Information for EU/EEA/SWISS Students
Information for EU/EEA/Swiss students including the EU Settlement Scheme
On 5th March 2019, legislation was laid before the Welsh Assembly which protected EU students starting a course in 2019/20. This legislation confirmed that current policy stating that they would be liable for the same fees as UK home students and that they will also be eligible to receive grants and/or loans from Student Finance Wales (SFW), subject to existing criteria (you can check the criteria via the UKCISA links below). This legislation would cover them for their whole course and is irrespective of the UK exiting the EU with either a deal or no deal scenario.
As of 31st May 2019, the Welsh government has confirmed that EU students who start their course in the 2020/21 academic year would also be covered by the same legislation for their whole course.
This confirmation should reassure students who are looking to start their course either this year or next year in 2020/21.
There is no blanket requirement for EEA and Swiss students. However, some students may be eligible for home fee status/financial support dependant on their individual situation.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) hold comprehensive information on Fee Status and Government Student Support which will help you to more fully understand if you are eligible for one or both of those things. You can also contact the University's Money@CampusLife team who will help you to work out your own situation.
The current situation (as of February 2020) is that as an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen your status has not yet changed. You can still live, work and study in the UK and have access to the National Health Service. This status will remain until December 2020 at the earliest.
After a designated point (either December 2020 or July 2021 depending on negotiations) it will be mandatory for you to apply for immigration to come to or remain in the UK.
However, it is already possible for you to apply for settled or pre settled status now rather than wait until it becomes a legal requirement. This is under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and we would recommend that you make this application as soon as possible. This is because of several reasons:
- The current EUSS offer is very generous (you get exactly the same rights for you and your family as you have now) and we do not know if it might change
- There will be a big rush of applications as deadlines approach and so your application may take longer and you may miss the deadline if there is a problem with it
- You may find it easier to gain UK employment if you can demonstrate you have an ongoing right to live and work in the UK
- You may have a gap with your access to the National Health Service if you do not get your immigration prior to the deadline
- It is quick, easy and free (and the University can help you)
You never know what might happen in your life and so better to apply- even if you think you are planning on leaving the UK before the end of 2020
You will find information on how to make this application on these pages- including a comprehensive Guide to the EU Settlement Scheme Application. We are also holding regular sessions (on both campuses) for those who are nervous about making the application on their own or who do not have the correct device (phone or tablet) on which to make the application. Please note that these sessions are not for one to one advice and you will need to bring your documentation as per the 'How to apply' section below.
Please bear in mind that the International@CampusLife team has 5 International Advisers and there are 1581 potential applicants to the EUSS- so we very much appreciate your support and patience.
If you are not yet in the UK please see the section in these pages called students arriving after 31st January 2020.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open, it allows you and your family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK. It also means you will continue to be eligible for:
- public services, such as healthcare and schools
- public funds and pensions
- British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply
Who is eligible?
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens:
- Republic of Cyprus
- Czech Republic
You will not need to apply if you’re an Irish citizen but your family members from outside the UK and Ireland will.
As an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, if you make a successful application under the Settlement Scheme, you will be granted one of two immigration statuses dependant on how long you have already been living in the UK.
If you have been resident in the UK for more than five continuous years you will be eligible for settled status. If you receive settled status this means there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK. Though you need to make sure that, if you are leaving the UK for long periods of time, you need to check you how long you can be resident outside the UK without losing this settled status. It should state this on the communication you receive from the Home Office with your original decision.
If you have been a resident for less than five years you will be eligible for pre-settled status. If you receive pre-settled status this means you can stay in the UK for a period of five years. Provided you have lived continuously in the UK for five years, with only permissible absences, you can then apply for settled status- there is currently no timeframe within which you must apply but it is worth applying as soon as you become eligible (i.e as soon as you reach 5 years continuous residency).
How you can evidence continuous residency is outlined In Annex A of the Home Office Statement of Intent regarding the EU Settlement Scheme.
An application for settled and pre-settled status is made via the same application route. You will automatically be granted the status to which you are assessed as entitled.
The application process and resources to support you
The application is relatively quick, easy and it is free. Where it might become more complicated is if you do not have a passport or National Identity Card with a biometric chip. If you do not have this, we recommend you email us firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance- we are expecting very few students to be in this position.
For the vast majority of students who have a biometric chip in their passport (or National ID card) we have developed a comprehensive step by step/question by question Guide to the EU Settlement Scheme Application. We recommend that you print the Guide (6 pages) and have it with you when making your application as skipping between multiple screens on a device might be confusing.
We have tried to make the Guide as accurate and complete as possible and it is correct as of February 2020. There may be slight changes to application pages as the Scheme develops but we are expecting these to be minimal. You may also find that, if you have non standard answers or circumstances, that these are not detailed. In these cases, if you have difficulties, you may like to download the Home Office EUSS Application Handbook: Caseworker Guide to assist you. You can also email email@example.com for help.
There are several video resources that are useful for all applicants; the Home Office have produced a very short video (less than 2 minutes) called The EU Settlement Scheme: How to Apply and the organisation Free Movement have produced a 20 minute video walk through of the Scheme There are others available if you search for the EUSS online.
To get settled status or pre-settled status, you’ll need to fill in a short online application form using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. You will need to download an app from the App or Play Store and it is called the EU exit ID document check app. If you cannot download the app (and do not have a friend's phone you can borrow), International@Campuslife have purchased some devices that you can use.
For additional help, you can use our Guide to Completing the EU Settlement Scheme Application webinar which takes you through the application step-by-step and has useful hints and tips for dealing with the online application form. Unfortunately, due to the on-going situation regarding Covid-19, we are currently unable to run face-to-face sessions in which you can access the devices and speak with an adviser.
The application will ask for basic factual information like your name, address and reference numbers such as your passport, national identity card or National Insurance (NI) number (an NI number is not compulsory).
You will also need an EU Settlement Student Statement to evidence your address and your time as a student on your current course (details below).
If you have been in the UK for longer than your current course (i.e. as a worker or at a previous institution) you will need to access relevant documentation to evidence that. Permissible evidence can be found in Annex A of the Home Office Statement of Intent regarding the EU Settlement Scheme. Make sure you have all the documents you need before starting the application.
Application: Basic overview (remember we also have a Guide to the EU Settlement Scheme Application to help you)
1. Open the app and verify your identity and nationality by scanning your passport, EU national identity card or biometric residence card (if you are a non-EU citizen). You will also have to take a photograph of yourself and the details/photo page of your passport or ID card.
If you are unable to scan your passport or ID Card yourself (as it does not have a biometric chip) you can visit one of the ID Document Scanner locations. The closest one to the University being at Caerphilly. Alternatively, you can send relevant documentation by post.
2. Complete a short application form. This will ask your details about you, where you live etc. and to provide your National Insurance Number if you have one (this is not compulsory).
3. Complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application.
4. Upload your evidence of residency. If you are using your status as a student in the UK to prove your residency, there are a couple of documents that you can use and upload to your application. You only need one of these per time period you are evidencing:
- EU Settlement Student Statement - available from MyUniHub in person, by emailing them or by calling 01792 606000 OR
- Student Finance Award notification or repayment statement- available from your Student Finance Wales online account (check it has your address on it)
Further information about evidence to prove UK residence can be found on via the EU caseworker guidance that we have linked to above.
Please note: If you change your email; phone number; address; name or identity document (e.g. passport) while your application is in process, you will need to report. You will have a link to this form emailed as part of your application submission confirmation.
What happens next
Successful applicants will get digital proof of their status via an email. You will not get a physical document unless you are from outside the EU/EEA/Swiss regions and do not already have a biometric residence card.
You will not receive physical evidence (a vignette or visa card) to prove that you have been granted EUSS pre-settled or settled status. It is currently not possible to get physical proof and the government recently voted not to provide this.
You will receive an email to state the Home Office decision on your application and you should read this carefully and then save it somewhere secure.
Post decision, you will continue to be able to get into your personal account on the Home Office system (detailed in your decision email) by inputting your personal details (including your passport number). Once in your account you can generate a verification code. This code can be shared with employers, the University or anyone else who needs to check your right to work/study or reside in the UK. The code only lasts 30 days but you can generate as many as necessary. This code can then be entered into the Home Office system by a 3rd party in order to verify your immigration status.
When might I need to provide my status code?
You may be asked to prove your status in the UK in the following situations:
- Enrolling on a course of study
- Accessing the National Health Service
- Applying for a job
- Renting accommodation
- Applying for a bank account or mortgage
If you are applying for a job, it might be worth mentioning that you have been granted permission to live/work/study in the UK under the European Settlement Scheme, and can provide an evidence code, within your application. This may help to reassure employers that you have the ongoing right to work.
Please note that it is very important that you keep your details, such as your current passport number, up to date on the Home Office system. Failure to do so may mean that you have difficulty getting back into your account to generate verification codes.
Non-EU family members living in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by virtue of their relationship to an EU citizen.
Close family members that are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to join their EU family member in the UK at any point in the future, as long as the relationship still exists.
Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 and future dependants, will also have their rights protected.
Who are ‘close family members’?
Close family members include spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependant children and grandchildren, and dependant parents and grandparents. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (referred to as non-EU citizen family member).
There is further information about the situations where it is possible to apply for the scheme as a family member on the Gov.uk website. You need to be prepared to provide evidence relating to the reason why you believe you can apply as the family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen (e.g. spouse, carer etc.). You should also expect to have to book an appointment at a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Centre (UKVCAS) to give your biometric information (the nearest one to Swansea is in Cardiff). The link above will give you guidance on documentation etc. There is no guidance which states they need to have been given a decision on their application, you just need to provide their application number.
If your are applying as the close member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who is also making an application under the EUSS, they would make their application first. This means they would have an EUSS application number that could provide to you to add to your application. Your applications can then be linked for caseworker ease and in some cases (such as dependant child below) their evidence can be used to support your application.
Applying for a dependant child
If you (or your partner) are an EU citizen, you (or they) can apply for a dependant child (who is under 21) to stay in the UK. This is irrespective of the child's nationality. The easiest way to facilitate this is for you to make your application first (although you do not need to wait until you have a decision on your application).
Once you have done this, you will be able to use your application number to link your application with your child and if you are successful in your own application, your child will be granted the same status/leave as you.
You should use the same application process for the child but select that they are basing their application on their parents' residency in the 'Residence in the UK' section of the application form (this is detailed on page 2 of our Guide to the EU Settlement Scheme Application). You will not have to provide additional residency documentation for your child if you follow this process, although you will have to provide evidence of relationship (i.e. a birth certificate or similar).
Further information about applying for your dependant child can be found in the relevant section of the information on the Gov.uk website.
Information for those already holding Permanent Residency or Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain (ILE/R)
What you must do
For those with Permanent Residency (to check whether your immigration status is classed as permanent residency, please see the relevant section on the Gov.uk website).
To continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 you must either:
- apply to the EU Settlement Scheme - you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence
- apply for citizenship before 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal)
For those with Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain
You will usually have applied for indefinite leave to enter or remain. You’ll have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office. You could also have a ‘vignette’ (sticker) or a biometric residence permit (visa card).
You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. However, if you choose to apply (and meet all the other conditions), you’ll get ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ - also known as settled status.
This means you should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status (instead of 2 years with the indefinite leave to enter or remain you have now).
Further information can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Some EU students may be worried about the effect of a Study Abroad period (in another country outside the UK) on their continuous residence, whether they can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or whether they should be undertaking a Study Abroad placement at all.
If you are a Swansea student from the EU, and are currently overseas on a Study Abroad placement you should still be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme on re-entry to the UK before 31st December 2020. This is because the government has announced that, as an EU Citizen, you will still be able to enter the UK for 3 months without gaining prior immigration. You would use this concession to come back to Swansea at the end of your Study Abroad period.
If you are on a study abroad placement and due to come back to the UK after 31st December 2020, please email International @CampusLifefor advice.
Normally, EU citizens can only stay in the UK for 3 months. However, once you are back in the UK, you will be able to apply for immigration under the EU Settlement Scheme based on the fact that you were an enrolled Swansea student and that your period outside the UK was permissible under that scheme. You would just need to follow the information about applying for the scheme above and access a University EUSS Student Statement to support your application. This will have details of your complete course length and the permissable period you were outside the UK. You would need to undertake this application within 3 months of re-entering the UK. This is because the University will need to see that you have the Right to Study in the UK and are not staying in the UK beyond the 3 months permissable with no immigration status.
If you are a current EU student who is planning on undertaking a future Study Abroad option, your right to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme will not be affected by your doing so. You should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible and before you leave. Your Study Abroad period should then fall as a permissable absence under the Settlement Scheme and your immigration status should not be adversely affected.
If you require further information and advice about the information above, please email International @CampusLife to help you.
Students coming into the UK before 31st December 2020
Currently, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who come into the UK before 31st December 2020 will be able to apply for the European Settlement Scheme once they are here in the UK.
If this situation changes, due to ongoing UK/EU negotiations, we will update this information accordingly. However, we believe (as of February 2020) that it is very unlikely to change.
Students coming into the UK after 31st December 2020
The government has announced a future European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme. However, this is not yet in place and is not a requirement. Currently, it is due to come into force after 31st December 2020, although this may change depending on the result of UK/EU BREXIT negotiations. Therefore, it is important that you check back here regularly to have the most up to date information.
At the moment, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will not be required to get a visa before entering the UK. This may change in the future and we will update information here as it becomes available. All citizens will be able to enter the UK for purposes of tourism, work or study and remain here, without immigration, for a maximum of 3 months.
From the limited information available, we understand that those who wish to remain in the UK for longer than 3 months will be able to apply for immigration permission to remain in the UK for a period of up to 36 months via the European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme. This should be a straightforward application which would be made online.
It will be very important for EU students to make their European Temporary Leave to Remain applications within 3 months of arrival in the UK in order to be able to meet legal Right to Study requirements.
Currently, there is no further detail about this Scheme or the application itself. The International@Campuslife team will be monitoring the situation closely and all Swansea students can expect timely information and support once further information is released.
Currently, the UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with the other EU/EEA countries and Switzerland.
The UK government has stated that they have made provision for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to continue to have access to the National Health Service (NHS) and that this access will be unaffected by either a 'deal' or 'no deal' scenario.
This access should cover EU/EEA/Swiss citizens up until 31st December 2020 and then subsequently those entering under the 3 month work/study/visit provision, the EU Settlement Scheme and the EU Leave to Remain scheme.
If you are in the UK already, we recommend that you apply for the EUSS as soon as possible. EUSS pre-settled/settled status guarantees access to the UK National Health Service and prevents there being an gaps in access during transition periods. We suspect that being able to confirm EUSS status may prevent any issues should you need health services during the transition period.
However, we strongly recommend that all students access a European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) before travel. These are available for free (or a nominal cost) from your home country and can be used as evidence if asked to prove your right to free healthcare in the UK. This may be especially important if the UK leave the EU without a deal. You cannot get an EHIC after you arrive in the UK so please make sure that you are doing this as part of your preparations. You may also like to think about getting additional travel insurance (like you would when you go on holiday) as an EHIC does not cover costs such as flying you home if you need to.
You can find information about getting an EHIC card in your own country on the EU website here.
It is not currently clear whether people visiting the UK for more than 6 months in the future will be subject to paying an Immigration Health Surcharge but we shall update information here once we receive clarity around that.
There is a lot of further information available regarding the EU Settlement Scheme and application process.
Please visit the Gov.uk website for official information regarding the scheme.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) are an excellent, reliable source of information and they have a free Student Advice Line which our students can access.
The University will continue to monitor the situation and look for areas in which we can support our students. If you have any questions that have not been answered in these pages please email firstname.lastname@example.org and staff will endeavour to assist where they can.