University of Bath

How Brexit may affect prospective and current EU staff at the University of Bath

The support we are offering to prospective and current EU staff and how they may be affected by Britain leaving the EU.

The UK’s vote to leave the EU and the questions it raises

Our University is proud to welcome over 100 nationalities amongst its staff and students.

The vote to leave the EU clearly poses significant challenges for us as a university. It creates uncertainty and leaves many unanswered questions.

Because of the result of the referendum, you may have important questions that need urgent answers. We will aim to answer them as we find out further information.

Leaving the EU will not happen overnight – there will be a gradual exit process with significant opportunities for universities to seek assurances and influence future policy.

If you are an EU national currently living and working here

In the first round of Brexit negotiations in December 2017, the UK government and EU representatives agreed in principle to citizens’ rights for EU nationals living in the UK.

Progress in the negotiations – EU Settlement Scheme

On 21 June 2018, a Statement of Intent on the EU Settlement Scheme was published by the Home Office.

This Statement highlights the agreement reached with the EU guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and of UK nationals living in the EU.

EU citizens living in the UK, along with their family members, will be able to stay and continue their lives, with the same access to work, study, benefits and public services that they enjoy now. Existing close family members living overseas will be able to join them here in future.

To obtain settled status EU citizens will generally need simply to have lived continuously in the UK for five years. Those with less than five years’ continuous residence will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point.

If you are an EU citizen in the UK, we strongly encourage you to sign-up for email updates from the Government.

The same has been agreed for British citizens living in Europe.

What the EU Settlement Scheme will mean :

The agreement the UK has reached for EU citizens and their families is:

  • EU citizens and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’, enabling them to stay indefinitely - this covers the implementation period running from 30 March 2019 (day after the UK leaves the EU) to 31 December 2020

  • EU citizens and their family members who arrive by 31 December 2020, but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years, will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’, enabling them to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status

  • EU citizens on temporary settled status can spend up to six months of each year out of the UK, and, in exceptional circumstances (e.g. for healthcare, training or work), one period of up to 12 months of continuous time outside the UK

  • EU citizens with permanent settled status can spend up to five years of continuous time out of the UK without losing their settled status

  • EU citizens arriving during the transition period, between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, will need to register to stay here for more than three months

  • EU citizens and their family members with settled status or pre-settled status will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK

  • Close family members living overseas will still be able to join an EU citizen resident here after the end of the implementation period, where the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK. Future children are also protected

  • EU citizens granted status under the scheme will be able to travel to and from the UK using a valid passport or (at least until 31 December 2025) a valid national identity card

Application for Settled Status

The EU Settlement Scheme will be delivered through a streamlined, digital application process which will be implemented from late 2018 so that EU citizens and their family members can begin to obtain their new UK immigration status at their earliest convenience.

  • Application will be online, with documents (where required) and proof of ID provided by post or in person, or via an online app, although the app will not work with Apple devices

  • The process will be particularly straightforward for those who already hold a valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain document, which they will be able to swap for settled status free of charge

  • Applications will be automatically linked to the past seven years of HMRC / DWP data, so any work which EU citizens have paid tax on, or benefits they have claimed in that period, will automatically prove eligibility

  • If they do have an HMRC / DWP record, EU citizens can use further evidence (e.g. bank statements, P60, tuition fee invoice, SLC letter, tenancy agreement, council tax bill, payslip, utility bill)

  • It is expected that the UK will begin to accept settled status applications in a phased role out from Autumn 2018 and is expected to be fully open on 30 March 2019. It will remain open till June 2021

  • A new public test phase of the EU Settled Status application process will open on Monday 21 January 2019, in which any EU citizens with a valid passport, will be able to apply for settled or pre-settled status. As such, EU students and family members of HE staff will be able to apply for settled status during this test phase, which they were not able to do during the two -previous pilot phases. Non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card will also be able to apply for settled or pre-settled status. The Home Office have confirmed that other EEA and Swiss nationals are not eligible to apply during this test but will be able to once the Scheme is fully live. Applicants will be able to start the application process directly using the website link which will go live from live from 21 January.

  • EU citizens and their family members will not be required to apply immediately; there will be no change to their current rights until the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020, and the deadline for applications to the scheme by those resident here by the end of 2020 will be 30 June 2021.

Citizens of Ireland

Brexit will not change the status of Irish nationals and they will not need to apply for pre-settled or settled status. Irish people are automatically deemed to hold settled status in the UK, so they are not required to do anything in preparation for Brexit. However, Irish people can continue to apply for British citizenship if they meet the requirements. In particular, they must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days in the five year period before they apply, or 90 days in the year immediately before the application.

Citizens of Switzerland and the EEA

The UK government is in separate discussions with the governments of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Officials from the EEA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the UK met on 12 February 2018 to discuss the agreement reached by the UK and the EU on citizens’ rights in December 2017. They subsequently issued a statement to confirm that positive discussions took place at the meeting and the parties affirmed their desire to secure the status and protect the rights of UK nationals living in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and nationals of those countries living in the UK.

The government has suggested that the scheme described in the Statement of Intent will be open to other EEA and Swiss Citizens (and their family members) on a similar basis as for EU nationals. We will provide a further update once more information is made available.

Support for our EU and other international staff

We remain committed to being a truly international centre of excellence and want to reassure you that our international outlook, the quality of our staff, and the excellence of our research and teaching have not changed.

Immigration presentations and guidance sessions

The University held presentation and advice sessions in 2016/17 where EU or international employees were able to get expert advice from an immigration specialist.

Independent immigration advice

If you want independent advice on your immigration situation, GOV.UK provides information on how to find an immigration adviser in your local area. These are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Interest-Free Loan Scheme for Home Office Application Fees and Related Legal Costs

The University has an Interest-Free Loan Scheme in place for employees and their dependents to help with the costs associated with Home Office application fees and related legal advice regarding securing a legal right to live and work in the UK. Our detailed guide has more information.

Your pension

There is no immediate change to your pension as a result of the decision to leave the EU, however, all pension schemes are impacted by the wider economy. Therefore the economic impact of the referendum decision may be reflected in pension scheme decisions in the future, though it is too early to say what the effect might be.

Please read the USS and LGPS websites for information. You may also receive information directly about your pension scheme, including any updates, by letter or email.

EU funded projects

The UK’s status as a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the referendum vote. Existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless announced otherwise. Universities UK (UUK), the UK Research Office and the European Commission have told institutions that detailed advice on prospective and currently negotiated projects will be circulated as soon as is possible.

UUK will continue to update their website with information about Brexit and we advise you to check regularly for updates.

If you are an EU or other national who wants to work at Bath

We value all our staff and their contribution to the University and recognise how important it is that we remain thoroughly international in our outlook.

There are no immediate changes to the UK’s immigration policies and the free movement of people and services will continue while the UK remains a member of the EU.

If you have been offered a job here and have any concerns about accepting it, please contact us at