Updated information on Brexit and our support for our current EU, EEA and Swiss staff
The support we are offering current EU, EEA and Swiss staff and how they may be affected by Britain leaving the EU. Updated 7 January 2020.
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, and its implementation clearly poses significant challenges for us as a University community. 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 soon as we have the information to do so.
On 29 March 2017, the UK Government triggered Article 50, which began the formal process for the UK to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. This was subsequently extended until 31 October 2019 and more recently 31 January 2020.
A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU but both the UK and the EU now need to approve and sign the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to approve the necessary legislation in order for the UK to leave on the terms of the Prime Minister's deal. Following its departure, the UK will enter a transition period until 31 December 2020.
The UK could still leave with no-deal if the withdrawal agreement is not approved by 31 January 2020, or at the end of a transition period.
EU Settlement Scheme
In a policy paper released on 5 September 2019, the UK Government has confirmed that the rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, or your family member is, then you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and if successful, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021, with the same access to study, benefits and public services that you enjoy now. You’ll be given either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status.
If you want to bring close family members to the UK before 31 December 2020 (or before 31 December 2025 for spouses and civil partners of Swiss citizens), they’ll need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once they’re here. You may still be able to bring family members after 31 December 2020 but it will depend on a number of circumstances. If you cannot bring your family member under the EU Settlement Scheme, they may still be able to come here in a different way, for example on a family visa.
We have produced a full guide to the EU Settlement Scheme and how you can apply.
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.
'No deal' scenario
The UK Government is negotiating the terms of its exit from the EU but even in the event of leaving with a no-deal both sides have stated that the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK will be respected.
The main points in relation to a no-deal scenario are:
the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to run for those resident in the UK by the exit date
the EU Settlement Scheme will run until 31 December 2020, instead of 30 June 2021
the Home Office will continue to look to grant, rather than refuse, status and the more generous EU Settlement Scheme requirements will remain with, for example, comprehensive sickness insurance still not being required
existing close family members (children, spouses and partners, parents and grandparents) of those resident in the UK by the exit date, where the relationship existed by this date, will still be able to join them in the UK
as a result, EU nationals and their family members resident in the UK by the exit date will still be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK.
European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) Scheme will allow EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK for the very first time after the exit date to live, work and study in the UK.
You will need to apply if you:
are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen (with the exception of Irish citizens); and
arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU; and
want to stay in the UK for more than three months.
EU nationals who are granted Euro TLR will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date of their application. Euro TLR will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status.
After 36 months, EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will be required to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system, which will come into effect from 1 January 2021.
Further details will be published once information is provided by the UK Government.
Healthcare in the case of no-deal
The UK Government (Department of Health and Social Care) has published guidance pages for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK about accessing healthcare in the UK in the event of a no-deal situation.
The UK Government has confirmed that if there is no-deal, it will protect the rights of citizens from EU, EEA or Swiss member states, who are living lawfully in the UK on exit day, and this includes their entitlements to NHS cover.
Under this agreement, if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national living lawfully in the UK on exit day, you will be able to use the NHS as you do now.
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.
Support for our EU, EEA, Swiss and other international staff
We remain committed to being a truly international centre of excellence and want to reassure you that our international outlook has not changed.
Independent immigration advice
If you would like 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 dependants 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.
As a University we recognise that this will be a challenging time for many in our campus community, particularly those staff from the EU, EEA and Switzerland who may be feeling particularly vulnerable.
If you are aware of students who need support, please encourage them to contact Student Services on ext. 4321, 01225 383838 or firstname.lastname@example.org or or call into one of the wellbeing drop-in sessions which are open every afternoon of the year in the Roper Student Services Centre in 4W.