Information for EEA and Swiss students
Following the referendum on 23 June 2016, the UK has formally signalled its intent to withdraw from the European Union by the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is commonly known as "Brexit”.
Below, we aim to address some of the questions you might have, and provide information on how to secure documentation confirming your right to reside in the UK.
At the time of writing, any changes to EU citizens’ rights are subject to the approval of a withdrawal agreement. Negotiations between the EU and the UK are now complete, but the agreement has yet to be approved by the UK government.
Therefore, this information is to highlight the current position and includes our best advice based on the current situation.
Has my immigration status changed?
At present, the UK remains in the EU. A date of departure has not been confirmed yet.
This means there are no immediate changes if you are an EEA or Swiss national, including where you have a dual nationality with a non-EEA/Swiss passport.
We do not yet know exactly what the future implications for residency will be for EEA nationals and their family members who wish to come to, or remain in, the UK to study after Brexit. The UK government has not yet approved the Withdrawal Agreement, which includes an agreement on citizens' rights during a transitional/ implementation period after Brexit. This is a period of time (likely to continue until 31 December 2020) during which EU nationals and their family members can come to, or remain in, the UK on broadly the same basis as they can now.
If a final agreement is approved by Parliament, those already in the UK prior to Brexit and those who come to the UK during the transitional/ implementation period will need to apply for status in the UK under a scheme designed by the UK government. The status granted will be ‘settled’ status or ‘pre-settled’ status depending on the length of time in the UK.
If there is no final agreement and the UK leaves the UK without a deal, you will only be able to apply for pre-settled or settled status if you are resident here prior to Brexit. If you arrive after this date, you may enter visa -free for up to 3 months. If you wish to stay for longer than 3 months, you will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK during your initial 3 months of residence. You will be granted permission to stay for 3 years, after which you will need to apply for a visa within the UK immigration system in place at that time.
We will post further details as soon as they become available. In the meantime, you can refer to the links below or sign up for Home Office alerts so that you can keep up with any relevant developments.
Family members of EEA nationals
Non-EEA family members of EEA nationals can continue to come to the UK. Their right to reside, study or work has not yet been affected by the outcome of the EU referendum.
We will post further information on the status of family members of EEA nationals as soon as it becomes available.