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Brexit EEA Nationals

Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals

Last updated: 19 August 2020

EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals 

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, which was made between the UK and the EU. (Separate agreements were made between the UK and Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland). These agreements became law in the UK under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.  This enactment included the current transitional period, which is expected to continue until 31 December 2020. 

Your ability to travel, live and study in the UK will not be affected during the transition period.

 

What this means for you?

 

Living in the UK by the 31 December 2020

EU/EEA Swiss nationals and eligible family members who are living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and wanting to stay beyond this date, will either need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or apply under another relevant immigration category.

EU/EEA Swiss nationals who are living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme gives EU/EEA/Swiss nationals the opportunity to protect their residence in the UK after the transition period has ended on 31 December 2020. The Settlement Scheme is not only for those who intend to settle in the UK after studying. It is an immigration permission, which can lead to settlement, but does not have to be used to gain settlement. With permission under the scheme there will be no restrictions on study.

 

Arriving in the UK after the 31st December 2020

 

Current information states that after the transitional period ends on the 31 December 2020 – EU citizens (who do not qualify under EU Settlement Scheme or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement) will need to apply and qualify for immigration permission on the same basis as non-EU citizens.

This means that EU/EEA/Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after the 31 December 2020 will need to apply under the new student route to be eligible to study a course in the UK. The government outlined its intended plans for the new immigration system in a policy paper that was released in February 2020 and have produced a paper for EU national’s -The UK's points-based immigration system An introduction for EU citizens

We will continue to update this page as soon as we receive new information.

 

 

The current landscape is unpredictable and may cause some uncertainty for prospective students wanting to come to the UK to study. UKCISA provides up-to-date information for prospective EU/EEA and Swiss nationals wanting to come to the UK to study and explains how leaving the EU will affect them and their families depending on when they arrive in the UK. The information covers fee status, student funding and immigration:

UKCISA - Brexit: what does it mean for students and their family?  

 

For current students, please visit our internal pages, where we have additional information and FAQs for you:

https://internal.kcl.ac.uk/brexit/student/index.aspx

 

Immigration for new arrivals - Do I need a visa?

There is currently no requirement for EU/EEA or Swiss nationals arriving in the UK by 31 December 2020 to apply for immigration permission to travel to and study in the UK.  You will still be able to use a valid passport or EU national identity card to enter the UK.

EU/EEA Swiss students and eligible family members who are living in the UK by the 31 December 2020 and wanting to stay beyond the end of the transitional period will either need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the relevant deadline or apply under another relevant immigration category.   

Arriving to the UK after the 31st December 2020

Current information states that after the transitional period ends on the 31 December 2020 – EU citizens (who do not qualify under EU Settlement Scheme or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement) will need to apply and qualify for immigration permission on the same basis as non-EU citizens.

This means that EU/EEA/Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after the 31 December 2020 will need to apply under the new student route to be eligible to study a course in the UK. The government outlined its intended plans for the new immigration system in a policy paper that was released in February 2020 and have produced a paper for EU national’s -The UK's points-based immigration system An introduction for EU citizens

We will continue to update this page as soon as we receive new information.

For further advice, please get in contact with the Advice & Guidance Team.

 

EU Settlement Scheme applications

The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and eligible family members and is free to apply. 

The Settlement Scheme is an immigration application and as such you should ensure you are eligible and have the relevant documentation available before submitting your application.  A refusal can impact on your immigration history, so please ensure you read the most up-to-date guidance available before applying.

To apply you can either use the identity (ID) app (available on android phones/tablets/iphone) to confirm your identity and then complete an application online  or you can upload your documents via an application centre and complete the application online. 

Both UKCISA and gov.uk have some useful information and guides on the EU Settlement Scheme:

Gov. UK - Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families

UKCISA - Brexit - EU Settlement Scheme

Can you help me submit my application for Settled Status?

Applying for the EU Settlement scheme has been designed to be both quick and straightforward. There are several useful resources available to refer to when making your application. We have listed these further down the page. However, if you have questions regarding your individual situation, then please contact the Advice & Guidance Team.

If you are planning to apply using the Settlement Scheme, you should start preparing your evidence of eligibility as outlined in the most recent guidance

 

Useful Resources:

UKCISA: Brexit: what we know for EEA students and their family

UUK (Universities UK): Brexit FAQs

The Free Movement Blog has a useful summary of how to apply for "settled status" with screen shots of the application process: How to apply for "settled status" for EU citizens

There is also a YouTube video of a mock application.

Sign up for Home Office email alerts - Status of EU citizens in the UK - email alerts 

Immigration Rules beyond the end of the transition period

Under current plans a new student route is being planned for international students and is set to replace Tier 4. The new student route is very similar to Tier 4 and due to be introduced in October 2020. The new student route will be available for EU/EEA/Swiss students from January 2021 onwards.

It is expected that EU/EEA/Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 (who do not qualify under EU Settlement Scheme or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement) will need to apply under the new student route to study in the UK.

The government outlined its intended plans for the new immigration system in a policy paper that was released in February 2020 and have produced a paper for EU national’s -The UK's points-based immigration system An introduction for EU citizens

Health Insurance whilst in the UK

The UK has left the EU and is now in a transition period until the end of 2020. During this period, there will be no changes to how EEA and Swiss citizens access healthcare in the UK. After this date, these rights may change, depending on the negotiations with the EU.

Therefore, EU/ EEA and Swiss students are required to meet the current regulations to access healthcare in the UK.

Current regulations state that EEA and Swiss nationals have an initial right to reside in the UK for three months provided they hold a valid national identity card or passports. The right to reside can then be extended if you are ‘exercising a Treaty right’. An EEA national who is residing in the UK as a student must have “comprehensive sickness insurance” (CSI) to be exercising Treaty rights in those capacities.

This includes a valid EHIC card or comprehensive private medical insurance. You can find more about health insurance on the UKCISA website:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/EU-EEA--Swiss-Students/Staying-in-the-UK-as-a-student#layer-5121

 

We advise that your insurance includes adequate healthcare cover for any period you study/work away from your home country.

You are advised not to rely only on EHIC rights at any point, as this is not an alternative to travel insurance.  

If you do not have a valid EHIC card or comprehensive private medical insurance, you could be charged for using the NHS. Therefore, we strongly advise that you get medical insurance as soon as possible to ensure that you are covered. (You cannot apply for your EHIC in the UK, you can only apply for it within your home country)

These healthcare arrangements will remain in place until 31 December 2020, the end of the current transition period, for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals coming to the UK.

We are waiting for further guidance on continuing EU healthcare entitlements following Brexit from the UK government. If the EHIC is no longer valid after 30th December 2020, you may find that you need to be covered by private medical insurance.

Please see the UKCISA website for more information.

 

 

 


 

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