Latest visa news in Europe 2024

Europe sees thousands of international students enter the region every year. To manage the influx and ensure the quality of entrants, countries in the European Union and the United Kingdom constantly update their student visa rules and processes. International students must stay on the pulse of this news so that they can continue pursuing their education without interruption. Here’s a quick breakdown of the latest visa news in Europe in 2024. In particular, we focus on the key study-abroad destinations of the UK, Germany and France.


United Kingdom

The latest news on visas in the United Kingdom includes a new rule that no longer allows international students to bring their dependent family members along with them. This rule, however, doesn’t apply to the following:

  • students on PhD and research postgraduate programs
  • students pursuing a Master’s in the UK on a government scholarship.


The move is a step towards curbing the region’s large net migration numbers. Migrants have ballooned partly because of a surge in the number of dependents brought by students. A statement from the Home Office said, “[t]he changes to student visas strike the right balance to continue to preserve the attractiveness of the UK’s world-leading higher education sector while removing the ability for institutions to undermine the UK’s reputation by selling immigration, not education.”

The UK has also updated rules for course completion requirements and PhD study duration requirements for a work visa. All students must now complete their course before switching to a UK work visa. They must also have a post-course job start date to be eligible for the visa status change. PhD students must also now finish 24 months of study before switching to a work visa (e.g. a Skilled Worker visa).



In other European visa news, Germany is introducing new study permit rules in phases. The first reforms were announced in November and other changes will be implemented in March and June 2024. These updates are designed to address the labour shortage in the country by making it easier for non-EU nationals, especially those from developing countries, to work and live in Germany. Skilled workers shall be permitted to take their spouse, children and parents into the country. Parents-in-law may also be eligible, given that the student’s spouse also becomes a permanent German resident.

Germany has also announced new initiatives to attract international students. This includes recruiting foreign nationals to train them to be future specialists in the local workforce. Launched by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD Germany), this will manifest through two programs: FIT and Profi Plus. The former will prepare foreign graduates to join the workforce through tailor-made courses and programs in participating universities. The latter, on the other hand, will accommodate those who already have a foreign university degree and work experience; they’ll be trained to adapt to the German labour market.



Similar to Germany, France is implementing plans to hook more foreign students. It particularly aims to attract 30,000 Indian students by 2030. As part of this, the country is offering a five-year Schengen visa to Indian nationals who possess postgraduate degrees or higher and have spent at least one semester studying in France. This will enable alumni to travel freely within the EU for up to five years.

To make classes for international students in France more accessible, courses will initially be taught in English. That said, French language courses will be encouraged to help learners transition to classes in the local tongue.


Stay updated on the latest visa news in Europe 2024

As part of upGrad GSP’s dedication to helping international students, we’re always up to date with what’s happening with the study-abroad sector in key destinations. Follow us on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest visa news in Europe and beyond or contact our business development experts to know how to be part of our network.

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