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EU settlement scheme FAQs for Students

Last updated: 5 January 2021

About the EU settlement scheme

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. 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 details on the Settlement Scheme can be found on GOV.UK.

This means if you started living in the UK before 31 December 2020 and 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 until 30 June 2021 to make this application. We recommend that you do so as soon as you can.

Please refer to Q4 for why you should apply sooner rather than later, and your eligibility if you have had absence from the UK.

Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.
  • The scheme fully opened at 7am on 30 March 2019.

    From 7am on 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside of the UK as well as within the UK.

    The application is free of charge.

  • To apply for the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to complete an online application:

    • Verify your identity - If you have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office), then you may wish to use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify your identity (this is currently available to download on Android devices, or from Apple store if you have iPhone 7 or newer) - if your device has the technology to make contactless payments then your device should be able to access this app. If you do not have a biometric passport or a BRP card, for example, you only have an EEA ID card, a 'permanent residence' or 'residence document' inside your passport, these would be accepted as proof of identity and nationality but you will not be able to use the app. Instead, you will need to use an online application form and make an appointment at a UK Visa & Citizenship Application Centre to provide your biometric data.
    • Criminality check - You will need to complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This should not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
    • Verify your residence in the UK - You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. There are a number of ways you can do this, for example providing your National Insurance number (if you have one), or a student status letter confirming the dates of your enrolment, attendance and completion (if applicable). If your residence in the UK began before starting your course at Warwick then you can find information on the other types of evidence you can use on GOV.UK (more detailed guidance can be found in the Modernised Guidance). Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.

    If you are applying from outside of the UK, the process can be slightly different. Please refer to the detailed GOV guidance which also explains how your family members can join you or apply when they are outside of the UK. Please note that if you are a family member of an EU national and are eligible to apply to join the EU national under the EUSS, but you entered the UK as a Visitor after 11pm on 31 December 2020, you will not be able to apply for EUSS in the UK.

  • Until the end of the transition period, it is a requirement that EU/EEA students and their family members have CSI (unless they are also considered as a 'worker'). You should, where possible, obtain an EHIC card before you leave your home country, or, arrange private comprehensive sickness insurance.

    However, the UK government has also announced that, for those becoming a UK resident prior to the end of the transition period, when applying under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', they will not be required to show evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance because the UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, that the main requirement for eligibility will be continuous residence in the UK. We would advise that you read more on the webpage of UKCISA regarding EEA Students and CSI.

    You should also be aware that if you do not have comprehensive sickness insurance or a EHIC card issued by your country of nationality, your residence in the UK may be deemed as unlawful from 1 January 2021 until you have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

  • If you physically arrive in the UK (or are already a resident in the UK) on or before 11pm on 31 December 2020, and intend to remain in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, or if you are undecided as to what you might be doing then, we would suggest that you make an application under this scheme because it gives you the best immigration status should you wish to have the option of remaining in the UK in the longer term.

    The deadline to make this application is the end of June 2021, however, we advise that you apply as soon as possible.

    On 15 December 2020, the UKVI published Coronavirus EU Settlement Scheme - guidance for applications, for those eligible for EUSS but have been affected by restrictions associated with coronavirus. Please read the information carefully in conjunction with our advice below.

    If you have secured pre-settled or settled status under the EUSS:

    Once you have applied, if you receive 'pre-settled status', you will receive a 5-year visa with an expiry date. You will need to ensure that you do not leave the UK in the 5-year period (from your first arrival date) for periods longer than permitted, if your aim is to obtain 'settled status' (permanent residence). The 5-year continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row, you should physically live in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. You are, however, permitted one period of absence for up to 12 months if you are going on a study abroad year (or have been studying remotely).

    During the validity of this 'pre-settled status' visa, you can travel in and out of the UK as you wish, and you are free to study, work and live in the UK. However, this status would be lost if you are physically absent from the UK for a continuous period of 2 years.

    If you have not applied under the EUSS:

    If you are currently outside of the UK but you were a UK resident before 31 December 2020, as long as your absence is for less than 6 months to the date you return to the UK (or, 12 months for important reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting), it shouldn't affect your eligibility to apply under the EUSS. However, if you have been absent from the UK for longer, you are advised to physically return to the UK before 1 January 2021 to preserve your eligibility under the scheme.

    If you are unable to return to the UK before 1 January 2021, you should make your application while overseas straight away, before 31 December 2020 if possible.

    If you are unable to return to the UK before 1 January 2021, and you have not obtained status under EUSS whilst overseas, you may still apply under the EUSS as long as you are able to provide evidence that your residence in the UK started before 1 January 2021. For any period of absence from the UK that is longer than 6 months, you are advised to include a covering letter and evidence, for example, if it is due to lockdown or travel restrictions imposed by your home government or UK government, or other important reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting. There is no explicit concession policy in this case, however, the UKVI will exercise discretion depending on individual circumstances.

    If you intended to travel to the UK before 1 January 2021 but were unable to do so due to circumstances beyond your control (for example, your flight was cancelled last minute due to coronavirus, or, you were taken ill unexpectedly), you may still try to apply for EU Settlement Scheme. You should include a covering letter explaining the compelling circumstances and upload evidence which supports it. Your application may still be refused. If it is refused, please contact us for further advice, and be prepared to make a Student visa application.

    To avoid the complications brought by the end of Brexit transition period, you are advised to apply under the EUSS as soon as possible (this means now), whether you are currently in the UK or overseas, as long as you have evidence that your residence in the UK started before 31 December 2020.

  • If you can access an Android phone (e.g. via a friend or family member) you can download the app and apply this way - the app doesn’t store any data so it’s safe to use on someone else’s phone. The phone needs to have Near-Field Communication (NFC) otherwise known as 'contactless'. If you can use the phone to pay for things, the phone should be the required specification. The app will use contactless technology to scan your passport.

    If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, you will now be able to download the app from Apple Store and apply that way.

    If you don't have access to either of these, you may wish to ask a friend. Failing that, the Immigration Service team has purchased an Android phone that you can use. You can visit our Reception during our opening hours to use the phone. As Advisers are working from home currently, you will need to make arrangement with us before you visit our office so that we can get it ready for you. Please contact us via our online form (see link at the bottom of this page).

    You are advised to watch the YouTube video about an 'EU Settlement Scheme Application Walk-through' before making your application (video is produced by Free Movement Website founded by a UK solicitor).

  • The Immigration Service team has written an Application Guide (last updated: 7 May 2019) with some basic information and screenshots for the application form.

    You are advised to watch the YouTube video about an 'EU Settlement Scheme Application Walk-through' before making your application (video is produced by Free Movement Website founded by a UK solicitor).

    We are not currently offering appointments to help you with your application but will be happy to assist you if you visit our Reception and ask to speak with an adviser during our opening hours. Alternatively, you may wish to email us with your questions by completing our online Contact Form.

  • The Immigration Service team is not currently offering face-to-face appointments for applications for a UK residence card but this service is commercially available from many solicitors' firms.

    As most of the students will be eligible to apply under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', there is not much point in applying for a UK residence card at this point. However, if you are concerned and would like further assistance, please do get in touch with us.

  • As you are making an immigration application, there is always a risk that your application may be refused, especially if you do not exercise due care. However, the risk is very low. Issues that you may encounter include, for example, if you do not provide sufficient evidence of UK residency, then you may be granted 'pre-settled status' rather than a 'settled status'. If you do not provide evidence of your identity, then your application may be rejected as the caseworker wouldn't be able to process it further.

    If your application is refused, or, if you have been granted 'pre-settled status' when you think you are eligible for 'settled status', the easiest way to rectify that is usually by making a new application and providing new evidence with your application.

    If you have a criminal conviction, we would advise that you read the Modernised Guidance (this is the guidance to caseworkers - page 37) and EEA Decisions on Public Policy. You may also wish to seek independent legal advice before making this application.

  • If you are a EEA citizen and have been granted either a 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', then your non-EEA family member (as defined in the new Appendix EU (family permit)) can now obtain entry clearance (a visa applied for from outside of the UK) to join you by applying for a family permit which is valid for 6 months. They can then make a further application under the 'EU Settlement Scheme' once they are in the UK.

    For the purpose of calculating the 5-year residence for 'settled status', your non-EEA family member's residence will begin from the date they become your qualifying family member (for example, from the date you get married) and a UK resident.

  • If you are under the age of 21, are currently residing in the UK and one of your parents has already been granted 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be granted 'settled status' as well, even if you have not resided in the UK for 5 years.

  • If your spouse/partner has already been granted 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be able to apply under the scheme and you can link your application to theirs if you include their reference number in your application. However, you will need to have resided in the UK for 5 years before you are eligible for 'settled status'.