International Student Support


EU Referendum - Information for European students

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Following the decision of the British public to leave the European Union in June 2016, it is likely that you will have some concerns and questions about your status in the UK. The information below aims to provide you with an overview of the present situation and resources for you to refer to, which are updated regularly. 

Your status in the UK

The UK has not yet left the EU and remains a member of the EU for the current time. Your residence status has not at present changed and as an EU/EEA or Swiss national you remain able to live, work and study in the UK. You may also wish to look at UKCISA's information on what we know for EU students.

On 29th March 2017, the government formally began the process of exiting the EU by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This does not change anything immediately: the UK is still a member of the EU until we actually leave. You can read the Provost's statement on Article 50 here.The process of leaving the EU is likely to take a minimum of two years from the date the UK gave notification of its intention to leave the EU. The position of EU nationals in the UK remains unchanged throughout this time.

On 26th June 2017, the government published a paper outlining their offer for EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU. You can read more about their offer for EU citizens here. You can also read the full policy paper here.

On 8th December 2017, the UK government and European Commission reached an agreement on citizens' rights. EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now. A streamlined process will be set up to enable EU citizens to apply for settled status starting in the latter half of 2018 for two years after the UK leaves the EU - from 2018 to 2021. You can read more about settled status and citizens' rights here. You can read the joint report here.

Permanent Residence

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national and have lived in the UK for at least five years continuously, you may be eligible to apply for a UK Permanent Residence card. More information can be found on this at the Europa.eu website.

The policy paper published on 26th June 2017 sets out that the government will be asking EU citizens to make an application to the Home Office for a residence document demonstrating their new settled status. The government has stated it will make the process as streamlined and user-friendly as possible for all individuals, including those who already hold a permanent residence document under current free movement rules. They expect the new application system to be up and running in 2018.

Following the agreement on citizens' rights reached on 8th December 2017, more details about how to apply for settled status, such as the cost, opening date of the scheme and documentation required, will be published in the first half of 2018. The application for settled status will be simpler and quicker than applying for Permanent Residence, so EU citizens do not need to do anything at this stage. More information can be found here.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI)

In order to have a right of residence in the UK as a student, you must have comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI). To qualify for Permanent Residence, you must currently be able to demonstrate you have held comprehensive sickness insurance throughout the five year period prior to applying. Further information on the requirement for CSI can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. You may also find this UKCISA news article helpful if you would like further clarification of the CSI requirement.

Further sources of information

EU students remain very important to UCL and continue to be welcome here. The University has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions for students and staff, and will continue to provide information and advice as the situation becomes clearer. The Free Movement website has useful, up-to-date information for EU nationals. You can also sign up for email updates about developments on the status of EU nationals in the UK via the Home Office website.

This page was last amended on 11th December 2017. We will continue to update the information above on a regular basis throughout the Brexit negotiation period.