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EEA Nationals | Brexit

Last updated: 5 February 2020


On these pages, EEA nationals (including Swiss nationals) and their family members who are currently studying, or, are applying to study at the University of Warwick, can find useful information about their right to study in the UK following Brexit, as well as how and when to apply under the 'EU Settlement Scheme'.

The UK has now left the European Union and is now in a period of transition until 31 December 2020.

Detailed application guide for the 'EU Settlement Scheme' can be found here.

Further information on the wider impact of Brexit on students and staff can be found here.

Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.
  • In advance of the UK’s exit from the EU, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK, including citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    This includes the right to live here, to study, work and access public services, such as healthcare.

    To retain these rights beyond 31 December 2020, EU citizens and their family members must apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

    Further detail on the Settlement Scheme can be found on GOV.UK.

    This means that if you are currently studying in the UK, or, are coming to study in the UK before 31 December 2020, or intend to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020 (or, if you are undecided but want to keep your options open), then you will have between now and at least 31 December 2020 to make this application.

    The University is committed to providing support to help you register your right to live and study in the UK post-Brexit. To find out more about this scheme and assistance that we offer, visit our FAQ for Students webpage.

    What it means now that the UK left the EU with a deal?

    Click on the DEAL image below to view the flowchart with information on what happens now that the UK left the EU with a deal (an EU Withdrawal Agreement), including how this may affect your dependants.

    More information can be found on GOV website.

    brexit deal image 

  • If you are an offer-holder, your course starts before 31 December 2020 and you intend to travel to the UK before 31 December 2020, you will NOT be required to apply for a visa in order to study in the UK. You will be able to travel to the UK the same way as you do now and you may go through the e-Gate if you hold a biometric passport. It would be helpful to have a copy of your offer letter in your hand luggage in case you are asked the purpose of your travel when crossing the border.

    As the UK left the EU with a deal, you will have right to free movement when your course starts. This means you can come to the UK to study, live and work as you do now. You will need to make an application under the 'EU Settlement Scheme' before 30 June 2021. Please click on the 'Deal' image above to find out more.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

  • From now until 31 December 2020, free movement continues and so your entitlement to health care in the UK remains unchanged. If you are coming to the UK to study, you will need to obtain an EHIC card from the EEA country where you are a resident in order to access health care in the UK. If you do not reside in a EEA country before you come to the UK, you will need to obtain private 'comprehensive health insurance', otherwise you will have limited access to health care in the UK. See NHS leaflet about visitors to the UK as students.

    Once you have applied under the EU Settlement Scheme, explanatory Memorandums which accompany the Regulations for Accessing the National Health Service (for England) state that future regulations will ensure people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme can access free NHS care so long as they are ordinarily resident beyond 31 December 2020. To find out more, please refer to further information on UKCISA website.

    If you have already obtained permanent residence, or, have been granted 'settled status', then you will have continued right to access healthcare as you do now.

News and updates:

31 January 2020: UK Withdrawal Agreement was approved by European Parliament on 29 January, and the UK left the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020. We are now in a transition period, which is due to last until 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market.

20 December 2019: The government's Brexit bill passed its first hurdle in Parliament after the Conservative Party won a majority in the UK's general election. The Brexit date is now set for 31 January 2020, with a transition period scheduled to end on 31 December 2020.

04 September 2019: The government announced the immigration arrangements for EEA citizens moving to the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit. This new policy can be found on GOV website.

01 August 2019: The Public Law Project (an independent national legal charity) have published a research briefing on the rights of EU citizens after a no-deal Brexit, including healthcare, social security and education rights, which can be accessed here.

11 April 2019: UK and EU agreed to a delay on the 'Exit Day' to up to 31 October 2019 (with the possibility to exit earlier than this date).

27 March 2019: The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 was approved by UK Parliament to amend the 'Exit Day' from 29 March 2019. The new 'Exit Day' will be 11.00 p.m. on 22nd May 2019 if UK Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement is approved by 11.00 p.m. on 29th March 2019, or, 11.00 p.m. on 12th April 2019 if such approval is not obtained.

7 March 2019: A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid before parliament on 7 March 2019 and a number of changes within it related to the provisions for the EU Settlement Scheme. We have updated the Student FAQ webpage accordingly.

22 January 2019: The Department for Education confirmed in a formal ministerial statement that 'EU nationals (and their family members) who start a course in England in the 2019/20 academic year or before, will continue to be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, provided they meet the residency requirement', even in a 'no deal' scenario.

21 December 2018: A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid on 20 December 2018, and the Home Office announced that this would enable the EU Settlement Scheme to be rolled out to public test phase from 21 January 2019.

The government also published two seperate agreements on the rights of Swiss and Icelanic/Norwegian/Liechtensteinian nationals, to enable them to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

19 December 2018: The Home Secretary announced a new skill-based Immigration system post-Brexit. You can find more information on the White Paper (a policy document that set out the government's proposals for future legislation and provide a basis for further consultation to allow final changes before a Bill is formally presented to Parliament). The new immigration system is expected to be implemented from 2021. For now, we have been assured by the Home Office policy team that there is no intention to wind up the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme in advance of the 2019/20 academic year.

6 December 2018: The government published a plan for the rights of EU citizens living in the UK: Policy Paper on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal Brexit. EU students who are currently studying at Warwick will have their rights protected and will just need to apply for either a 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status before the end of 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme itself is expected to be generous and user-friendly, with case-workers “looking to grant status, not for reasons to refuse”.

20 November 2018: UKCISA pulished a blog written by a University of Liverpool student adviser sharing her experience of applying under the EU settlement scheme (first stage testing).

1 November 2018: UKCISA published a Brexit flyer for students which outlines the anticipated fees status and legal status of EU and non-EU EEA students from 2019.

29 October 2018: The Government has announced that a second pilot for the roll out of the EU Settlement Scheme will be open to EU staff at all HEIs registered as Tier 4 sponsors (this includes the University of Warwick) from 15 November 2018. It is open to EU staff members only (those on monthly payroll from H.R. including those on STP, but not employees of Unitemps or Warwick SU). Staff members should refer to the Brexit Guidance for Staff page for more information.

It is anticipated that Warwick students will be eligible to apply for pre-settled status or settled status from March 2019 when the scheme is open to the general public. More guidance will be available nearer the time. More information is available via

30 July 2018: A Statement of Change to Immigration Rules was published on 25 July 2018 with the insertion of a new section, called Appendix EU, catering for the settled status registration scheme for EU citizens. Appendix EU comes into force on 28 August 2018, but only for applicants from 15 hospitals and universities in the north west of England (by invitation only). It is expected that the application system will be tested over the coming months and the Home Office expects it to be fully open in time for nominal Brexit in March 2019.

5 July 2018: The funding bodies in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have all given reassurances to EU nationals about continuing student finance eligibility for those already on courses. Read more on UKCISA webpage.

21 June 2018: On Thursday 21 June, the Home Office Minister Caroline Nokes made a statement and provided further details about the EU settlement scheme. This will provide the basis for EU citizens resident here, and their family members, to obtain their new UK immigration status, consistent with the draft withdrawal agreement. More information can be found in the EU Settlement Scheme document. Following this, rules are expected to be laid in July 2018 with further details.