Information for EU/EEA/SWISS Students regarding BREXIT and Immigration
What do I need to know about my immigration status after 1st January 2021
From 1st January 2021 it will be mandatory for new arrivals to the UK to apply for immigration to either come to, or remain, in the UK. The UKVI have produced a leaflet to help explain the new process for EU students under their incoming PBS Immigration System.
Please note: As at summer 2022 Covid-19 restrictions in the UK have been lifted. The Welsh Government continues to publish the latest advice for international travel to and from Wales. Please ensure that you are also visiting the University's Covid-19 FAQs , this is the central information point relating to Covid-19 and will be updated if and when necessary.
We recommend that all students get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they can. Having that document may impact on your smoothly accessing UK healthcare, future eligibility under some UK immigration routes (e.g. Citizenship) and aiding eligibility for a refund of any Immigration Health Surcharge fees paid under the Student Route.
Current/continuing students who have already applied for/been granted settled or pre settled status under the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will be able to use that status for continuing study, please see the Proving your immigration status section below.
If you have made an application under the EUSS but not yet received a decision, you may still have temporary protection to continue living in and travelling to the UK.
If you are in the UK and made the application here, we will be able to enrol you whilst your application is pending. You will need to provide a copy of your Certificate of Application (CoA) at enrolment. This could be in the form of letter or a digital CoA.
If you are overseas and made the application whilst overseas, you can travel back to the UK before a decision is made but you are likely to be asked to provide evidence at the UK border that you have made an application under the EUSS (this would be your CoA again) and evidence that you were living in the UK on or before 31st December 2020. This is in addition to presenting the relevant ID document you used to make the EUSS application. Make sure you have these documents available as you arrive to the UK.
The Home Office have published guidance for UK border officers who encounter EU/EEA and Swiss citizens at the border. The guidance has information for people entering the UK while a pending EUSS application is being decided, whether that is an application made by 30th June 2021 deadline or an application that was submitted late.
If you were living in the UK prior to December 31st 2020 but missed the 30th June 2021 deadline and have not yet applied for the EUSS, you may still be eligible. Please see the Late EUSS applications section below.
New students who were not living in the UK by 31st December 2020 should see the Summer 2021 and onwards section below.
If you have pre-settled EUSS and wish to switch this to settled status, full guidance around the EUSS and the application process can be found on our EUSS pages.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national due to start your course or continue your course after July 2021 you will need to apply for the correct immigration to do so. Do not assume you can make a visa application from within the UK- read the information below carefully.
I have already applied for the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and/or received pre settled or settled status.
If you have already been granted immigration permission under the EUSS, you can use this status to start or continue your course from summer 2021 onwards. If you have made this application from overseas, but not yet received a decision, UKVI have confirmed that you will be able to travel to the UK and wait for your decision here.
However, you should be aware that if your application is subsequently refused, you will need to be suspended from your course until you have regulated your immigration permission. You may need to go home to do this.
If you are coming back into the UK prior to an EUSS decision, to help you pass through the UK border as smoothly as possible, we recommend that you carry the same passport or ID card that you used to make your EU Settlement Scheme application and have your Certificate of Application (CoA) from the Home Office and evidence that you were living in the UK on or before 31st December 2020 to hand to show to the border officer.
I have not applied for the EUSS and do not hold a UK visa under any other immigration category
If you do not have EUSS (or an alternative visa which allows you to study in the UK), you will need to get immigration permission to study in the UK and this may be required before you can travel. Which visa you need depends on the length of your course as per the information below:
Courses, Exchange or Visit Programme of less than 6 months
If you are studying a course that is 6 months or less, you will be able to enrol as a Standard Visitor (this is what you will be stamped in as if you get immigration as you go through Port of Entry (at the airport). You will need to leave the UK within 6 months of being stamped in.
Students who do not have EUSS status or who have come into the UK on a Visitor status (including being stamped in on Entry to the UK) will need an EHIC and/or private healthcare insurance.
There are some companies that offer specific insurance plans for international students and families so it may be worth having a look at those. Two of these are Insure2Study Overseas or Endsleigh Insurance though you can use any provider you wish. You should also be aware that you cannot work as a Standard Visitor (that includes work placements and work experience).
Courses, Exchange or Visit Programme of more than 6 months
If you are coming to study a course of more than 6 months, you will need to apply for a Student Route visa and have received your decision before you travel to the UK. You cannot come to the UK, enter as a Visitor and apply from here and nor can you travel to the UK to wait the decision on your Student visa to be made. If you try and do either of these things, you will not be able to enrol and you will have to go home and regulate your immigration situation.
We have comprehensive information on Making a Student Visa application from overseas to help you with this, including a Differentiation Leaflet for EU/EEA and Swiss national outlining funds and documents needed. This route is subject to the compulsory Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which allows access to the National Health Service and so students should not need private health insurance. Students may request an IHS refund under certain circumstances. Please see the section below for more details. Students visa holders are usually eligible to work part-time between 10 - 20 hours per week depending on the course.
Fees and Funding
EU students starting their studies on or after 1 August 2021 must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme to receive student finance.
There is no blanket eligibility for EEA and Swiss students to access home fee status/financial support. Though some may be dependant on their individual situation.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) hold comprehensive information on Fee Status and Government Student Support which will help you to more fully understand if you are eligible for one or both of those things. You can also contact the University's Money@CampusLife team who will help you to work out your own situation.
EU and Swiss students who paid the immigration health surcharge (IHS) as part of their Student route visa application may be eligible for a refund.
To be eligible you must:
- be in full-time higher education in the UK
- have paid the immigration health surcharge
- have a visa that started on or after 1st January 2021
- hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
- be in the UK with a UK address - this can be student accommodation
You will only receive a refund equivalent to the duration of your EHIC card. If your EHIC card is valid for the duration of your course, you will receive a full refund but if it expires part way through, you will only receive a partial refund.
You should also be aware that medical treatment provided under your EHIC card will only cover you for care that is deemed to be 'medically necessary', while healthcare provided to people who have paid the IHS (and not claimed a refund) is the same as for a UK citizen.
If you think you are likely to need more extensive healthcare cover it might be better either not to request an IHS refund or make sure that you take out a comprehensive health insurance plan to cover any medical treatment you might have.
Students from Denmark
Students from Denmark will need to apply for their IHS refund in a different way to that outlined below. Danish students will need an EU issued S1 certificate in order to claim a refund. If you don't have an S1 certificate you will either need to request one from the local authority in your country or ask the NHS Business Services Authority to request one for you. There is further guidance on the Gov.UK IHS refund webpages.
Working in the UK
If you are currently working or you intend to work while you are in the UK then you will not be eligible for an IHS refund. If you apply for and receive an IHS refund but later you decide you would like to take paid work afterall, your EHIC is at risk of becoming invalid and you may not be able to use it to access healthcare.
If you have dependants with you in the UK, they may also be eligible for a refund if they have their own EHIC card, are in the UK with a valid visa issued on or after 1st January 2021 and they do not work or intend to work in the UK.
Dependants can be eliible for a refund, even if you are not.
Deadlines to apply
If you arrived in the UK between 1st January 2021 and 31st December 2021 you must apply for your refund by no later than 31st December 2022.
If you arrived in the UK on or after 1st January 2022 your deadline to apply for your refund is 12 months from the date your visa starts.
If your application is successful the refund will be made within 3 months to the same payment card used to pay for your IHS.
How to apply
You will need the following information to complete the application form:
- Your IHS payment reference number - this will have been emailed to you at the time of payment
- Your UK address
- Your email address
- a share code generated via your view and prove your immigration status account
- A copy of your valid EHIC card - this needs to be uploaded with your refund application
- Evidence that you are a full-time student - this can either be your CAS statement or a proof of enrolment letter
Applications are made online. To apply please visit the Gov.UK IHS refund website.
If you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020 but have not made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30th June 2021 you can make a late application if you have ‘reasonable grounds’.
The definition of ‘reasonably grounds’ is very broad and includes situations where you did not realise that you needed to make an application by the deadline. Pages 31-48 of EU settlement Scheme caseworker guidance has a non-exhaustive examples of reasons.
Further information about late applications can be found on the Gov.Uk website here
If you are currently in the UK and were living in the UK before 31st December (even if you have been outside for a substantial amount of time between then and now) it may be worth you making an EUSS application as soon as possible. As long as you have made an EUSS application, you should be able to provide your application confirmation as evidence for enrolment during the University Right to Study check. Please see our Guidance on Making an EUSS application.
If you are currently outside the UK and were living in the UK before 31st December (even if you have been outside for a substantial amount of time between then and now) it may be worth you making an EUSS application as soon as possible. UKVI have confirmed that you will be able to travel to the UK and wait for your decision here.
However, you should be aware that if your application is subsequently refused, you will need to be suspended from your course until you have regulated your immigration permission. You may need to go home to do this. You may need to check with your College whether it is possible for you to arrive late on your course. Please see our Guidance on Making an EUSS application if you will be making an application.
If you do need to travel before EUSS decision, you will have to get alternative immigration permission to study, as per the ‘Students who are starting (or continuing courses) from Summer 21 onwards’ section above. You should be aware that if you make an alternative immigration application, any EUSS application you have pending will be cancelled. Please think carefully about timings and seek advice from International@CampusLife if necessary.
Please note: We are currently seeking absolute clarification, around the status of students with EUSS applications pending overseas, from the UKVI and if advice changes, it will be updated here.
Home Office processing times for EUSS applications are taking a long time and for this reason you should apply as soon as possible if you realise that you have missed a 30th June deadline.
Successful applicants to the EUSS, as well as student who apply for a Student Route visa using the UK Immigration: ID check app, will receive confirmation of digital proof of their status via an email. They will not get a physical document or receive a biometric residence card.
Proving your immmigration status after it is granted
Under the digital immigration cpnfirmation processes, you will not receive physical evidence (a vignette or visa card) to prove that you have been granted EUSS pre-settled/settled status or a Student Route visa. It is currently not possible to get physical proof for EUSS and the government recently voted not to provide this and to expand this type of digital leave into other categories for EEA/Swiss nationals.
You will receive an email to state the Home Office decision on your application and you should read this carefully and then save it somewhere secure.
Post decision, you will continue to be able to get into your personal account on the Home Office system (detailed in your decision email) by inputting your personal details (including your passport number). Once in your account you can generate a verification code. This code can be shared with employers, the University or anyone else who needs to check your right to work/study or reside in the UK. The code only lasts 30 days but you can generate as many as necessary. This code can then be entered into the Home Office system by a 3rd party in order to verify your immigration status.
When might I need to provide my status code?
You may be asked to prove your status in the UK in the following situations:
• Enrolling on a course of study
• Accessing the National Health Service (we also recommend that you always get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) )
• Applying for a job
• Renting accommodation
• Applying for a bank account or mortgage
If you are applying for a job, it might be worth mentioning that you have been granted permission to live/work/study in the UK under the European Settlement Scheme/Student Route, and can provide an evidence code, within your application. This may help to reassure employers that you have the ongoing right to work.
Please note: it is very important that you keep your details, such as your current passport number, up to date on the Home Office system. Failure to do so may mean that you have difficulty getting back into your account to generate verification codes.
This section has information regarding the family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
Close family members who were not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will still be able to join their EU family member in the UK in the future, as long as the relationship still exists and that family member has been granted settled or pre settled status under the EUSS. Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 and future dependants, will also have their rights protected. For further information about family members under the EUSS scheme please see the information here.
Family members for non EUSS status holders
If you do not have EUSS status, your ability to bring dependants to the UK will depend on what immigration you do have.
If you will be studying on a Student route visa, you will be eligible to bring dependants with your based on current requirements and should see our Information for Families to help guide you.
If you will be studying on a Short Term Student visa or a Standard Visit visa you will not be eligible to bring dependants with you and they would have to apply for immigration under their own route (potentially as a Standard visitor- this does not allow work, access to the National Health Service or schooling).
If you will be entering/remaining in the UK on another immigration category please email International@CampusLife to see whether they can help you.
Information for those already holding Permanent Residency or Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain (ILE/R)
What you must do
For those with Permanent Residency (to check whether your immigration status is classed as permanent residency, please see the relevant section on the Gov.uk website).
To continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 you must have either:
- applied to the EU Settlement Scheme - you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence
- applied for citizenship before 30 June 2021
For those with Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain
You will usually have applied for indefinite leave to enter or remain. You’ll have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office. You could also have a ‘vignette’ (sticker) or a biometric residence permit (visa card).
You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.
Further information can be found on the Gov.uk website.