EU Students and Brexit FAQs
Below are some Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs) for EU students wishing to remain in the UK after the government leaves the EU.
Who can apply for settled status?
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. Citizens from Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland can also apply. Non-EU family members of EU citizens can also apply for settled and pre-settled status.
Further details about this are available on the Student Advice Centre website.
Will my UK degree still be recognised in the EU after Brexit?
UK degrees are recognised in many countries around the world, and there are a number of agreements between different countries that support this. Some of these are not related to the European Union which means that after the UK leaves the EU, most academic qualifications will still be recognised.
I haven’t lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years. Can I still apply for settled status?
You can apply for pre-settled status if you arrived in the UK by 23:00 on 31st December 2020.
What does “pre-settled status” mean?
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.
How much will it cost to apply for settled status?
There will be no fee. If you submitted your application before 29 March 2019 and paid a fee, the UK Government states the fee will be refunded to you.
I already have a valid permanent residence document. Do I still have to apply?
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. Those with permanent residence will not be charged even in pilot phase.
Once I have been granted pre-settled status, how much will it cost to apply for settled status?
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.
What does “continuously” mean? What if I have travelled outside the UK during the last 5 years?
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.
Are there any exceptions if I left the UK for a single period of more than 6 months?
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.
What rights will I have by obtaining settled status?
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.
I will have lived in the UK for 5 continuous years by 31st December 2020. When is the deadline for me applying for settled status?
You will have to apply for settled status by 30th June 2021.
However, we would recommend that you submit the application as soon as possible once you have completed 5 years' continuous residence and you are eligible.
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.
I am an Irish citizen. Do I have to apply for settled status?
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.
Will I have to provide my passport or national identity card?
In most cases you will provide confirmation of your identity digitally via
an app - EU Exit: ID Document Check.
You will be required to scan your passport or ID card using a compatible android device, but you would not be required to send off your passport/ID card by post.
Will criminal convictions affect my application for settled status?
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.
Seek further advice if you are concerned about this.
How will I be able to prove my continuous residency?
The Home Office will verify dates using data held by the HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions. They will ask for
your National Insurance number as part of the application. Where there is no government data you will be able to upload additional evidence.
Information about acceptable documents can be found here:
Can I apply outside the UK?
Yes, it is possible to apply from both inside and outside of UK.
However, you will need to have evidence that you have been resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, and your absence from the UK must not have broken your continuous qualifying period.
Will the application be online or on paper?
It will be an online application form. Only in particular circumstances can a paper application form be requested.
Will I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?
No, you will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Will I have to show that I have held comprehensive sickness insurance?
You will not have to show that you have held comprehensive sickness insurance during your qualifying period in order to qualify for settled status.
However, if you are travelling to the UK to exercise your right to reside in the UK as a student, it is still important to hold CSI or an EHIC card. You will need to obtain this in your home country before you travel to the UK.
If you have pre-settled or settled status you will be able to access free NHS services. EU, EEA or Swiss students that apply for a Student visa that is valid for more than 6 months will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application, and be able to access NHS services due to this. If you do not have this status and you are visiting England (ie if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national that has not been granted a UK visa that is valid for more than 6 months), see the links below for information on what access to treatment you will have. This depends on a number of factors.
- UK Government Information Leaflet on EHIC & Healthcare in England
- NHS Information on EHIC & Healthcare in England
What happens if my application is refused?
You may be able to apply for an administrative review of the decision.
If you applied under EUSS after 23:00 on 31 January 2020, you can also appeal to an independent immigration tribunal.
Another option would be to make a fresh application under EUSS before 30th June 2021. Please seek advice before taking further action.
What document will I receive to prove my status?
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.
Will I have to enrol my biometrics?
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.
Will the University help me with my EU settlement application?
Yes, we will offer group workshops, presentations and individual support sessions.
Please check this page for further details: