It will be important to plan ahead to ensure you have everything you need before you travel. Check directly with travel companies for latest information on their services.

For further information on passenger travel between the UK and the EU after 01 January 2021 can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Yes, although services may not run as normal. In the event of 'no deal', the Government anticipates reaching individual agreements with airlines and rail companies to ensure their services continue. However, there could be short-term disruption to some flights and rail journeys. Check with your provider when you book and be prepared for alternate arrangements if necessary.  

Yes, although it may cost more than it used to. If you have a UK mobile phone, using it within the EU may become more expensive. This will be particularly true for services that use a lot of data, such as streaming videos. Check with your mobile operator to see if they provide free data roaming.

If you have a UK bank account, using your card in the EU may become more expensive. This is also true if your bank is based in the EU and you want to use your card in the UK. Check with your bank before you travel.

The University’s Brexit webpages have further information on the wide-ranging impact of leaving the European Union, including our response to it. If you have any further questions about what this could mean for you, staff please contact and students please contact

You will also find lots of helpful information on getting ready for Brexit on the Government’s transition website.

We are still the UK’s European university. Europe is part of our DNA and we are determined to remain outward looking. Our education and research reflects the expertise and knowledge of our European experts, and we embrace our collaborations with our European partners. That will not change.

For staff

From 1 January 2021, free movement ends and a new points-based system will be implemented treating EEA and non-EEA citizens equally. This will mean that all non-UK and non-Irish citizens entering the UK after 31 December 2020 will be required to obtain a visa in order to work and study. Holidays and short trips will not require a visa.

If you are resident in the UK before 23.00 on 31 December, you may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme which will grant you the same rights currently offered to EU and EEA citizens. The scheme closes on 30 June 2021 and is free of charge. Further information and resources can be found on the Staff Brexit webpages.

Travel to the EEA will change from 1 January 2021. UK citizens are advised to:

  • Check if you need a visa or work permit travelling to the EU and EEA for work or business reasons.  Some countries may not allow entry if the requirements have not been met.
  • Check your passport.  UK passports must have at least six months left and be less than 10 years old.
  • Get travel insurance which covers healthcare
  • Ensure the correct driving documents are held

EEA nationals can continue to use a valid passport to enter the UK and this will not change until at least 2021. EEA ID cards cannot be used to enter the UK from October 2021 unless you hold settled or pre-settled status or a frontier worker permit. Further information can be found here.

Right to work documents will not change until July 2021.

If you are unavoidably delayed through transport delays or disruption and are likely to miss teaching, assessment or examination, contact your line manager or school administration office at the earliest opportunity.

You should also consult the University’s Brexit Short-Term Travel and Pay Policy, which includes advice for both managers and staff generally, as well as specific guidance for/on:

  • Staff who are unable to travel to work who cannot work from home 
  • Reimbursement of additional travel (rail) costs, and
  • Accommodation for “essential” staff.

Yes. You will still need to carry your UK driving licence but you may also need an international driving permit in some EU and EEA countries from 1 January 2021. The type of international driving permit you require will depend on the countries you will drive through. Further details will be available soon.

You may also need a ‘green card’ to prove you have car insurance when driving abroad. You should contact your insurance provider six weeks before you travel to obtain a green card.

A GB sticker should be put on the back of your vehicle even if your number plate shows GB with a Euro symbol. You could get a fine if you do not display a GB sticker where needed.

If you are travelling within the EU or EEA on a University-approved trip relating to your job, the University’s business travel insurance covers emergency medical expenses and will remain valid regardless of Brexit.

If you doing a longer official work placement, you may also need to buy local health insurance from a provider specified by your host employer. If this is the case, you will be contacted directly with more information.

For non-University travel the EHIC may not be valid from 1 January 2021 - you may not be able to access emergency healthcare and may be charged. Travel insurance is recommended. 

For students

Freedom of movement for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will  end with the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. This means that from 1 January 2021, all non-UK nationals will come under immigration control when entering/remaining in the UK.

You must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living in the UK. You may be granted Settled or Pre-Settled status depending on your circumstances and eligibility. If you're not currently in the UK, you are advised to return to the UK before 23.00 on 31 December 2020, in order to protect your existing status or remain eligible for the EUSS.

Students who are non-EU/EEA nationals but a dependant of an EU/EEA national in the UK should ensure they hold a valid family permit. What you'll need after 01 January 2021 will depend on your circumstances - you can find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Students coming to the UK from outside the EU will still be able to travel, provided their Tier 4/Student visa is valid.

If you have already been granted pre-settled status and have been outside of the UK for temporary absences of more than 6 months in any 12 month period, you may be required to return to the UK prior to 31 December 2020 in order to re-start the clock so as not to affect your entitlement to settled status in the future. You should check the information on whether your qualifying period has been affected by coronavirus.

Necessary documentation will stay the same, at least until 31 December 2020. There may be new rules on what is valid when you travel from 01 January 2021. National ID cards will not be accepted for travel to the UK after 01 October 2021 unless you are in a certain category.

If you are a non-UK EU/EEA national then, alongside your passport, make sure you also carry your University of Kent student card as proof of right to study. You will also need a ‘Proof of Student Status’ letter from the Registry. New requests take up to two days to process.

If you experience difficulties at the border, border staff will be able to contact the University at any time of day or night to verify your attendance as a student. You should advise them to call Campus Security on 01227 823300. They will be able to contact the most relevant team/member of staff.

If you are unavoidably delayed through transport delays or disruption and are likely to miss teaching, assessment or examination, contact your school administration office or email at the earliest opportunity. The University has effective processes to review your situation and provide mitigation where appropriate.

Yes. However, if you intend to drive a UK-registered car in the EU after Brexit, you may need a green card from your insurer. If you hold a UK driver’s licence, you may also need an International Driving Permit, which will incur a small cost. Make sure you check in good time to ensure you have all the documentation you need.

Yes, although UK nationals may need to take out additional insurance as, in the event of ‘no deal’, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid.

If you are travelling within the EU on a University-approved trip relating to your course, you will need to register for the University’s student travel insurance – this covers emergency medical expenses and will remain valid regardless of Brexit.

If you doing a longer official study placement, you may also need to buy local health insurance from a provider specified by your host university. If this is the case, you will be contacted directly with more information.

For non-University travel or to access wider medical services, you will need to buy travel insurance to cover health care as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

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