British university students heading to Spain face visa delays due to Brexit

British students due to start university in Spain within weeks could have their plans put on hold due to visa delays.

Spain is one of the top destinations for pupils looking to study abroad with 4,500 going annually. However Brexit has meant students have to apply for a visa before even thinking of moving to Spain to study.

It also means they have had to compile a dossier of documents, including a medical certificate, proof of income, criminal-record check and proof of acceptance at a Spanish university

Some have waited more than a month just for a visa appointment. The delays have prompted Universities UK to write to the Spanish embassy, and the Foreign Office, asking if students can apply while in Spain.

Ella Perret is one of a number of students unsure about their future.

She is set to travel to Madrid next week to spend a year as part of her law degree but she has not booked her flight or accommodation because she is unsure whether she will be allowed to study.

a man standing in front of a building:  (PA Archive)© Provided by Evening Standard (PA Archive)

Like most students, Ms Perret started the application process in June, as the visa documents have to be issued within 90 days of departure.

She told the BBC it has cost her hundreds of pounds but she feels no nearer to her dream of studying in Spain.

“So many times I’ve been tempted to just say I’m not going,” she added.

Students have spent hours queuing outside the consulate in London in the hope of getting any answers.

One such pupil is Laurie, who did not want to give his surname to the BBC because he was worried it might affect his visa application.

He told the broadcaster: “Jumping through all these hoops is difficult and annoying enough but to not get a response from the consulate is dreadful.”


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