Brexit: Information for EU (and EEA) students (and family members)
Brexit may result in a range of changes over the coming years, but the friendly and multicultural atmosphere at the University of Brighton will stay the same. We have staff and students from over 150 countries around the world, and we continue to welcome new staff to our talented and inclusive community, wherever they’re from.
Although leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s priority, the University of Brighton, like all responsible higher education providers, is planning for every eventuality. Consequently, this page sets out relevant information in both deal and no deal scenarios.
Following the result of the EU Referendum in June 2016, the UK is set to leave the EU. The current date set for the UK to leave the EU is 31 October 2019, however it is possible the UK could leave earlier if a deal is agreed before this date.
The following sets out the UK government’s current position on how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact on EU citizens and their family members currently in the UK before exit day.
Due to the current uncertainty regarding whether the UK will leave the EU with or without a ‘deal’, we cannot currently confirm whether there will be a transitional arrangement in place for students who plan to arrive in the UK for the first time after exit day, however the advice below applies to EU students who are currently in the UK or who will be by exit day.
EU Settlement Scheme
EU students already in the UK prior to exit day will be eligible to apply under the new EU settlement and pre-settlement scheme.
This scheme is expected to be open from 30 March 2019. In the event of the UK leaving the UK without a deal, an EU citizen who wish to remain in the UK will need to apply under the EU settlement scheme by 31 December 2020.
The government have been piloting the new scheme in recent months and have announced an extension of the pilot scheme and from 21 January 2019, it was opened to most students.
You will be eligible to apply under it if you are either:
- an EU national with a valid passport (not identity card), or
- a non-EU who has a residence card or permanent residence card issued on the basis of an application you made on or after 6 April 2015 under EEA freedom of movement regulations.
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.
Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are not eligible to apply during this pilot scheme. You will be able to apply when the scheme is fully open by 30 March 2019.
You will need evidence of your residence in the UK if you choose to apply under this third phase of testing.
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). From 20 March, the scheme will be free, if you applied before 30 March 2019, and paid a fee, you will receive a refund. 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.
In the event of the UK leaving the UK without a deal, you will need to make an application under the EU settlement/pre-settlement scheme by 31 December 2020 in order to remain in the UK beyond that date.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the UK will enter a transitional/implementation period from exit day to 31 December 2020. EU nationals who enter the UK during the transitional period will be able to do so under the current freedom of movement rules, although will need to register if they wish to stay more than 3 months.
In this scenario (where there is a deal and therefore a transitional period), EU nationals will have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under the scheme.
If you require further advice on your eligibility under the EU settlement/pre-settlement scheme please complete our enquiry form. Please note that to apply under the scheme yourself you require a suitable Android device, if you don’t have this the university’s International Student Advice Service has a device you can use which has the appropriate software and app.
In the event that your situation is particularly complex, we can provide you with a list of reputable immigration solicitors and advisers.
Other useful information sources
Tuition fees and loan eligibility
There will be no change to the tuition fee status of current EU students attending UK universities or for those coming for courses starting in 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21. This means that EU students studying at UK universities will pay the same fees as 'home' students for the full duration of their course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.
There has been no change in the eligibility requirements for current EU students at UK universities to receive loans and/or grants to fund their studies for the full duration of their course. The same will apply to those students who start in 2019–20 and 2020–21.
Providing a final exit deal is agreed, the UK is expected to participate in Erasmus+ until the end of the programme in 2020–21. This should allow staff and students to complete mobility periods, and receive funding, through the Erasmus+ programme until the end of the academic year 2020–21.
In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government’s underwrite guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids. The UK will engage with the European Commission with the aim of securing the UK’s continued full participation in Erasmus+ until 2020. However, in the event of a no deal Brexit, if the UK government does not succeed in securing continued Erasmus+ membership, there will be no national alternative to enable students to go abroad. More information on Erasmus+ if there’s no Brexit deal has been published by the Department for Education.
This guidance is for the sole use of University of Brighton applicants and students. It is a guide only and must be used in conjunction with the information referenced on the gov.uk website. The information in this guidance is given in good faith and has been carefully checked. However, the University of Brighton accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.