EU settlement scheme
The UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) by the end of October 2019. The EU settlement scheme details the rights EU, EEA and Swiss nationals have to stay in the UK after this date.
UKCISA has published a useful guide, explaining the difference between what will happen if the UK leaves with or without a deal.
The EU Settlement Scheme is divided into two routes; settled and pre-settled status. If you can prove that you have lived in the UK for five years or longer when you apply for the settlement scheme, you will apply for settled status; if successful, you can continue to live in the UK for as long as you want. You can use a National Insurance number, a letter from your university or employer, or a number of different documents as evidence for how long you have lived in the UK.
If you have lived in the UK for fewer than five years, you will apply for pre-settled status, which means that, if successful, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for five years, including the time you have already spent here. When these five years have passed, you can apply for settled status. Your date of arrival in the UK is also significant for your application (see below for further information).
If you do not apply for settled or pre-settled status, you will have no right to live, study or work in the UK. Once your status has been confirmed, there are rules about how long you can be away from the UK for before it expires.
Please note: the information contained on these pages is in no way meant to constitute advice; this is a general update on the expected outcomes of the Brexit negotiations, which are still ongoing at the time of publishing this page. All the information stated is subject to change and will be updated as needed.
You arrived in the UK before Brexit
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal at the end of October 2019, all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals must apply for settlement by a set date, currently the 30th June 2021. The application process is online and is quick and easy to complete once you have gathered your paperwork.
Those who are due to graduate before June 2021 may want to apply under the EU settlement scheme, as this will allow you to return to the UK in the future to continue your studies, live or work.
Should the UK leave the EU without a deal, the deadline to apply for settlement is currently the 31st December 2020 but this could change. The process is the same as if a deal is reached, with an online application and minimal requirement for evidence.
You arrive in the UK after Brexit
Students who arrive in the UK after the date of Brexit are split into groups depending on the deal or no deal scenario. If there is a deal, all EU, EEA and Swiss students who arrive in the UK after Brexit but before a set date, currently the 31st December 2020 must apply for pre-settled status by the 30th June 2021 (subject to change) to be able to stay in the UK beyond that date. The above also applies to EU students if there is no deal, however, if there is no deal, this does NOT apply to EEA and Swiss nationals.
EEA and Swiss nationals, who arrive in the UK after Brexit in a no-deal scenario, must apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, which will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 36 months (3 years).
When to apply
The EU Settlement scheme has completed its test phase and is fully open, so if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you can apply now. You can also apply now if you are a family member of someone from the EU, and you have a residence care with a biometric chip and ‘EU right to reside’ on the back.
EEA and Swiss citizens who arrive after Brexit, must apply for per-settled status or European Temporary Leave to Remain inthe first three months of being in the UK (see ‘You arrive in the UK after Brexit’ for details).
How to apply
The application process is fully online. The easiest way to compete stage 1 of the application is to use an Android device to download the EU Exit: ID Document Check app and use this to scan your passport and take a photograph of yourself. If you do not have access to an Android device, you can either send your documents by post or visit a centre that offer ID document scanning. The closest one to Bournemouth is in Southampton.
Stage 2 of the application process can be completed on any device.
This video walks you through the application process step-by-step. Please note: if you applied in the test phase, you will have paid £65. If you have not had this amount refunded to you already, it will be shortly, as the government has confirmed that applications are free.