Q+A: Students and the EU Settlement Scheme
13 May 2021
Frequently-asked questions about students' rights and requirements under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline for EU students in the UK to apply for (pre)settled status is 30 June 2021.
The UCL European Institute recently held a webinar and Q+A to address the questions and concerns of EU students about this confusing but important process. The most frequently-asked questions from the event are answered below. Further resources are available in this public Google folder from the3million. If your question is not answered or you need specific help with your case, you can visit UCL’s Immigration and Visas site and contact the Student Immigration Advice Team.
- Can I still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
Yes. If you are an EU student who started your degree in or before 2020, and started living in the UK before 31 December 2020 (the end of the Brexit transition period), you can apply for (pre)settled status by 30 June 2021. After 1 July, you can no longer apply for (pre)settled status.
- What if I just moved to the UK, or have not yet moved?
You must have started living in the UK before 31 December 2020 to be eligible for (pre)settled status. If you did not enter the UK before this date, you will have to apply for a student visa to study in the UK under the new immigration system.
If you have a family member in the UK who is covered by the settlement scheme (i.e. they moved to the UK before 31 December 2020), you may still be able to join them.
- Am I eligible for Home fee status?
If you are an EU citizen, you started your course before August 2021, AND you began living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you are eligible for home fees for the duration of your degree. If you did not enter the UK before this date, you will have to apply for a student visa under the new immigration system.
If you are an EU citizen who already holds (pre)settled status, you will be eligible for home fee status and financial support.
If you are not eligible for (pre)settled status, you will not be eligible for home fee status or financial support.
- What should I do if I think my assessed fee status is incorrect?
If you think your assessed fee status (Home or Overseas) is wrong, you have 3 months from the date of notification to appeal against it by emailing email@example.com.
- If I started my degree in 2020, but have been studying remotely in my home EU country due to Covid, am I eligible for (pre)settled status?
You may be eligible, but will need to prove, via a letter from your UCL Department, that students were told to study from home. Unfortunately, Covid-19 itself will not be accepted by the scheme as a valid reason for not moving to the UK before this date.
- If I am not eligible for (pre)settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, what visa would I need to come study in the UK?
You will need to apply for a Student Visa. You can find further details on the rules, requirements and process by clicking here.
- Will I receive physical proof of my (pre)settled status?
No. The UK government is intending to digitize the immigration system, and will not provide applicants with physical proof of their status under the EUSS.
- I have been granted settled status – if I move back to my home EU country, will my settled status lapse?
No. Once you have been granted settled status, you may leave the UK, but you must not be absent from UK for a continuous period of more than 5 years.
If you have been granted (pre)settled status and wish to stay in the UK and eventually get settled status, you will need to show you have been in the UK at least 6 months every 12 months, unless exempt.
- Are EU citizen students eligible to vote in local elections?
Yes. EU citizens can vote in local elections in the UK. You can vote at both your term-time address and UK home address if they are in different local authorities. You can register to vote online.
- Will I have the right to work in the UK after graduating?
If you are an EU student with (pre)settled status, you will be able to work in the UK after graduating as before Brexit. If you are not eligible for (pre)settled status, you will have to apply for a student visa. Under the new immigration system, a student visa allows graduates to work or look for work in the UK for 2 years after graduating (or 3 years for PhD graduates).
- Once I have settled status, can I participate in an international work opportunity?
Yes, as long as it does not take you away from the UK for more than 5 years. To maintain your status, you can reenter the UK at any point before that 5 years, but we recommend you stay for at least a day.
- Will we be given a national insurance number with (pre)settled status?
No. You also do not need a National Insurance Number to apply for the settlement scheme. If you need a National Insurance Number in order to work, you must apply through the government website. You can also get help with this from the Students’ Union Advice Service.
- How do I switch from pre-settled to settled status?
You can switch from pre-settled to settled status once you reach the 5-year qualifying period. You are recommended to apply up to 2 weeks before you hit the 5-year mark to ensure that you continue to have the right to legally remain in the UK whilst your settled status application is pending
- What if I am the married/unmarried partner of a British national, but we live together in an EU country?
You may be able to return to the UK and apply for pre-settled status before March 2022 through the Surinder Singh Immigration Route. If you think this applies to you, please contact the Student Immigration Advice Team.
UCL Student Immigration Advice
UCL's Student Immigration Advice team is available to answer specific enquiries and help with individual cases. Visit their website to learn how to get in touch, and access more information and resources for students.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK's national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. UKCISA provides up to date information about Brexit, immigration, fees, student support, and working and living in the UK for current and prospective international students, including a range of resources for EU/EEA students.
The Student Advice Line is open Monday - Friday between 1300 - 1600 (UK time) on +44 (0) 20 7788 9214.
For further information, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
the3million - Young European's Network
Our webinar featured Dr Alexandra Bulat, UCL SSEES alumna and Co-Chair of the Young European's Network at the3million, the largest campaigning organisation for EU citizeins in the UK. Their Young European's Network focuses on providing resources and campaiging for young migrants, especially on voting rights, students' rights, and access to citizenship. Learn more here.