Immigration information for EU, EEA and Swiss Students following Brexit
What do I need to know about my immigration status?
All new arrivals from the EU / EEA / Switzerland must apply for immigration status before arriving in the UK.
If you are coming to study and your course will be more than 6 months in duration this will mean getting a Student visa before travelling to the UK.
If you are coming to study and your course will be 6 months or less in duration such as a short English language course or an exchange or visit programme this will mean getting a Standard Visit visa.
If you were already living in the UK on or before 31st December 2020 then you should by now have applied for immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you haven’t yet applied, a late application might still be accepted by the Home Office. Please see our guidance about making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
I hold pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
If you have already been granted immigration permission under the EUSS, you can use this status to start a new course or continue an existing course. In the majority of cases, your immigration status will be in the form of a digital status, you won't have a physical document. You can view and prove your pre-settled or settled status using the UK.Gov View and Prove your immigration status website. Once logged into your status you can generate share codes that can be given to third parties (such as the University or an employer) for them to check your immigration status and right to study or work.
If you hold settled status, also known as indefinite leave to remain, this is a permanent status with no time limit on how long you can live, study and work in the UK. Some members of your family may be able to join you in the UK provided certain requirements are met.
If you hold pre-settled status, also known as limited leave to remain, this gives you permission to live, study and work for 5 years from the date of decision to grant pre-settled status. You can find your pre-settled expiry date on your view and prove your status portal. Some members of your family may be able to join you in the UK provided certain requirements are met.
Because pre-settled status is only valid for 5 years, you will need to re-apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before your pre-settled status expires. If you have been living in the UK for a continuous residence period of 5 years or more by that point, you will be able to apply to convert your status to settled status. Home Office has guidance about how continuous residence is calculated.
I have made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme but I am waiting for a decision
If you have made an application under the EUSS but not yet received a decision, you may still have temporary protection to continue living, studying and working in the UK. You should have a Certificate of Application (CoA) confirming that you have a pending application and you will need to present this to the University as evidence of your right to study.
If you need to travel outside the UK but you are still waiting for a decision on your EUSS application the Home Office has published guidance for UK immigration officers. The guidance also contains useful information for you about the process of travelling into the UK if you don't yet have EUSS status but have applied, whether that application was made by 30th June 2021 or an application that was submitted late. Having a copy of your CoA will be helpful to show to the immigration officer on re-entry to the UK. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has more information about your legal status while waiting for an EUSS decision.
You should be aware that if your EUSS application is subsequently refused, you may need to suspend from your course until you have regulated your immigration permission. You may need to go home to do this. Please contact International@CampusLife straight away if your EUSS application is refused.
I haven't applied for a status under the EUSS, but I think I am eligible. Can I still apply?
The deadline by which most people needed to apply for EUSS status was on 30th June 2021. However the Home Office may still accept a late application if you apply as soon as possible and you can show there were reasonable grounds for you having missed the deadline. Examples of what the Home Office consider to be reasonable grounds can be found on the Gov.UK website for late EUSS applications and we have more guidance about how to make an application on our EUSS webpages.
Once you have applied you will receive a Certificate of Application (CoA) and you will need to present the CoA as proof of your pending EUSS application as part of the right to study checks at enrolment.
If you arrived in the UK on or after 1st January 2021 you will need the correct type of immigration permission (visa) depending on what activity you plan to do while you are here.
You must have been granted the correct permission before travelling to the UK, unless you are coming as a visitor only. If you don't have the correct immigration permission in place before travelling to the UK you won't be able to enrol on your course.
If you are coming to study a course of 6 months or less you will need to apply for a standard visit visa.
If you are coming to study a course of more than 6 months you will need to apply for a Student route visa.
Your ability to bring family members to join you in the UK and the process you need to follow will depend on your immigration status.
If you will be studying on a Standard Visit visa or Short Term Student visa you will not be eligible to bring dependants with you. They would have to apply for immigration status in their own right e.g. as a visitor themselves. Please bear in mind that anyone holding a standard visit visa or short term student visa will not have access to schools or free healthcare while in the UK and will not be permitted to work in any capacity.
If you have been granted either Settled or Pre-settled status under the EUSS and you have close family members who were not themselves living in the UK by 31 December 2020 they may still be able to join you - their EU family member - in the UK in the future. These family members are known as ‘joining family members’.
To be eligible your family relationship must have been established on or before 31st December 2020 (and still exist now) and you must have already been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS. Children born or adopted after 31st December 2020 and future dependants, can also apply as joining family members.
Note: Partners and spouses who want to join Swiss citizens with EUSS status can have formed their relationship after 31st December 2020 and still be eligible to apply as an EUSS joining family member.
Full information about bringing family members to the UK can be found on the Gov.UK EUSS joining family members webpages.
If you will be entering/remaining in the UK on another immigration category please email International@CampusLife for further advice.
Students with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme would be able to continue to use NHS healthcare services as normal.
However we recommend that all EU, EEA and Swiss students get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they can. Having an EHIC may help with your smooth accessing of UK healthcare, future eligibility under some UK immigration and nationality routes (e.g. British citizenship) and aiding eligibility for a refund of any Immigration Health Surcharge fees paid if you applied to come to the UK under the Student Route.
Students holding a standard visit or short term study visa will not be entitled to free NHS healthcare and will therefore need an EHIC and/or private medical insurance.
Students with a Student Route visa will have paid the immigration health surcharge (IHS) as part of their Student route visa application. Paying the IHS provides access to NHS healthcare services in the same way as for a UK citizen.
However, if you do not want to use the healthcare services covered by the IHS payment you can ask for an IHS refund.
To be eligible for an IHS refund you must:
- be in full-time higher education in the UK
- have paid the immigration health surcharge
- have a visa that started on or after 1st January 2021
- hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
- be in the UK with a UK address - this can be student accommodation
You will only receive a refund equivalent to the duration of your EHIC card. If your EHIC card is valid for the duration of your course, you will receive a full refund but if it expires part way through, you will only receive a partial refund.
You should also be aware that medical treatment provided under your EHIC card will only cover you for care that is deemed to be 'medically necessary', while healthcare provided to people who have paid the IHS (and not claimed a refund) is the same as for a UK citizen.
If you think you are likely to need more extensive healthcare cover it might be better either not to request an IHS refund or make sure that you take out a comprehensive health insurance plan to cover any medical treatment you might have.
Students from Denmark
Students from Denmark will need to apply for their IHS refund in a different way to that outlined below. Danish students will need an EU issued S1 certificate in order to claim a refund. If you don't have an S1 certificate you will either need to request one from the local authority in your country or ask the NHS Business Services Authority to request one for you. There is further guidance on the Gov.UK IHS refund webpages.
Working in the UK
If you are currently working or you intend to work while you are in the UK then you will not be eligible for an IHS refund. If you apply for and receive an IHS refund but later you decide you would like to take paid work after all, your EHIC is at risk of becoming invalid and you may not be able to use it to access healthcare.
If you have dependants with you in the UK, they may also be eligible for a refund if they have their own EHIC card, are in the UK with a valid visa that was issued on or after 1st January 2021 and they do not work or intend to work in the UK.
Dependants can be eligible for a refund, even if you are not.
Deadlines to apply
If you arrived in the UK between 1st January 2021 and 31st December 2021 you must apply for your refund by no later than 31st December 2022.
If you arrived in the UK on or after 1st January 2022 your deadline to apply for your refund is 12 months from the date your visa starts.
If your application is successful the refund will be made within 3 months to the same payment card used to pay for your IHS.
How to apply
You will need the following information to complete the application form:
- Your IHS payment reference number - this will have been emailed to you at the time of payment
- Your UK address
- Your email address
- a share code generated via your view and prove your immigration status account
- A copy of your valid EHIC card - this needs to be uploaded with your refund application
- Evidence that you are a full-time student - this can either be your CAS statement or a proof of enrolment letter
Applications are made online. To apply please visit the Gov.UK IHS refund website.
If you have been granted a status under the EU Settlement Scheme or you have a Student route visa and used the UK Immigration: ID Check App when you submitted your immigration application, you will receive an email from the Home Office telling you the outcome of your EUSS or Student route visa application. The email will also contain instructions about how to access and share your digital immigration status. Read all emails from the Home Office UKVI carefully and keep then in a safe place where you can easily find it in the future.
Proving your immigration status after it is granted
After your immigration has been decided, you will continue to be able to get into your personal UKVI immigration account from where you will view and prove your immigration status.
To log into your immigration account you will need:
- the identity document (passport or national ID card) that you used to create the account and make your immigration application
- your date of birth
- access to the mobile phone or email address you used to create the account and make your immigration application
Once logged into your account you can generate a share 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 has an expiry date on it but you can generate as many as you need. This code can 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 (we also recommend that you always get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC))
• 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 or Student Route, and can provide a share code within your job application. This may help to reassure employers that you have the ongoing right to work.
Please note: it is very important that you keep your details, such as your current passport number and contact details up to date on your UKVI Immigration Account. Failure to do so may mean you have difficulty getting back into your account to generate verification codes or you may experience problems when passing through immigration control at the airport.
How can I prove my identity in the UK?
A UK-Wide ID Card is available, which is called a CitizenCard. We recommend that students access one of these cards for day to day use rather than a visa or passport. Replacing a visa or passport can be costly and time consuming, as well as stressful.
More information is available on the MyUni CitizenCard: UK ID Card page.