EU students and Brexit

This page provides information on the EU Settlement Scheme for EU students wishing to remain in the UK after the government leaves the EU.

On

New students

If you arrived in the UK by 23:00 on 31st December 2020, and you wish to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020, you can then make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. 

We recommend that you submit your application for pre-settled status as soon as possible after you start living in the UK.

Where you arrived in the UK before 31st December 2020, but you intend to leave the UK again and return to the UK after 31st December 2020, we would advise you to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible. 

You should wait until you have obtained your pre-settled, or settled status before you leave the UK. The time it takes to get your application result can vary, so you should apply in good time before the date you plan to leave the UK.

If you will be arriving in the UK after 11pm on 31 December 2020, and you are studying for more than 6 months, you will need to obtain a visa under the student visa route which was introduced on 5 October 2020.

New student visa route From October 2020

If you will be arriving in the UK after this time, but you will be studying in the UK for 6 months or less, you can come to the UK as a visitor to do this.

Visitor and short-term student visas


EU Settlement Scheme

Where you are an EU student, the EU Settlement Scheme allows you to apply for settled or pre-settled status to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020.

If you arrived in the UK by 23:00 on 31 December 2020, and you do not have pre-settled status yet, you are currently in a 'grace period' in the UK which ends on 30 June 2021. If you apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, you must apply before this deadline, and we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

The application is free of charge.

Settled status

You will be granted settled status or indefinite leave where:

  • you have been in the UK for a continuous period of five years; and
  • you have not been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 month period (no restriction on the number of absences)

A single period of absence for more than six months but not exceeding 12 months is permitted where it is for an important reason such as:

  • Study
  • Childbirth
  • Pregnancy
  • Serious illness
  • Overseas posting
  • Vocational training
  • Coronavirus related absence from the UK:- UKVI have now provided more clarification on this. The guidance also gives details on some absences of more than 12 months that may not break your continuous qualifying period. Please see the following link:

If your continuous qualifying period in the UK has been affected

You must provide relevant evidence (e.g. letters from a doctor, educational institution or relevant government body).

Where you’ve had any absences of 12 months or longer we recommend seeking advice prior to making an application.

Any period of absence on compulsory military service is permitted.

Please visit the page below for more information.

Home Office caseworker guidance

If you have previously been granted pre-settled status, you can only apply for settled status when you have completed 5 years continuous residence in the UK, and you must also apply by the date your pre-settled status expires. 

Therefore, your pre-settled status must expire on, or after, the date you will have completed 5 years continuous residence in the UK.

Pre-settled status

You will be granted pre-settled status or limited leave where:

  • You have been in the UK for less than five years; or
  • You cannot prove that you have been resident in the UK for five years

Your continuous qualifying period must not be broken at the time you submit the application. This means that you must be able to demonstrate that you were resident in the UK 6 months or less before the date you submit the application; or

If you have been absent from the UK for a period of more than 6 months, but not more than 12 months by the date you submit your application, the absence will need to have been for an 'important' reason to not break your continuous qualifying period, such as:

  • Study
  • Childbirth
  • Pregnancy
  • Serious illness
  • Overseas posting
  • Vocational training
  • Coronavirus related absence from the UK:- UKVI have now provided more information on this. The guidance also gives details on some absences of more than 12 months that may not break your continuous qualifying period: Please see the following link:

If your continuous qualifying period in the UK has been affected

Where you’ve had any absences of 12 months or longer we recommend seeking advice prior to making an application.

If successful, 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 or indefinite leave to remain free of charge as soon as you have completed 5 years continuous residence in the UK.

How to apply

To apply under this scheme you must provide evidence of your residence in the UK. Acceptable documents include:

  • Permanent residence card
  • National Insurance number
  • Letters from education and healthcare providers

A full list of acceptable evidence can be found on the page below:

Acceptable evidence of UK residence

Where you have a National Insurance number, your work records will be automatically assessed as part of the application and used to calculate your length of residence.

For further information on how to apply, please visit the page below.

Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme

We have also created a guide showing the questions you will need to answer on the EU Settlement Scheme application form:

Guide to EUSS questions

For information and tips on the application process from fellow international students, please visit the pages below.

Marcel’s EU Settlement application

Urszula’s EU Settlement application

Where you have any further questions, please email International Student Support.

Email International Student Support


Frequently asked questions

EU Students and Brexit FAQs


See Also