Information for EU and EEA students and the latest Brexit news

  • Last updated on 25 March 2019.
  • There is one thing that is certain about Brexit and that is that it can create a lot of uncertainty! The international student advisers are here to help you by providing you with the most up to date information we have from the most reliable sources. In our answers below we have linked to a number of UK Council for International Students (UKCISA) sites and they are a great source of information for all students from outside the UK.

    Brexit information can change very quickly and we will keep this webpage as up to date as possible. If you have any questions, do contact the International Student Advice Team.

    After voting that the UK should not leave the EU without a deal in place under any circumstances, the UK parliament then also voted to ask the EU for an extension to the current Brexit date of 29 March 2019. The EU have agreed to an initial extension until the 12 April, or until 22 May 2019.

    If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss national living in the UK, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you want the opportunity to continue living here after 31 December 2020.  

    EU nationals can apply now. Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will be able to apply from 30 March 2019.

    You can apply for settled or pre-settled status:
    Settled Status is given to those citizens who have been residing in the UK for 5 years.
    Pre-settled Status is given to those who have been in the UK for less than 5 years. Once you have been here for 5 years you will receive settled status.

    Advice on the settlement scheme (UKCISA)

    Pilot scheme available from 21 January 2019 (For EU nationals only - UKVI)

    You can apply here 
    Currently only available to EU nationals. Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Swiss nationals will be able to apply from 30 March 2019.

    Towards the bottom of the page there is a link to an app. You will need to have an android phone that has NFC (used for contactless payments) so you can scan your passport. 

    Using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app (UKVI) 

    Guidance on applying for settlement (YouTube - Free Movement)

    You can contact the UKVI with questions you have about how to make an application for the settlement scheme by phone (0300 123 7379) or online

    Yes, you can apply for the EU settlement scheme if you are an EU citizen living in the UK with a valid passport or you are a non EU citizen family member who has a valid biometric residence card.

    Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Swiss students will be able to apply from 30 March 2019.

    From 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside the UK.


    There are differences whether you apply now or after March 29th 2019:

    Applying on or before 29th March 2019 (An option for EU nationals only) Applying after 29th March
    You will need to pay a £65 fee which will later be refunded to you. You will not be asked to pay a fee
    You must use the app to scan your documents. This app only works on some android devices but it doesn’t need to be your device. You have to have an EU passport. You can either use the app, post your documents or in some cases you may be able to scan them at an appointment.

    From 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside the UK.

    No, you do not need to apply. However it might be worth applying just in case you change your mind. 

    If the UK leave the EU without a deal and you plan to travel in and out of the UK after 29th March, you may prefer to apply for the settlement scheme before you travel. This is because, if you haven't, you may need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain if you were staying in the UK for more than 3 months beyond your return date.

    From 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside the UK.

    "In a no deal exit, EUEEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK before 29 March 2019 will be able to remain in the UK and work, study, and access benefits and services on broadly the same terms as now. EUEEAand Swiss citizens will need to apply to stay in the UK if they are planning to continue living in the UK after 2020. In a no deal scenario, the EU Settlement Scheme would be open to those living in the UK by 29 March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Irish citizens’ right to live in the UK will not change after the UK has left the EU." UKVI

    Staying in the UK for longer than 3 months if there's no Brexit deal

    For those arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 if there is not a deal, there will be a different system in place. You will be able to enter the UK for up to 3 months. If you wish to stay longer you will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. If this application is successful, you will get immigration permission to be in the UK for a period of three years.

    Guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens coming to the UK to visit, study, work or join family if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.


    If you are a current student, please come to Student Central and ask for an attendance letter. The team will do this for you straight away. If you have finished your course, please ask Student Central for a Statement of Qualification which will provide all the information you require.

    UKCISA have confirmed that students can be temporarily absent on the Brexit leaving day of 29th March 2019. To check whether your absence would qualify as temporary, please contact us and we will discuss your individual case.

    From 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside the UK.

    If you are arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 to start a course in September 2019 then you will be able to apply to stay in the UK under the EU settlement scheme if the UK leaves with a deal, or you will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain for three years if the UK leaves without a deal.

    The British Ambassador to Ireland has given these words of reassurance.

    “The rights and privileges UK and Irish nationals enjoy in each other’s countries will continue, whatever the circumstances of the UK’s exit from the EU. British citizens in Ireland and Irish citizens in the UK will continue to be able to live and work in each other’s countries, and to access healthcare, education, social welfare and benefits including state pensions.”

    This is because the UK and Ireland belong to the Common Travel Area that predates the current EU arrangements that will be ending.