Information for EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals

This page contains information for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals on their right to study in the UK following Britain's exit from the European Union. 

Following Britain's exit from the European Union, it is important that all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals understand how this will impact their ability to live, study and work in the UK after the transition period which is scheduled for 11pm on 31 December 2020 ends.

This will enable all our students to take the necessary actions to secure their status under the EU Settlement Scheme if eligible before the relevant deadline. Information on applying under the new immigration route from 1 January 2021 will also be provided.

EU Settlement Scheme

Until 11pm on 31 December 2020, the status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will remain unchanged. You will retain your right to live, work and study in the UK and have access to the National Health Service (NHS). The EU settlement scheme is designed to offer you the opportunity to protect your residence in the UK after the transition period has ended. You may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you and your family members have established a right of residence in the UK before the specified date of 31 December 2020.

If you are eligible to apply to the EU settlement scheme, you could be granted settled status if you have lived in the UK for five years and more or pre-settled status if you have not been in the UK for five years. There is no minimum time you need to have spent in the UK in order to apply for pre-settled status, but you will need to show evidence that you meet the definition of 'continuous qualifying period'.

The EU settlement scheme guidance for Home Office caseworkers contains a helpful list on pages 127-129 of evidence that the Home Office currently accept as proof of residence. The list is not exhaustive as there is a flexible approach to allow other evidence not mentioned in the guidance to help applicants to evidence their continuous qualifying period.

Please note that if you arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020 or are currently resident in the UK, you will have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the scheme. We strongly recommend that you apply as soon as you can if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Your rights if you have Pre-settled or Settled status

If you are granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme then you will be able to continue to live, work and study in the UK without restrictions whilst you hold valid Pre-Settled or Settled Status.

Once the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, those who hold pre-settled or settled status under the scheme will not be required to take any further action to regulate their immigration permission to be in the UK.

Keeping your Pre-Settled and Settled Status

  • Pre-settled Status- If you are absent from the UK for longer than 6 months in any 12 month period or for a one-off period of 12 months for an important reason but less than 2 years, you should still retain your Pre-Settled Status, but you may no longer be eligible to apply for Settled Status at a later date. Please note that 'Pre-settled' status will be lost after a continuous absence of more than two years from the UK.  
  • Limited Leave to Remain- Pre-settled status is valid for 5 years and is also known as Limited Leave to Remain. This means that before the expiry date, you must either, apply for Settled Status if eligible, apply for a different immigration permission or leave the UK. If you remain in the UK once this has expired, you will have no immigration permission to be in the UK and will be classed as an overstayer which could have an impact on your future immigration history.
  • Settled Status- is the equivalent of indefinite leave (ILR) to remain in the UK. However, you will lose your Settled Status if you are absent from the UK for more than 5 consecutive years (for Swiss nationals, Settled Status will be lost after a continuous absence period of 4 years).

Arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, it will be mandatory for those who arrive in the UK to apply under the immigration rules in place at the time of arrival. If you intend to study with us, you will have to apply for a Students visa before you arrive in the UK.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have produced An introduction for EU students to the UK's points-based immigration system leaflet to help explain the new process for EU students under the new Immigration System that will be in place from 1 January 2021.

For detailed information about Brexit and applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, please visit the UKCISA website and GOV.UK website.

If you have any questions or need to discuss with the team, please send an email to adviceinternational@londonmet.ac.uk.

What does this mean for me?

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss national and I already live in the UK.

If you have not done so already, you should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to protect your residency status in the UK. Applying to the scheme is free of charge and you will either be granted settled status if you have been resident in the UK for at least five years or pre-settled status if you have not yet had five years’ residency.

When applying for the EU Settlement Scheme, you may need to provide proof of your enrolment at London Met and if you are fully enrolled full-time student, you can download an enrolment confirmation letter from Evision. If you are a part-time student, please contact your School Office for this letter.

We advise you to apply for this as soon as possible – if you have any questions, please contact the International Student Advice Service.

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss national and I am outside the UK.

If you arrive in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 then you will be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme and you can follow the instructions from the scenario above.

If you are going to arrive on/after 1 January 2021 you will not be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme and you must apply for a visa to enter the UK.

If you are arriving for a degree programme (undergrad or postgrad), you will require a Student visa.

I am an EEA/Swiss national currently living in the UK, but I plan to leave the UK for the winter break and will not return until the start of term two or I may choose to complete the second term remotely and return to the UK later in the year. I have not yet applied for the EU Settlement Scheme.

It is important to note that the EU Settlement Scheme does not have a minimum requirement for how long you have been in the UK to apply. You may also be able to apply from outside of the UK as long as you are able to use the online service to verify that you are entitled to do so.

This may affect your decision on when to arrive in the UK to avoid needing to apply for a Student visa, and to qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme. For further details on the scheme, please visit our webpage for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals which has helpful links to the information you need.

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss national and I already live in the UK but I do not want to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

It is your choice whether you apply for the scheme or not. If you choose not to apply, you should be aware of how this might affect your status in the UK from 30 June 2021, the current deadline to apply. We will need to contact all students during the summer of 2021 to ask for evidence of their status in the UK.

If you are on a course that means you will need to be enrolled for the 2021/22 academic year, and you have not applied for the Settlement Scheme before the deadline, and if no further deadlines are granted by the UK government, this means you will need to leave the UK to apply for a Student visa to continue your course. Our International Support and Compliance Team can help you with this process.

This may also affect your right to work and live in the UK. You should make sure you understand how this will affect you by reviewing the guidance available online.

London Met is very proud of our inclusive student body and welcome all students from around the world. We understand that you may find the situation frustrating or confusing and if you would like to speak to someone, you can contact Student Services for support.

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