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.
Following the result of the EU Referendum in June 2016, the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the parties entered into a transitional period until 31 December 2020 During the transitional period EU laws will continue to apply in the UK, as will freedom of movement between the EU and UK for citizens.
The following sets out how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members currently in the UK before the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020.
EU Settlement Scheme
Who is eligible?
EU, EEA and Swiss students already in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for stutus under the new EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline to apply under the scheme is 30 June 2021, however we do encourage you to apply sooner rather than later.
Please note that it is very important to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021 to remain in the UK lawfully beyond that date.
You need to apply under the scheme even if you do not plan on staying in the UK long term.
You will be eligible to apply under it if you are either:
- an EEA or Swiss national with a valid passport, or national ID card, or
- a family member of an EEA or Swiss national and are not an EEA/Swiss national yourself but have 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 (as the family member of an EEA/Swiss national).
You should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme even if you have been in the UK for a very long time and even if you have a Permanent Residence document issued under the EEA regulations.
You can make the application even if you are currently outside of the UK, providing you were here for at least on day in the last six months. We encourage you to seek advice from our international student advisers if you are applying from outside of the UK.
Please note that if you are an Irish citizen, or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you do not need to apply under the EU Settlement scheme.
If you are unclear on whether you need to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact the university’s International Student Advisers by completing the Brexit enquiry form.
What status will I get?
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).
How to make an application for status under the EU Settlement Scheme
Applications are made online
The first step is to verify your identity by downloading the EU Exit: ID document check app. You need your EU passport or identity card (with biometric chip) or if you are the family member of an EU/EEA national, your biometric residence card. If you cannot use the app, there are alternative ways to verify your identity by sending your ID to UKVI or by booking an appointment to scan your ID document in person.
Once you have verified your identity, you need to complete the identity verification form from the Home Office.
You will usually need evidence of your residence in the UK if you apply under the Settlement Scheme.
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. If you do not have a National Insurance Number or your National Insurance records don't show your full residence, you will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. You will be told for which periods you need to provide evidence of residence.
If you are applying for pre-settled status
You only need one documnet to show you have been resident in the UK for at least one day in the last six months. This could be in the form of a utility bill, bank statement showing transactions in the UK or a university student status letter see Home Office information about the EU settlement scheme for examples of evidence and full details of how the application process works.
If you are applying for settled status
You are likelt to need more evidence of your residence. You will be eligible for 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). Unless you have five uninterrupted years of National Insurance contributions, you will need to prvide evidence of any periods of residence over the five years for which there are no NI records. See Home Office information about the EU settlement scheme for examples of evidence and full details of how the application process works.
Absences from the UK
In order to be eligible for settled status, you need to complete five years continuous residence in the UK. Continuous residence is usually broken if you are absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12 month period. A single absence of up to 12 months may be permitted for an 'important reason'.
If you left the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic please note that UKVI have confirmed that a single absence of up to 12 months for COVID-related reasons is likely to be considered to be an 'important reason' and will not break your continuous residence. we are waiting for further guidance on this. If you think you will be out of the UK for more than 12 months or are not sure if your Covid-related absence will be treated as an important reason, please seek advice from the International Student Advisers.
If you require further advice on your eligibility under the EU settlement/pre-settlement scheme please complete our enquiry form.
The university's International Student Advisers are able to offer you advice and assistance on making your application under the EU Settlement Scheme. 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 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.
For courses starting in the academic year 2021-22 the UK government have announced that EU/EEA nationals who are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be eligible for home/EU fees. However, EU/EEA nationals who are not covered by the EU Settlement Scheme will no longer be eligible for home/EU fees for courses starting in 2021-22 (courses starting after August 2021). We are still waiting for the full details of the fee and funding regulations for 2021-22 and therefore we do not know what the full criteria will be. Further information can be found on the UKCISA website.
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 through the Erasmus+ programme until the end of the academic year 2020–21.
The UK government have stated it is open to participation in the new Erasmus successor programme from 2021, although this will be part of future relationship negotiations with the EU once the scheme has been finalised.
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.