UCL News


Supporting staff with EU citizenship

24 January 2019

Following recent votes in the House of Commons, we would like to reassure our European colleagues that UCL will continue to provide information and increased support in these uncertain times.

UCL and Brexit

We know that for many of you, the most pressing current decision is whether to apply for Settled Status for yourself and your family.

It is positive that the Government has confirmed it will continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme even in a no-deal scenario. This Scheme will protect the rights of EU nationals and their family members who are residing in the UK on or before 29 March 2019. 

From 21 January 2019, the Government is running a public testing pilot with all EU citizens living in the UK who have a valid biometric passport able to take part. This follows the completion of the second pilot phase, which finished on 21 December and invited all Higher Education employees to apply.

The Government has stated that the EU Settlement Scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019 and will close on 31 December 2020, or 30 June 2021 depending on the transition arrangements, so there will be time for those who don’t hold a biometric passport or biometric residence permit to apply after the pilot.
To be granted Settled Status, your application will need to demonstrate that you have been living continuously in the UK for five years. EU citizens living in the UK for fewer years will be granted pre-Settled Status until the five year point is reached.

The application essentially involves providing evidence under three categories: Identity - the applicant will need to prove their identity; Eligibility - the applicant will need show that that they live in the UK; and Suitability (Criminality) - the applicant will need to declare that they have no serious criminal convictions. Applications during the pilot phase must be made via the official app, which can only be accessed using an Android device with NFC Technology. HR has purchased two Android devices, which are located at Bidborough House and can be used by all UCL employees providing an appointment time has been arranged beforehand.  EU staff will be emailed to confirm how to book a slot.
On 21st January, the government announced that when the settled status scheme is rolled out in full it will be free.  In the meantime, anyone who pays, or has paid the £65 fee will be reimbursed by the Government. 

Through our website UCL and Brexit, you can find more information and answers to FAQs and keep informed of our work strengthening our European partnerships. We provided a number of immigration briefing sessions on the EU Settlement Scheme Pilot in November & December 2018 and a recording of one of the briefings is available to view on our FAQ page

We have arranged a further Immigration clinic, to be held on 28 February 2019.  UCL staff may book their place here: Brexit, settled status and FAQ Briefing

We are also continuing to make available an interest free immigration loan of up to £10,000 to staff which can be used for certain visa applications, NHS surcharge and immigration advice, further details can be found in our immigration loan guidance.

Should you have further questions, please contact our advisory team at eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk, who can provide additional sources of information, although they are unable to give immigration advice.

Peter Warwick
Joint Interim Director, UCL Human Resources

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

  • EU Settlement will replace the current Treaty rights of EU citizens, which will cease to exist when the UK leaves the EU.
  • If a deal is agreed, there will be a transition phase until the end of June 2021 and EU citizens who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for Settled Status.
  • The EU Settlement Scheme will allow EU citizens and their close family members to continue to live and work in the UK. It will mean they are eligible for:
    • Public services, such as healthcare and schools
    • Public funds and pensions
    • British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements