Last modified: 11.01.2019
We know that many EU students will be concerned about their rights in the UK following Brexit and it continues to be uncertain time. Under EU law you have a right to be in the UK to study and work and are not required to have proof of this entitlement. This right will remain whilst the UK remains a member state of the EU which will be for at least until 29 March 2019 and during any transistional period which may be agreed as part of a withdrawal deal. So far the UK government has sought to assure EU citizens currently in the UK that their rights will be protected. Under the terms of the proposed withdrawal agreement they have confirmed that EU citizens and their families will be able to apply for 'settled status' after 29 March 2019. The government have now also produced guidance on EU citizen rights in event of No Deal.
EEA students can get advice about their personal immigration situation from an adviser at the Student Advice Centre. However, we do only have one Immigration adviser and so to ensure that all EU students and their families can get access to advice and information we will be running group information sessions and workshops to provide an overview of the proposed settlement scheme. Discussions are also under way as to how the University and Students' Union will be able to support EU students with the new visa process and we hope to update students shortly.
The first EU Settlement Scheme Information session is to be held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 at 4pm in View Room 6, Level 4 SU building to book a place see here
A further session will be held on Friday February 15th at 12pm in the SU auditorium to book a place please see here (We hope that by this point we may have some more idea about what type of Brexit we are looking at!!))
Please see below for main overview of settlement scheme and Q & A's.
The Government have been piloting the new scheme in recent months and has just announced an extension of the pilot scheme and From 21 January 2019, it will be open to most students.
There is no need to rush to register and EU citizens will have until at least December 2020 to do so. If you do want to apply under the pilot scheme we suggest that you come along to the information session on 23.1.19 and /or use the resources referred to below to help you with the application.
You will be eligible to apply under it if you are either:
The scheme will not be available under this stage of testing to the family members of British citizens who are currently in the UK under EU law provisions.
You will need evidence of your residence in the UK if you choose to apply under this third phase of testing. A permanent residence document meets this requirement and means you will not have to pay for your settlement scheme application.
If you have a National Insurance number, your work records will be automatically accessed as part of the application and will be used to calculate your length of residence. Other evidence of your stay in the UK can include letters from education and healthcare providers - see Home Office information about the EU settlement scheme for examples of evidence and full details of how the application process works.
You will be granted settled status, or indefinite leave, if you have been in the UK for a period of five years (absences of up to six months in any 12-month period and of 12 months, or longer, in specific circumstances are permitted - see Home Office caseworker guidance for details). If you have been in the UK for under five years, or cannot prove that you have been resident for five years, you will be granted pre-settled status, or limited leave. The application fee in both cases is £65 (£32.50 for applicants under 16 years old). If you are granted limited leave, you will be able to apply free of charge when you meet the five-year period of residence for settled status.
See UKCISA blogs by Urszula and Marcel who applied recently under the first and second phases of the EU settlement scheme trials respectively. They explain why they applied, how the application process works, and give helpful hints and tips on what to expect and how to prepare for a successful application.
Seraphus Solicitors, linked to Free Movement, also has a very useful list of relevant documents including links to other organisations ('News and updates') and its own presentations on who is eligible under the scheme, how to apply and grounds for refusal ('Seraphus documents').
(Currently as an EEA national studying (or working) in the UK you can still apply for a residence certificate to show that you are exercising EU Treaty rights in the UK, information on how to do this is provided below. If you have been in the UK for at least 5 years you can also apply for Permanent Residence. further information is provided below about the current EU application process.)
The following information is based on what we know so far about EU citizen rights post Brexit. You may also find the UKCISA briefing on this issue useful.
Following update based on information from UKCISA
The UK gave formal notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union), on 29 March 2017. The process is likely to take a minimum of two years, and the UK remains a member of the European Union during this time. Therefore, there is no change to the position of EEA nationals and their family members in the UK during this time which means students and their family members can continue to exercise their residency rights in the UK.
The Home Office has continued to update their information to provide assurances and information for EEA nationals currently in the UK, and those wishing to come to the UK.
We do not yet know exactly what the future implications for residency will be for EEA nationals and their family members who wish to come to, or remain in, the UK to study. However, the UK government and the EU are in the process of negotiating a Withdrawal Agreement, which includes an agreement on citizens' rights during a transitional/ implementation period from 29 March 2019. This is a period of time (likely to continue until 31 December 2020) during which EU nationals and their family members can come to, or remain in, the UK on broadly the same basis as they can now. The UK are also in the process of negotiation with Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland to reach an agreement on the rights of non-EU EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members.
If a final agreement is reached, those already in the UK before 29 March 2019 and those who come to the UK during the transitional/ implementation period will need to apply for status in the UK under a scheme designed by the UK government. The status granted will be ‘settled’ status or ‘pre-settled’ status depending on the length of time in the UK.
The Free Movement blog has posted a briefing entitled: How to apply for “settled status” for EU citizens
The Home Office has published details of how it intends its EU settlement scheme to work, including draft Immigration Rules in Annex B. The inside front cover provides an email address to which enquiries and feedback may be sent. EU citizens and their family members must apply if they wish to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020.
The aim of the scheme, as stated in the foreword, is that "EU citizens living in the UK, along with their family members, will be able to stay and continue their lives, with the same access to work, study, benefits and public services that they enjoy now. Existing close family members living overseas will be able to join them here in future". The introduction stresses the value placed on the contribution EU citizens and their family members have made to the UK and that "We want those who have chosen to make their home in this country to stay here permanently".
The scheme covers EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020: pre-settled status, or limited leave, if you have been continuously resident in the UK for under 5 years on 31 December 2020 and settled status, or indefinite leave if you have been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years or longer.
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021, although later applications can be accepted if there is a 'good reason' for applying late. We do not yet know how border force officers will differentiate between EU citizens and family re-entering the UK after 31 December 2020 and those arriving in the UK for the first time, so it will probably be a good idea to apply for one of these statuses before 31 December 2020, particularly if you plan to be outside the UK on this date.
The statement of intent provides details of the requirements, how the online application system will work, the forms of evidence which will be needed (in Annex A) and how status will be evidenced (digitally).
We have put together some FAQ's together with the University so please check the 'settled status' scheme pages on University website.
Some key points for students are:
The application fee is £65 (£32.50 for children under 16) and some people will be entitled to apply free of charge (holders of right of permanent residence documents, people with pre-settled status applying for settled status, children in care).
The online application process is currently being piloted and the scheme should be more widely available from early 2019, with full access by 29 March 2019.
To keep up to date with all the rapid changes in rights for EU nationals we recommend that you also you use the following sources:
Updates about the negotiations and the post Brexit position of EU nationals in the UK can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know
Your rights to be joined by family members including those from outside the EU will continue whilst the UK remains a member of the EU. Family members will be able to join you under the proposed settled status scheme see above)
To keep up to date with all the rapid changes in rights for EU nationals we recommend you use the following sources:
You can bring your spouse/partner and children to the UK even if they are not themselves EEA nationals. This includes civil partners and unmarried partners.
If your family member is here in the UK they will need to apply for a residence card on an EEA(FM) or EEA(EFM) form available to download. There is a charge of £65 for this application. It can take up to 6 months for these applications to be processed in the UK.
If your non-EEA family member is outside the UK they will need to apply for a family permit before they travel to the UK.There is no fee for applying outside the UK.
If you are from Croatia your non-EEA family members cannot apply for a residence card until you have completed 12 months' continuous employment in the UK. Until that time, your family member can apply for a family member residence stamp to confirm their right of residence under European law.
If your spouse or partner is from a non accession EEA country they will be able to work without permission in the UK.
If your family member is from one of the accession states they may need to apply for worker registration or authorisation.
Last modified 29/10/18
If your family member is from outside the UK they will be allowed to work provided you are also allowed to work. However, they will need to apply for a residence card to confirm these rights to an employer (see above). If you are not married to each other then your non EEA partner will need to wait until the registration card has been processed. If you are married you should get an acknowledgement letter which confirms your right to work before the application has been processed.
You can have a 1-1 with our International Student Adviser who will also be able to check any European applications for you before you send them to the Home Office or British Embassy abroad. You will need to have:
1. Proof of your living costs (3 months bank statements and sponsor letter if appropriate)
2. Certificate of student status for EEA national
3. European Health Insurance Card issued outside of UK (for proof of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance) plus letter confirming you are temporarily resident in the UK
Last modified 29/10/18
You can download free ebook guides to making EU residence applications at https://www.freemovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/EU-residence-rights-students.pdf
How to apply
There is currently a charge of £65 for these applications and it can take up to 6 months to process. You do not need to use the specified application form provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), however, it easier in most cases to use it.
2. You need to provide 2 photos (get these done at Max Photo
3. A certificate of student status from SSiD.
4. Proof of your comprehensive sickness insurance (a European Health Insurance Card issued in your home country). If you do not have this you will be required to show you have additional private medical insurance which covers you for the duration of your studies in the UK. It is not sufficient to show that you are entitled to use the National Health Service (NHS) for your proof of CSI under current UK government rules. For more information about what CSI is see here
5. Proof of your finances (see detailed guide). There is no specified amount you must show. However, you should be able to show that you have enough money to cover your rent and living costs. The documents you can provide include bank statements, grant/loan letter, letter from parents, pay slips (if you are working).
What happens if I complete my studies?
If you complete your studies whilst the UK is still a member state of the EU and become a worker you will continue to have a right of residence in the UK. You can apply for confirmation of this right using the EEA(QP) form. You will need to provide evidence of your employment but will not have to show proof of comprehensive sickness insurance.
Can I apply for permanent residence in the UK as a student?
If you have been in the UK exercising Treaty rights as a qualified person (student, worker, job seeker, self-employed or self-sufficient person) for five years you may apply for confirmation of your rights to permanent residence. If you want to apply for British citizenship you will need proof of your permanent residence card to support your application.
If you are considering a permanent residence
Free Movement also provide free ebook guides to making EU applications see here
How to apply
There is currently a charge of £65 for these applications and it can take up to 6 months to process. You do not need to use the specified application form EEA(PR) provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), however, if you choose to apply for example by just submitting a letter it will be important that you get advice on the preparation of your evidence. An online form has also recently been introduced. download it from here
2. If you have been studying (and not working) in the UK you will need to show that have been covered by comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) for the duration of your studies. You will be required to provide a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued from your home country.
3. If you have been working during your studies you may be able to apply as a worker rather than as a student depending on the number of hours of work. Generally speaking if you have only being doing casual work for a small number of hours you will not be considered to be a worker. You should seek further advice if this applies to you.
You can apply for settled status if you are an EU citizen and have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years.
Where you do not want to wait for the new scheme, you can apply for permanent residence now only if you meet the criteria. However, you will have to apply again for settlement when the applications open. If you wish to do this, please contact the Student Advice Centre.
You can apply for pre-settled status if you have arrived in the UK on or before 31st December 2020.
Once you have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years
You will be granted 5 years limited leave to remain during which your rights to healthcare, work arrangements and access to benefits will continue.
You will be eligible to apply for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) as soon as you have completed 5 years continuous residence in the UK.
It will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children under 16, unless you have already got a permanent residence permit or pre-settled status (see below).
You will still have to apply but the process will be more straightforward, and you will be able to swap for settled status free of charge.
Where you have already been granted pre-settled status, any application made for settled status on or after 1st April 2019 will be free of charge.
Living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years means you have not been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences.
You will still be eligible for the scheme if you do not leave for more than 12 months and it is for an important reason such as childbirth, pregnancy, serious illness, study, vocational training or overseas posting.
Any period of absence on compulsory military service is permitted.
You will be able to continue to live and work in the UK permanently.
Your rights to healthcare, work arrangements and access to benefits will continue.
After holding settled status for 12 months, you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
You will have to apply for settled status by *30th June 2021.*
The scheme will be fully open by 30th March 2019.
You will not be required to apply for status under the scheme, but you may do so if you wish.
Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK under the common travel area regulations. This is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU.
Your eligible family members (who are not Irish citizens) will be able to apply for settled status without the Irish citizen doing so.
Where you do not want to send your physical passport or identity card by post, you can use an app which will confirm the relevant details remotely using a mobile phone or tablet.
Where the Home Office considers your criminal conviction as “serious” your application may be refused.
You must self-declare your criminal convictions in your application (without having to submit evidence).
Minor offences such as parking fines will not be grounds for refusal.
The Home Office will verify dates using data held by the HM Revenue and Customs and The Department for Work and Pensions.
Where there is no government data you will be able to upload additional evidence.
A draft list of acceptable documentary evidence can be found in Annex A of the UKVI document.
It is currently assumed that applications will need to be made inside the UK. This may be subject to change.
It will be an online application form. Only in particular circumstances can a paper application form be requested.
No, you will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
You will not have to show that you have held comprehensive sickness insurance during your qualifying period.
However, where you want to apply for permanent residence before this is replaced with the Settlement Scheme, you will have to show that you have held CSI or an EHIC card for the whole 5 years of your qualifying period.
Where your application is refused, you will have the right to request an administrative review.
Where you are refused under the scheme before 31st December 2020, you can make a fresh application before 30th June 2021.
A right of appeal may be established if you apply under the scheme after *30th March 2019*, however this is yet to be approved by parliament.
There will be digital means of evidencing your status.
No physical document will be issued to EU citizens.
Non EU citizens will be issued with a biometric residence document.
You will not have to enrol your fingerprints.
You will be required to upload a passport style photograph of yourself as part of the digital application process. This must be a different photograph than the one in your passport.
Yes, we will offer briefing sessions, group workshops and support with making applications. Further details are to follow.