Brexit: what does it mean for students and their family?

Last modified: 12 April 2019

 

The implications of Brexit (the exit of the UK from the European Union) for you will depend on when you'll be arriving in the UK (including if you are already in the UK). Click on the buttons to the right that most reflect your situation.

The UK gave formal notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union), on 29 March 2017. As the process to leave takes a minimum of two years the UK remains a member of the European Union during this time. The agreed date of the UK's departure from the EU is 31 October 2019 or earlier if the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed before this date (see paragraph below). Therefore, there is no change to the position of EEA nationals (EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens) and their family members in the UK during this time which means students and their family members can continue to exercise their residency rights in the UK.

The UK government has not agreed to the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement includes an agreement on citizens' rights during a transitional/ implementation period from the day after the UK leaves the EU. This is a period of time (likely to continue until 31 December 2020, but which can be extended) during which EU citizens and their family members can come to, or remain in, the UK on the same basis as they can now. The UK has separately negotiated with Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland to reach a similar agreement on the rights of non-EU EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members (who will also benefit from the transitional period if the UK and the EU agree the terms of a Withdrawal Agreement). 

For students currently in the UK or coming in 2019/20

Last modified: 12 April 2019

The following information is for students coming in the academic year 2019 to 2020 (usually September/ October 2019 to June/July 2020).

Government Student Support and 'home' fee status eligibility

The funding bodies in England, Scotland and Wales have all given some assurances to EU nationals about continuing eligibility for loans and grants. See our information on:

​Immigration 

The UK government has said that:

  • EU citizens 
  • non-EU EEA (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) citizens
  • Swiss citizens

can continue to enter the UK after Brexit (in a deal or no-deal scenario) using a valid passport or national identity card (although non-EU EEA citizens will not be able to use a national identity card in a 'no-deal' scenario).

You will be able to use ePassport gates where these are available at the airport and where:

  • your passport has a ‘chip’; and
  • you are 12 years old or over

Eligible family members of EU/ EEA/Swiss citizens who are not themselves EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will need to obtain a family permit before entering the UK.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed, EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members already in the UK before the UK leaves the EU and those who come to the UK during the transitional/ implementation period can apply for immigration permission in the UK under a scheme designed by the UK government known as the EU Settlement Scheme. They will need to do this if they wish to remain in the UK after the end of the transitional / implementation period, or otherwise apply under another category of the immigration Rules. 

If an agreement between the UK and the EU is not reached, the settlement scheme will operate in much more restricted capacity, and there will be separate provisions for those coming to the UK the day after the UK leaves the EU

NOTE The scheme will also be available to those who were resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU and who meet the eligibility criteria, but who are temporarily absent from the UK when the UK leaves the EU for a period and/or reason described under the definition of ‘continuous qualifying period’ in Annex 1- Definitions.

For students intending to study in the UK in 2020/21

Last modified: 12 April 2019

The following information is for students coming in the academic year 2020-2021 (usually September/ October 2020 to June/July 2021).

Government Student Support and 'home' fee status eligibility

There has, as yet been no decision on either fee status or student support for those planning to arrive in the UK to study a further or higher education course in the academic year 2020/21.

​Immigration 

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed, EEA nationals and their eligible family members can still come to the UK (without requiring a visa) until the end of the transitional/ implementation period (currently 31 December 2020, but this date could be extended). They can apply for immigration permission in the UK under a scheme designed by the UK government known as the EU Settlement Scheme. They will need to do this if they wish to remain in the UK after the end of the transitional / implementation period, or otherwise apply under another category of the immigration Rules. Those arriving from 1 January 2021 will need to apply for immigration permission to come to the UK under a category of the immigration Rules which are in  place at that time.

If an agreement between the UK and the EU is not reached, the settlement scheme will operate in much more restricted capacity, and there will be separate provisions for those coming to the UK after the UK leaves the EU

For students intending to study in the UK in 2021/22

Last modified: 06 February 2019

The following information is for students coming in the academic year 2021-2022 (usually September/ October 2021 to June/July 2022).

Government Student Support and 'home' fee status eligibility

There have been no decisions on fee status or student support following the UK's full withdrawal from the EU.

​Immigration 

There will be a new immigration system (expected to be in place from 1 January 2021). Anyone intending to come to the UK from January 2021 will need to apply under the relevant category of the immigration Rules in place at that time. We'll update this page as we get information.


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