EU students and Brexit

This page provides information on the EU Settlement Scheme for EU, EEA and Swiss students and their family members.


We are expecting some updates to be made to the immigration rules on the EU Settlement Scheme from 9 August 2023 following a recent court judgment. Please see the Home Office announcement of this here:

GOV.UK- EU Settlement Scheme enhancements confirmed

The planned changes will remove the requirement to make an application before the expiry of pre-settled status. The rules will say that the UK government may extend limited permission (pre-settled status) under the EU Settlement Scheme regardless of whether the person with pre-settled status makes a further application under the scheme.

We will make further updates to this webpage once we know more about how this will work in practice.

Arriving in the UK

From 1 October 2021, some EU/EEA nationals will no longer be able to use their national ID card as evidence of identity to enter the UK. 

You’ll still be able to use your ID card if one of the following applies to you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and have not been given a decision yet
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a Frontier Worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

Please see the webpage on entering the UK for more information:

Entering the UK (GOV.UK)

If none of the circumstances in the list above apply to you, you will need a valid passport to enter the UK. You may also require a visa, depending on your circumstances. Please see the section below under ‘New students’.

New students

The deadline for making a first application under the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021, and in most cases applicants needed to be living in the UK before 23:00 GMT on 31 December 2020. Both these deadlines have now passed.

There are a small number of exceptional circumstances where you could be eligible to make a first application for pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (see the information under ‘Pre-Settled Status’ below), but in most cases new students from the EU, EEA or Switzerland will need either: 

  • a Student visa to study at Sheffield (for courses of more than 6 months); or
  • to enter the UK as a Visitor (for courses of 6 months or less, or other types of courses permitted for Visitors)

Making a Student Visa applicationVisitor and short-term student visas

It is not possible to enter the UK as a Visitor and to obtain a Student visa inside the UK whilst you are here as a Visitor.

Pre-settled status

The deadline for submitting a first application under the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. 

In most cases it is now only possible to make a successful application under the EU Settlement Scheme if:

  • You have been granted pre-settled status and are now applying for settled status after living in the UK for 5 years; or
  • You have pre-settled status and your continuous qualifying period for settled status has been paused due to an absence from the UK of more than 12 months that was due to COVID-19, and you need to apply for pre-settled status again to reach 5 years (see the information under ‘Settled Status’ below); or
  • You’re joining a family member that was living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and you meet certain other requirements

If you think the last point applies to you, we would advise you to look at the following resources to check your eligibility and deadlines:

Citizens’ Advice Bureau - EU Settlement SchemeUKVI Information - Applying under the EU Settlement Scheme as a Family MemberOtherwise, if you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have missed this deadline, you have the right to submit a late application. However, UKVI would have to accept that you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by the 30 June 2021 deadline. If you are intending to do this, you should contact the ISSAC team in the first instance. As your situation may be complex, we may refer you to other sources of advice and support, such as

Contact ISSAC

The application is free of charge.

Settled status

In most cases, you must already have been granted pre-settled status under the EU Settlement scheme in order to apply for 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

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.

For information on the types of evidence you can provide with your application, see here:

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, 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 (PDF, 1MB)

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

Marcel’s EU Settlement application

Urszula’s EU Settlement application

Where you have any further questions, contact ISSAC.

contact ISSAC

Frequently asked questions

EU Students and Brexit FAQs

See also