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UCL and Brexit

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FAQs for students

This page provides practical advice for current and for prospective students coming from the EU, as well as links to further information.

If you have any general queries, email Student and Registry Services on srs@ucl.ac.uk and they will direct you to the most appropriate source of help or advice.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and have questions or concerns related to your immigration status following Brexit, you can find more information on the UCL Immigration and Visas website.

EU Settlement Scheme drop-in sessions are available all day Monday in the Recruitment and Admissions Hub 2 (on the Ground Floor, room G02, Chadwick Building) where you can ask the Student Immigration Advice Team for further information about how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You can also make an appointment to scan your ID document at a number of service locations across the UK.  Please follow this link and enter your post code to find your nearest location: www.gov.uk/id-scan-eu-settlement-scheme.
 
If you find yourself unable to return to the UK due to travel disruptions and this is likely to effect your exams or studies, you can let UCL know your situation by contacting your department. Alternatively, you can email Student and Registry Services on srs@ucl.ac.uk and they will pass on the information for you.
 
The Student Support and Wellbeing team are dedicated to supporting students throughout their time at UCL, you can reach the team on +44 (0)20 7679 0100 or by emailing student.wellbeing@ucl.ac.uk.

UCL works in partnership with Care First to provide you with telephone and online counselling support. Care First counsellors are available from Monday to Friday (5pm - 9am) and 24/7 at weekends and during university closure periods. The helpline is free for UCL students to use – you just need to call 0800 197 4510 if you are calling from the UK or +44 (0)1452 623 243 if you are calling from overseas. 

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 January 2020, and currently has not agreed a Withdrawal Agreement which will result in a “no-deal” Brexit. 

UCL is monitoring the situation closely and is engaged in contingency planning for the eventuality of a no-deal scenario.

For the latest information on getting ready for Brexit, go to www.gov.uk/brexit

How is UCL using the “no-deal” Brexit notices issued by the UK Government to inform Brexit planning?

Since October 2018, UCL’s Brexit Mitigation Group (BMG) has given priority focus to ensuring that UCL is as prepared as possible for a “no-deal” scenario. As part of our preparations, BMG members, with the support of senior colleagues across the institution, have analysed all of the Government’s “Technical Notices” on a “no-deal” Brexit, more than one hundred in total so far. Once published, these notices are allocated to one of seven BMG “no-deal” Work Plans, each owned by a BMG member. On the basis of these analyses,  mitigating actions, additional resource requirements identified and timescales are agreed by BMG.  The seven Work Plans are:

  • Visa and Immigration Policy for Staff and Students
  • Continuity of Service and Supply
  • Research and Research Funding
  • Student Mobility
  • Medicines, Medical Equipment and Regulations
  • Legal and Regulatory Matters
  • Other / Miscellaneous 

These Work Plans are further informed by academic expertise from across UCL and horizon scanning documents provided by the European Institute and the Global Engagement Office.

See here for an example of a government publication for how HEIs should prepare for a “no-deal” Brexit

What will happen to Erasmus+ grants now that the UK is leaving the EU?

The European Union is taking measures to avoid the disruption of Erasmus+ existing programmes involving the United Kingdom at the time of its withdrawal from the European Union. On 19/03/2019, the EU Council adopted a regulation on the continuation of ongoing learning mobility activities under the Erasmus+ programme in the context of Brexit. The regulation aims to ensure that:

  • ongoing learning mobility activities under Erasmus+ programme which have started at the latest on the date on which the Treaties cease to apply to the UK will not be disrupted;
  • Erasmus+ participants from EU-27 and the UK will not lose their academic credits and will not be obliged to repeat their academic semester or year

The UK’s continued participation in the Erasmus+ scheme after exit from the EU will depend on the terms of the exit deal. At the moment formal negotiations are yet to be finalised. See more info on Erasmus+

For current students 

Rights to continue living, working and studying 

How will Brexit affect my immigration status?

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and have questions or concerns related to your immigration status following Brexit, you can find more information on the UCL Immigration and Visas website.

How will a no-deal Brexit impact on immigration to the UK?

In the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented. This enables EU citizens and their family members living in the UK at the time the UK leaves the EU to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they do now.

The scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019. 

In a no-deal scenario, the government has confirmed that the EU Settlement Scheme will not apply to individuals arriving after the UK leaves the EU. Instead, EU and EEA students will be able to stay in the UK for up to three months, after which they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. This will enable you to work, study and live in the UK for up to 3 years. Once your Leave to Remain expires, you will have to apply under the future immigration system (operational from 2021) for the relevant visa. 

I’m worried about my immigration status – where can I find answers?

You can find information about the EU settlement Scheme, as well as access guidance via a series of FAQs which are regularly updated as there are further developments in UK policy on the EU Settlement Scheme page managed by the Student Immigration Advice Team. 

EU Settlement Scheme drop-in sessions are available all day Monday in the Recruitment and Admissions Hub 2 (on the Ground Floor, room G02, Chadwick Building) where you can ask the Student Immigration Advice Team for further information about how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. 

You can also make an appointment to scan your ID document at a number of service locations across the UK.  Please follow this link and enter your post code to find your nearest location: www.gov.uk/id-scan-eu-settlement-scheme.

Further guidance on applying for settled status can be found on the government website.

You can also ask the Home Office if you have any questions about applying for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme through the EU settled status enquiries service.
 

Will I be able to stay and work in the UK once I have finished my studies?

If you arrive before the end of the transition period, you will be able to apply for pre-settled status, and once you have been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for settled status. Both the pre-settled and settled status give you the right to live and work in the UK.

Travel after a No-Deal Brexit

I am stuck abroad due to travel disruption / cannot make it to an examination

Should the UK exit the European Union without a deal, it is probable that there will be travel disruptions in and around major airports, ports and international railway stations. These disruptions could include cancellations, or delays caused by people travelling with less than 6 months on their passport, having to use the non-EU queue, or extra checks at border control. 

While this would most likely have the greatest effect on travel between the UK and other EU countries, there is also the potential for a knock-on effect on travel to other countries. 

UK citizens travelling to the EU/EEA/Switzerland should ensure they check the guidance issued by the FCO at the point of booking international travel.

EU/EEA/Swiss students who are travelling overseas over the coming months and have not yet applied for pre-settled/settled status, we recommend that you carry in your hand luggage a copy of your Statement of Student Status. This can be obtained from the Student Enquiries Centre or you can easily print and save a copy from your Portico. More information is available on the EU Settlement Scheme page.

For further information, see UCL’s travel guidance.

Despite disruptions to travel, it is expected that flights between the UK and EU countries will continue even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The European Commission has published helpful questions and answers that cover this in more detail. 

If you find yourself unable to return to the UK due to travel disruptions, you can let UCL know your situation by contacting your department. If you’re not sure who to contact, you can drop by the Student Enquiries Centre in the Student Centre where the team will be able to help you. Alternatively, you can email the team at studentrecords@ucl.ac.uk.  

If you’re worried that you will not be able to make it back to London for an examination, you can speak to your department to discuss the options available. Should you need to defer your exam or assessment, you can find further information about how to do this on the current student website.
 

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?

You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission has advised that even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa for short visits of up to three months, and the same will be offered to European citizens visiting the UK. 

There would however be additional checks on UK citizens visiting the EU. They would get their passports stamped at customs and would only be allowed to stay for up to 90 days. They might also be asked to show evidence that they can financially support themselves and provide reasons for their stay in the EU. 

There may also be changes to the validity of driving licences, and roaming charges would be re-introduced to UK phones in the EU. 

The European Commission has published in March 2019 further information on travelling between the UK and the EU in the event of a no deal

If you have a British passport, the Government has provided an update on travel implications for a no-deal Brexit and issued guidance on new passport rules for travelling to EU countries. The FCO is currently advising the following: 

Once the UK leaves the EU:
1)    You should have six months left on your passport from the date of arrival. 
2)    If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count. 

You are advised to check the FCO guidance for travelling to the EU.

For further information, see UCL’s travel guidance.

What travel/health insurance do I need to travel to the EU?
Health insurance

If the UK leaves the EU with the current negotiated deal, UK nationals in EU countries will continue to receive state healthcare on the same terms until the end of the transition period. Under the current plan the transition would end in 2020 but it could be extended.

You can apply for or renew an EHIC using the official EHIC online application form.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting an EU country is likely to change. You should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

If you are using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

It is advised UK citizens check the guidance issued by the FCO at the point of booking international travel.


Travel insurance

It is important that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies vary.

Tuition fees, student loans and funding 

Will my tuition fees change as a result of Brexit?
Starting at UCL in 2018/19, 2019/20 AND 2020/21

If you start on a programme as a home/EU fee student for entry in the academic year 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21, you will pay the same tuition fees as UK students, and you will not see any changes to your loan eligibility. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of your enrolment on that specific programme. 

This is subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the UCL fees schedule.

For more information see the government statements on funding for EU students for 2018 to 20192019 to 2020 and 2020/21.

If you have any queries relating to student funding/finance, you can email studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk.


Starting at UCL 2021/22 or beyond

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK after the end of the transition period will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and what kind of future relationship is agreed between the UK and the EU. 

The same would apply should the UK leave the EU without a Withdrawal Deal, it will depend on future relationships and policy negotiations. We are working to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

If you have any queries relating to student funding/finance, you can email studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk 

Will my fees as a current EU student increase?

The tuition fee status will not change for current EU/EEA students attending UK universities or for those coming for courses starting in 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21. 

EU/EEA students studying at UK universities will pay the same fees as UK students for the full duration of their course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

From 2021/22 onwards, the fees for EU/EEA students starting courses at UK universities will depend on the outcome of the UK's exit negotiations.

We are working to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

If you have any queries relating to student funding/finance, you can email

studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk

Will PhD funding will be suspended?
Starting in 2018/19 and 2019/20

EU students starting courses in the academic year 2018/19 and 2019/20 will continue to be eligible for Research Council PhD studentships to help fund their studies for the full duration of their course.

For more information see the government statements on funding for EU students for 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.


Starting in 2020/21 and beyond

We hope that the government will confirm that students starting in 2020/21 will benefit from the same fees and funding regime, although this is more difficult since it extends beyond the transition period.

See the Russell Group statement on the draft UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK after the end of the transition period will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and what kind of future relationship is agreed between the UK and the EU. 

For further information about Horizon 2020 funding in the event of no-deal, please go to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy website.

If you have any queries relating to student funding/finance, you can email studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk.

Health services 

Will I need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI)?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have published information about healthcare in the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, and useful information on Brexit and what it means for students and their family

Until the UK leaves, the EU students will continue to have access to healthcare under the same conditions as now. More information is available on the Students website

Once the UK leaves the EU students are advised to apply for pre-settled/settled status as this protects both their immigration status and their access to healthcare. 

You can find information about the EU settlement Scheme, as well as access guidance via a series of FAQs which are regularly updated as there are further developments in UK policy on the EU Settlement Scheme page managed by the Student Immigration Advice Team. 

I’m worried that shortages will mean that I am unable to get prescribed medicines

UCL is not able to provide prescription drugs for students or provide medical advice. If you are concerned about continuity of supply of medicines, then you should make an appointment with your GP who will be able to advise you.

If you are not registered with a GP then guidance to help you through the process can be found on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.   

Help and Advice 

Where can I get advice and support around Brexit?

The Student and Registry Services teams are sending regular messages to students likely to be impacted by Brexit.

If you have any general queries, you can email Student and Registry Services on srs@ucl.ac.uk and they will direct you to the most appropriate source of help or advice.

You can find information about the EU settlement Scheme, as well as access guidance via a series of FAQs which are regularly updated as there are further developments in UK policy on the EU Settlement Scheme page managed by the Student Immigration Advice Team. 

EU Settlement Scheme drop-in sessions are available all day Monday in the Recruitment and Admissions Hub 2 (on the Ground Floor, room G02, Chadwick Building) where you can ask the Student Immigration Advice Team for further information about how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

I’m experiencing anxiety / mental health issues relating to the Brexit situation

UCL works in partnership with Care First to provide you with telephone and online counselling support. Care First counsellors are available from Monday to Friday (5pm - 9am) and 24/7 at weekends and during university closure periods. 

Care First counsellors are able to provide advice and guidance around any issue, no matter how big or small. If you just need someone to talk to, or if you need tips and techniques to find solutions, you can call Care First.

The helpline is free for UCL students to use – you just need to call 0800 197 4510. Further details, include information about Care First's additional online counselling service, can be found on the Evening and Weekend Support section of the website.

Find out about the support available to you while UCL is closed over the Easter period.

I’m worried about my safety on campus

If you have any concerns about your safety on campus, contact our safety team.

Read more about Staying Safe at UCL or for further safety advice contact Aysev Ismail on 020 7679 1523 or email aysev.ismail@ucl.ac.uk.

In an emergency dial 222 from any UCL phone. 

What is UCL doing to plan in general for Brexit?

The Brexit Mitigation Group’s latest update (pdf) provides a summary of the latest news about what UCL is doing to mitigate the impact of Brexit, including the support available for EU and overseas staff and students, UCL access to EU programmes until the end of 2020, and UCL’s triple track European Strategy.

You can also sign up to a weekly Brexit update email that will be sent on Fridays until further notice. This update contains news about what UCL is doing to support EU students and staff, an update on Brexit news from the UCL European Institute, and links to further reading. You can read the updates so far to get an idea of what the newsletters look like, and sign up using the online form.

Studying abroad 

How will Brexit affect the Erasmus+ programmes?

Practical advice for students currently undertaking, or intending to undertake, an Erasmus+ placement, along with the latest updates can be found on the Erasmus+ Brexit FAQs.

The European Commission confirmed that in a No Deal scenario, UK students and trainees abroad and European students in the UK participating in Erasmus+ at the time of the UK's withdrawal can complete their studies and continue to receive the relevant funding or grants.

The uncertainty is around students starting programmes in September 2019. The UK government has reiterated it will underwrite payment of all successful Erasmus+ bids in the event of No Deal. They have also said they will engage with the European Commission to secure the UK’s continued full participation in Erasmus+ until 2020.

If continued Erasmus+ participation (from Sept 19) is not possible under No Deal, alternative arrangements and funding will be needed in order to continue. However, at the moment, there has not been any confirmation from the government of funding or an alternative scheme to replace Erasmus.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, UK participation in Erasmus+ programmes would continue throughout the 2019-20 academic year (in the transition period), and UK students and trainees abroad and European students in the UK could continue to participate in programmes and receive the relevant funding or grants.

Further information can also be found on the UK government website:

The European Commission has also published information on how Brexit will impact the Erasmus+ programme

My programme has a compulsory year abroad – if I am unable to go, will I still get a degree?

Yes.  We are working hard to make sure your programme is not affected. But if your year abroad is affected and an alternative suitable year abroad placement cannot be found, you can be transferred to an alternative programme without a year abroad. 

For prospective EU students 

Are EU students welcome at UCL?

Yes. We have a long tradition of European students and partnerships. We currently have over 4,000 non-UK EU students enrolled at UCL. In the words of Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President and Provost: "We value you enormously – your contribution to UCL life is intrinsic to what the university stands for."

Are EU students welcome in London?

Yes. In the words of Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London: “To the almost one million Europeans living in London ... you are welcome here.” UCL fully endorses this statement.

I want to apply to study at UCL – how will Brexit affect my immigration status?

Starting at UCL in 2018/19 

If you are an EU citizen and you arrive in the UK before the beginning of the transition period, you will be able to apply to live and study in the UK, and once you have been here for five years, you will be able to apply for settled status. If you arrive by 31 December 2020 but do not qualify for settled status you will be eligible for pre-settled status enabling you to stay until you have reached the five-year threshold. All applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021.

For more information on the EU Settlement Scheme, see the UCL International Students website.

Starting at UCL in 2019/20 and 2020/21

If you are an EU citizen and you arrive in the UK during the transition and you intend to stay in the UK longer than three months, you will be able to apply to live and study in the UK, and once you have been here for five years, you will be able to apply for settled status. 

However, you will need to register through a new Home Office registration scheme

If you arrive by 31 December 2020 but do not qualify for settled status you will be eligible for pre-settled status enabling you to stay until you have reached the five-year threshold. All applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021.

For more information, see the Government policy statement on EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period*. 

Starting at UCL after 2020

The immigration status of EU citizens arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 is at present unclear. We are working to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

Further information on immigration issues is available on the International Student Support website

Will my tuition fees rise during my degree programme? Am I eligible for tuition fee loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC)?

Starting at UCL in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21

If you start on a programme as a home/EU fee student for entry in the academic year 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21 you will pay the same tuition fees as UK students, and you will not see any changes to your loan eligibility. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of your enrolment on that specific programme. 

This is subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the UCL fees schedule.

For more information see the government statements on funding for EU students for 2018 to 2019, 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.

Starting at UCL 2021/22 or beyond

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK after the end of the transition period will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and what kind of future relationship is agreed between the UK and the EU. 

We are working to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

Am I eligible for Research Council PhD studentships?

Starting in 2018/19 and 2019/20

EU students starting courses in the academic year 2018/19 and 2019/20 will continue to be eligible for Research Council PhD studentships to help fund their studies for the full duration of their course. For more information see the government statements on funding for EU students for 2018 to 2019, 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.

Starting in 2020/21 and beyond

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK after the end of the transition period will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and what kind of future relationship is agreed between the UK and the EU. 

Will I be able to stay and work in the UK once I have finished my studies?

If you arrive before the end of the transition period* (before 31 December 2020), you will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit, and once you have been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for settled status. Both the temporary residence permit and settled status you give you the right to live and work in the UK. 

Please note that if you arrive during the transition period* (currently projected to be between 31 October 2019 and 31 December 2020, unless a deal is agreed and ratified before 31 October 2019), you will need to register through a new Home Office registration scheme. For more information, see the Government policy statement on EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period*.

For EU citizens arriving after 31 December 2020, the situation is at present unclear. We will update and support you as the situation develops.  

From 1 July 2021, EU citizens and their family members in the UK must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to be here legally.

Will I have to pay for medical care?

Both the temporary residence permit and settled status give you access to public services, including medical care under the NHS.