Immigration for EU/EEA students

We have compiled the following advice based on guidance from official and trusted sources including the UK Government, British Council and Universities UK. As an internationally focused university, we remain fully committed to supporting our students.

The following information details EU Settlement Scheme and is applicable to you if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein.

If you are an Irish citizen, your right to live in the UK will not change after leaving the EU, you do not need to do anything to continue living in the UK. We will keep these pages updated as further clarity emerges on some of the outstanding matters.

If you want to find out more about the EU Settlement Scheme, please join our online Zoom sessions, where we will give you an overview of the scheme and you can ask any questions you like:

The EU Settlement Scheme: What's it all about?

Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 10:00 am. Join via Zoom

Thursday 17th December 2020, 11:00 am. Join via Zoom

Frequently asked questions

How can I check if this scheme is applicable to me?

You can use this Check if you need a UK Visa tool on the GOV.UK website to help you plan ahead.

I am an existing student but have been overseas studying online due to Covid-19. Can I apply?

You can try and apply from overseas for EU settlement. If this is not successful, we strongly advise you to return to the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

If you cannot arrive before this time and date you may fall under the new student immigration route.

I have previously interrupted my studies and I am outside of the UK and wish to return. Can I apply for EU Settlement?

If you return to the UK after 31 December 2020, new immigration rules may affect you. Please contact our team to discuss your situation. We strongly advise you to arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

I am starting my university studies in Jan 2021. Can I apply for EU Settlement?

We strongly advise you to arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

If you are arriving after this date and time, you may need to apply in a different immigration category such as the new Student visa. The Student visa will cost more and is a lengthier process. Please contact our team for advice.

I am a short-term student (including exchange, Venlo and Erasmus) coming for 6 months or less starting my University studies in Jan 2021. Can I apply for EU Settlement?

We strongly advise you arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme. If you are arriving after this date and time, please contact our team for advice.

If I already have a permanent residence document (and have already provided proof of 5 years residency) do I need to apply for settled status?

Yes, you will still need to apply for settled status.

How does Brexit affect my status as an EU distance learning student?

Following the UK's exit from the EU, if the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed, EU EEA or Swiss nationals will able to live, work and study in the UK as they do now until 31 December 2020. If you are intending to frequently travel to and from the UK to attend supervisory meetings or courses, we strongly encourage you to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. The application is free and is designed to be user-friendly.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed and you would like to study in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, you will need to have immigration permission (either through the EU Settlement Scheme or through another category of the immigration rules as they will be from 1 January 2021). Please note this 31 December 2020 is the date the Withdrawal Agreement names as the end of any 'transitional' phase, but this date may be extended.

We strongly advise you arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

Those who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 will be expected to apply under the new category of the Immigration Rules.

How is my immigration affected if I start my study as a distance learner due to Covid-19?

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, if you arrive in the UK to start face to face learning before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020, you should be able to apply for EU Settlement. If you arrive in the UK to start face to face learning after 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020, new immigration rules may affect you. Please contact our team to discuss your situation.

We strongly advise you arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

Can I leave the UK and return before 31 December 2020 if I haven't applied for settled status?

Yes subject to academic approval from your faculty.

We encourage you to apply under the EU settlement scheme to avoid any problems. The application is free and it is quite straightforward.

We strongly advise you arrive in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020 in order to qualify to apply under the scheme.

Those who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 will be expected to apply under the new category of the Immigration Rules.

I plan to leave the UK for a short break and return to the UK after Brexit, what should I do?

We advise that if you are planning on leaving the UK before exit day and returning after this date then serious consideration should be given to making an application for pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

If you are travelling in the coming months and have not yet applied for pre-settled/settled status, we recommend that you carry in your hand luggage a copy of your Statement of Student Status. This can be obtained from the Student Enquiries Centre or you can easily print and save a copy from your Portico. More information on obtaining a Statement of Student Status.

Any absences from study are subject to academic approval from your faculty.

If I am granted pre-settled status, can I come and go to and from the UK?

Yes. However, you must not remain outside the UK for more than 2 continuous years otherwise you will lose your pre-settled status. For those granted settled status, you must not remain outside the UK for more than 5 continuous years otherwise you will lose your settled status. 

This is still subject to parliamentary approval; we will update these pages when we have more updated information.

Do I need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

There is no requirement under the scheme to provide evidence that you have or have had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

Do I have access to healthcare in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme?

There will be no changes to healthcare access for residents from the EU/EEA living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020.

If you are coming to the UK after the 31 December 2020 through the student route you will pay an immigration health surcharge to cover the costs

If you are coming to the UK after the 31 December 2020 for 6 months or less you will need to arrange private medical insurance.

The UKCISA website shows you the level of healthcare accessible through the NHS.

I hold an Irish (Republic of) passport. I saw online that Irish citizens do not have to apply for settled status. Is this correct?

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies and Ireland. The CTA established cooperation between respective immigration authorities enabling British and Irish citizens to move freely between, and reside in, these islands. British and Irish citizens enjoy additional rights in Ireland and the UK. These include the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services.

If you are an Irish citizen, you can apply for settlement if you wish but you do not need to take any action to protect your status and rights associated with the CTA. After the UK leaves the EU, you will continue to enjoy these rights, no matter what the terms of the UK’s exit. Both the UK and Irish governments have committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected in all outcomes.

How do I apply?

You can start your application for settled or pre-settled status online through the (settled and pre-settled status).

If your application is successful, you will not receive a physical document unless you are a non-EEA family member and do not already have a biometric residence card. Instead, you’ll be able to get proof of your status through an online service.

As part of the application you will be required to evidence the following:

Your identity and nationality

You will be asked to upload a passport or valid national identity card digitally using an app on an Android phone or tablet with OS 6.0 or above (you can use someone else's phone to do this). Please note that this process will only work if your document has a biometric chip, if you do not, you will be able to send your documents by post instead.

You can also make an appointment to scan your ID document at a number of service locations across the UK. Please follow this link and enter your postcode to find your nearest location: https://www.gov.uk/id-scan-eu-settlement-scheme.

Your residence in the UK

If you are applying for settled status, you will need to show that you have been living in the UK for 5 continuous years. If you have a National Insurance number and worked in the UK, your application will automatically link to HMRC UK tax records to establish the duration of your residency. Please see the UK Home Office website for other types of acceptable evidence of residency.

If you are applying for pre-settled status, you can upload your student status letter to show that you are currently living in the UK.

Your photograph

As part of the online application, you will be asked to upload a recent digital photo of your face.

Criminal convictions

If applicable, you will be asked to provide any information about criminal convictions and these will be checked against UK crime databases.

When is the final deadline to make an application?

If there is a deal, as long as you are living in the UK before 31 December 2020, the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.

If the UK leaves with no deal, as long as you are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme will be 31 December 2020.

Can I apply for the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK?

The government has confirmed that applications under this scheme will be able to be made from outside the UK for those who are normally resident in the UK.

Further information for applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme who are applying from outside the UK can be found on the GOV.UK website.

How long do I have to be in the UK before I can apply?

It does not matter if you have only been in the UK for a short time, as long as you are in the UK before 23:00 hours on 31 December 2020. We recommend you keep proof of travel. You can then apply up until 30 June 2021.

If I have applied and obtained pre-settled status, do I have to apply again for settled status?

Yes, you will need to apply for settled status once you reach the five-year residency mark.

Can I speak to an advisor?

Yes, you can speak to an advisor from our International Student Advice (ISA) team.

We have ‘International Student Advice Zoom sessions Monday to Friday from 09:30–10:30 (UK time) where you can speak with an advisor face-to-face. To join a session and speak to an advisor, please open this Zoom link at the times stated above.

Alternatively, you can email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk

We may need to refer you to an independent EU immigration specialist for more complex enquiries.

For any other non-immigration questions relating to BREXIT, please look at the main university information: Brexit advice for students