Brexit advice for students

Frequently asked questions for current and prospective University of Plymouth 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 community. 

Our mission remains to transform lives through education and research and to offer our students the best experience possible. We hope you find this useful and will keep these pages updated as further clarity emerges on some of the outstanding matters.

I’m a current EU/EEA student, will I still be able to study here?

Yes. The Government has confirmed there’s to be no immediate changes to the immigration status of EU/EEA students who are already studying here or who arrive before the end of the Brexit transition period which is currently 31 December 2020 and will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme. This scheme remains open until 30 June 2021 but you must arrive in the UK prior to 31 December 2020. By doing so you then qualify to apply for the EU Settlement before June 2021, subject to certain conditions.

If you cannot arrive before 31 December 2020, EU/EEA students will be able to apply through the new Student Visa route which will take effect for applications made in the UK on or after 1 January 2021. EEA nationals outside the UK can apply under this new route from 5 October 2020, for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021.

I’m an EU/EEA student who is planning to come to Plymouth to study next year – what does this mean for me?

EU nationals wishing to study in the UK from the 2021-2022 academic year onwards will no longer qualify for home fee status or access to the UK’s financial support. See our fees page for current up-to-date fees and funding information. 

Visas will also be required by EU students arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020. If you cannot arrive before 31 December 2020, EU/EEA students will be able to apply through the new Student Visa route which will take effect for applications made in the UK on or after 1 January 2021. EEA nationals outside the UK can apply under this new route from 5 October 2020, for entry to the UK from 1 January 2021.

As well as being offered a place on a course, students will need to meet English language requirements and prove they have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course. The new Student Visa route will allow EU students to apply up to six months before their course starts if they are outside of the UK or three months if applying from inside the UK. EU students will also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge.

What will happen once I graduate, can I stay in the UK?

EU/EEA students who already live in the UK, or who arrive by 31 December 2020, will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme. ‘Pre-settled’ means you apply to stay in the UK for the five years it takes to build up settled status - but you must apply again and get settled status if you want to stay here for longer than that. Once you have settled status, you can stay in the UK to live, work or study as long as you wish under current legislation. The scheme is open for applications until 30 June 2021. 

If you are not granted pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme, your stay in the UK will be limited to the length of leave granted when you apply through the Student Visa route. The time granted is determined by the length of your study programme. If you wish to remain in the UK after your studies, you will need to apply for a different visa. Please contact us nearer the time for guidance.

Will EU/EEA students continue to be eligible to receive loans and grants?

Existing EU/EEA students and those commencing studies with us in or before the 2020-21 academic year will continue to be eligible to receive currently applicable loans/grants for the full duration of their course. 

EU nationals wishing to study in the UK from the 2021-2022 academic year onwards will no longer qualify for home fee status or access to the UK’s financial support. See our fees page for current up-to-date fees and funding information.

What is going to happen to the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

UK universities can take part in the Erasmus+ exchange programme until the end of their current contracts even if they run beyond the transition period. This allows students and staff to complete mobility periods and receive funding through the Erasmus+ programme until at least the end of the academic year 2021/22. The UK Government is negotiating access to the Erasmus+ successor programme due to start in 2021. If the negotiations are not successful, it has committed to fund international student and staff mobility through a replacement UK-wide national scheme. Find out more about Erasmus+ and Brexit.

How will Brexit affect field trips and other overseas opportunities associated with my course?

According to the UK Government, current travel arrangements will stay the same until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

Where can I go in the University for further guidance and support related to how Brexit may impact me or my studies?

Student Hub in the entry level of the Charles Seale Hayne Library – +44 1752 587676 or email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk

Where can I find details of the EU Settlement Scheme?

Please read Immigration for EU/EEA students which will give you advice and guidance on this scheme.

FAQs for EU, EEA and Swiss applicants

What will I need to do to enrol on a course on or after 1st January 2021?

All EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, with the exception of Irish nationals, will need to complete a right to study check prior to, or soon after enrolling at the University in January. The University is required to show that we have checked every student enrolled at the institution has the right to study in the UK and at the University. This will only apply to new EU, EEA and Swiss students commencing a programme on or after 1st January 2021.

You will be asked to provide a copy of your passport and details and evidence about when you entered the UK, such as a flight ticket or boarding pass. We will contact new students by email to ask you to do this. You will receive a link to an online form to upload your documents, so please check your University and/or personal email account for this and respond accordingly.

Please note, if you enter the UK through an electronic e-gate you may not get any stamp in your passport if you are coming to the UK to study as a visitor for 6 months. Therefore we advise that you retain your flight ticket or boarding pass, as this will be required for the right to study checks.

I am an Irish national or a national from a Crown Dependency (the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, what do I need to do?

Nothing should change for you in terms of immigration post Brexit. Irish nationals still have the right to live, work and study in the UK without the need for a visa due to the Common Travel Agreement.

I have already supplied my passport as part of my application and for fee assessment, why do I need to supply it again?

New EU, EEA and Swiss national students are still required to complete the right to study check as that has other functions, for example to verify the documents supplied and to conduct other verification checks.

Please note that if you hold dual nationality we will act based on the nationality stated on your application form. If that indicates the right to study check should be done, then we will require you to do this. If you wish to change the nationality shown on your student record after enrolling, you can ask your faculty to do this for you and provide them with evidence, but it will not be altered prior to enrolment.

Your fee assessment or where you reside does not affect this, the right to study check is carried out based on nationality.

This also applies to all non-EEA nationals who are subject to the right to study check at present, the University is required to do this by UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration).

Will Brexit alter my admission process to the University?

It may depend on when you plan to enter the UK or when you entered the UK. Please see below.

If you enter the UK before 11pm on the 31 December 2020: You may be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, please see more information on the GOV.UK website. You will still be required to complete the right to study check if enrolling on a programme in January.

If you are still an enrolled student on or after the 1st July 2021, we will require you to complete the right to study check again at the next enrolment point on your programme.

If you enter the UK after 11pm on the 31 December:

You will be subject to the new immigration system.

If you are joining the University as an Exchange student and will be studying for 6 months or less, you may just need a letter from the University to enable you to enter the UK for 6 months to study on a Visitor visa.

If you are joining the University for a degree programme or a programme longer than 6 months, you will need to apply for a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Study) and meet all the requirements for that to be issued.  Our Admissions teams will advise you of those requirements as part of your admission process.

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

English Language requirements

If you will need a CAS to study on a degree programme with the University then you will now need to meet the English Language requirements specified by UKVI. 

This may mean that you will be required to take an internationally recognised English Language qualification such as IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson PTE. 

The University will continue to accept country-specific secondary level English language qualifications where possible, but in some cases you may be required to obtain another qualification such as IELTS. Our Admissions teams will advise you if this is the case.

Visiting researchers and free movers

Please check with the Doctoral College or Plymouth Global respectively how the changes to the immigration system may affect you if visiting the University for research purposes, or for a free mover exchange programme. 

You may need to enter the UK as a student on a visitor visa for 6 months, but this would need confirming once more details of the new immigration system are known.

Fee assessment

Our Admissions teams will carry out a fee assessment as part of your admission process. This is based on the guidance set out by UKCISA. Please see the fee assessment information which has been published by UKCISA to date:

Employment

If you are employed by the University in any capacity our HR team will carry out right to work checks as required under the new immigration system. 

Please note that EU or EEA students who hold a Student visa are usually only permitted to work 20 hours a week, aside from in official University vacation periods.

There are also rules about the type of employment you are permitted to undertake, and with regards to work placements and internships. Please see the International Student Advice service webpages for more information.

This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Whilst carefully checked and designed to be helpful, it is a guide only and must be used in conjunction with the official Government advice on the www.gov.uk website.