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Issues for EEA nationals in HEIs

Guidance and Resources

On 21 June On 21 June 2018 the Government published its Statement of Intent which sets out details of the Settlement Scheme for EU citizens. The Settlement Scheme is in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, published in March 2018, which guarantees the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU. A shorter overview of the Scheme is also available.

Under the Scheme, EU citizens and their close family members living in the UK will be able to apply to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely. The application process for the Scheme is currently being tested, UCEA Updates 18:064, 18:094  and 19:006 provide further information and will be fully open by March 2019. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021. Ucea Update 18:053 provides further details about the Scheme.  Please note that the rights of EU citizens in the UK will not change until 2021 so it is not necessary to apply for status as soon as the Scheme opens.

Irish citizens 

Irish citizens will not need to apply for settled status. Section 2.6 of the Government's Statement of Intent confirms that Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK's membership of the EU. They will not be required, therefore, to register under the Settlement Scheme (but may do so if they wish) and their eligible familiy members (who are not Irish citizens or British citizens) will be able to obtain setlled status under the Scheme without the Irish citizen doing so.

More detailed information regarding Irish citizens is set out in the Guidance on Citizens' rights - UK and Irish Nationals in the Common Travel Area updated in February 2019.

Information for EU nationals has also been published and a factsheet is available on the website. The Government’s guidance – Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know  (updated in June 2018) provides useful information for EU citizens living in the UK. Similarly guidance for UK nationals in the EU: essential information (updated in March 2019) provides information on the rights and status of UK nationals living and travelling in the EU.

Existing residency options for EEA staff living the UK include:

Registration Certificates have been available for many years for EEA citizens in the UK. Whilst not mandatory, these certificates prove an individual has the right to study or work in the UK and are useful for those who have been in the UK for fewer than five years. There has been no change in the rules on who is eligible for certificates. 

Permanent Residence Card enables an individual to prove that s/he has acquired “treaty rights” to permanent residence in the UK. Broadly speaking this is where individuals have been continuously working or studying in the UK for five years or more.  It is not necessary to have a card, but it is a requirement for those wishing to subsequently apply for British citizenship. Applicants must complete the EEA(PR) form to obtain a card. The online version of the form is easier to complete. 

British citizenship: the site provides guidance on the eligibility and application process for citizenship. EEA residence will need to have previously acquired a residence card (see above) to apply. 

HE Sector Guidance and Resources
Universities UK has published FAQs on the ramifications of Brexit for universities and students. This is being regularly updated. 

Immigration specialists Fragomen have developed resources on Brexit, including useful FAQs focusing particularly on the impact for EU nationals in the UK. 
Other Guidance and Resources
Mills & Reeve has developed a Countdown to Brexit hub  which offers useful insight  and guidance on the many aspects of Brexit. 
Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV) has published a detailed FAQ specifically for HEIs on the impact of 'Brexit' on EEA nationals.
The CIPD has published an article on "Key points to consider when hiring EU staff pre Brexit".  A blog post on "Brexit and immigration: steps to consider now" has also been published. 
Professional services firm Deloitte have produced a "Guide to Brexit" which includes an analysis of issues for EEA nationals. 
This page was last updated on 28 March 2019.