Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals
Last updated: 13 August 2019
EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals
On 10 April the EU granted the UK a further extension to Article 50. The new deadline is the 31 October 2019, however if a withdrawal agreement is made and approved before 31 October, we may leave before then. This means that until a withdrawal agreement has been made or until the new deadline of 31 October 2019, the UK will remain a member of the EU and UK/EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will have the same rights as they do today.
If the EU and the UK Government agree upon a withdrawal agreement before 31 October, the UK will begin the process of leaving the EU. If the current withdrawal agreement is agreed there will be an implementation or transitional period which will likely end on 31 December 2020. During the transitional period, EU, EEA and Swiss students and eligible family members will be able to come to enter, or remain in, the UK on the same basis as they can now.
EU/EEA/Swiss students and eligible family members wanting to stay beyond the end of the transitional period will either need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or apply under another relevant immigration category.
Brexit may cause some uncertainty for prospective students wanting to come to the UK to study. UKCISA provide a very useful page for prospective EU/EEA and Swiss nationals on what is currently known about how Brexit will affect students and their families and touches on fee status, student funding and immigration:
UKCISA - Brexit: what does it mean for students and their family?
SEPTEMBER OFFER HOLDERS - Unibuddy Q&A Sessions
If you have questions about how you might be affected by Brexit, sign up to one of our Unibuddy Q&A sessions where advsiers will be online to answer any questions you have.
For current students, please visit our internal pages, where we have additional information and FAQs for you:
Immigration for new arrivals - Do I need a visa?
EU Settlement Scheme applications
Do I need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme now?
There is currently no requirement for EU/EEA or Swiss nationals to apply for any immigration permission to travel to and study in the UK. You will need a valid passport or EU national identity card to enter the UK.
Can you help me submit my application for Settled Status?
Immigration Rules post Brexit Transition Period
You do not need to apply at present, but, if you are already in the UK, you can do so if you wish. Please note, if you are a current student and intend to travel outside of the UK for more than 6 months, please contact the Advice & Guidance Team. Otherwise, please visit our FAQs.
Gov.UK have provided a very useful tool, which gives some information on what to do and when, depending on your current status - Continue to live in the UK after it leaves the EU
Health Insurance whilst in the UK
The immigration routes for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals arriving after the transition period are still under discussion with the Home Office and UK Parliament. An Immigration White Paper was released in December 2018, which outlined the proposed immigration options for all Non-UK/Irish nationals moving forwards. There will now be a 12-month consultation period before a final policy is laid before parliament for approval. We will continue to update our webpages as this develops.
Whilst the UK is a member of the EU: EU/EEA and Swiss nationals can access the NHS with a valid EHIC card. You can find more information about this scheme, including the exceptions, here: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559
Without a valid EHIC card you could be charged for using the NHS, unless you have alternative private medical insurance. You cannot apply for your EHIC in the UK.
EU/ EEA and Swiss students are required to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) to be exercising your treaty rights whilst in the UK. This includes a valid EHIC card or comprehensive private medical insurance. However, you do not need to provide evidence of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for the EU Settlement Scheme application. You can find out more about CSI here:https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/EU-EEA--Swiss-Students/Staying-in-the-UK-as-a-student#layer-5121
If the UK leaves the EU: It is currently unclear whether an EHIC card will still be valid if the UK leaves the EU without a “deal”. Whilst the government have stated it is their intention for the EHIC card to still be valid, this will depend on decisions by individual countries on agreeing reciprocal healthcare arrangements.
EU, EEA and Swiss students should therefore be prepared to purchase private medical insurance if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, to ensure they still have access to healthcare in the UK.
As the situation is subject to change, it is advisable to check the government website regularly to assess whether you would have access to healthcare after the UK leaves the EU: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-eu-and-efta-citizens-visiting-the-uk