Planning for Brexit: Information for University of Greenwich staff


The University of Greenwich is proud to be an international university. We are proud to be a home to staff and students from across the UK, the European Union, and beyond.

Updates to this page are shown below:

12 April
1 February
22 January
  • The Prime Minister announced on 21 January that the £65 fee for the Settlement Scheme will be scrapped.  The text below has been updated to reflect this.

Over 10% of our staff come from EU countries other than the UK. The University is committed to ensuring that our colleagues from across the EU and around the world continue to feel welcomed and valued at our institution.

However, the UK's imminent departure from the European Union has, unfortunately, created uncertainty for our staff and students who come from the EU and the wider European Economic Area (including Switzerland).

This uncertainty has been worsened by lack of agreement in Parliament about the precise course of action the UK should take. The government has agreed a withdrawal arrangement with the European Commission and Council. However, this deal is yet to be approved by the UK Parliament, where it faces substantial opposition.

We are continuing to track events in Parliament, at present, there are three possible scenarios for Brexit:

  • The UK may leave the EU on 29 March 2019 under the terms of the withdrawal agreement and enter a 'transition phase' until 31 December 2020.
  • The UK may leave the EU on 29 March 2019, but no withdrawal agreement is finalised.
  • The UK may not leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and instead postpone or even cancel its departure.

This page represents our best current interpretation of the government's announcements and intentions regarding EU nationals working in the UK, in order to provide some information to our staff who may be concerned about their status in the UK beyond 29 March 2019. It is based upon advice provided by Universities UK (UUK), and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

If a government deal with the EU is approved:

  • EU citizens in the UK will see no change in their immigration status on 29 March.
  • The proposed transition arrangement means there will be no changes to visa requirements or entitlements to EU/EEA nationals and their family members from 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020
  • The Home Office is launching the EU Settlement Scheme, under which EU citizens can apply for 'settled or pre-settled status'. This will enable EU nationals to remain, work, and study in the UK beyond the UK's departure from the EU and the conclusion of the transition arrangement.
  • Pilot registration for settled status was open to the HE sector until 21 December, and several of our staff have already indicated that the registration process is relatively smooth.
  • A public test phase of the Settlement Scheme will open on 21 January. EU citizens living in the UK who have a valid passport will be able to take part.   
  • The Settlement Scheme will be fully open by 30 March. Registration requires a proof of residence in the UK, more details can be found here.
  • The transition arrangements will mean that the UK continues to participate in EU funded research programmes until at least 31 December 2020. Continued participation in programmes beyond that date will be subject to further negotiations between the UK and EU.

If no government deal is approved ('No Deal Brexit')

  • The government has stated that "the UK will continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme for those resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 in a 'no deal' scenario".
  • Any EU citizen resident in the UK by 29 March will be eligible to apply for settled status until at least 31 December 2020.
  • There will be no changes to visa requirements for EU/EEA nationals and their family members from 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020 and the principles of 'freedom of movement' will continue to apply. However, it is currently unclear if those arriving after 29 March will be able to stay beyond the end of the transition period
  • The government has confirmed that it will underwrite the costs of EU funded research grants, including Horizon 2020 and EU structural funding, in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched an online portal for UK-based recipients of EU research project funding, in order that the necessary arrangements for continued funding can continue beyond March 29, regardless of the political outcome.
  • Colleagues should contact Greenwich Research and Enterprise if they have any questions about the future of EU funded research projects.
  • The University expects that there could be disruption to various aspects of ordinary life, including road travel in Kent and South East England, air, boat and rail travel between the UK and the EU, in the event of a 'No Deal Brexit'. These are currently difficult to anticipate, and we will closely monitor developments and provide further information where possible.

Rights of Irish nationals

The status of Irish nationals in the UK is enshrined in bi-lateral treaties between the UK and Ireland. This will not be affected by any Brexit event. Irish nationals will therefore not be required to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, although can do so should they wish.

Rights of EFTA and Swiss nationals

The government has indicated that nationals of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will be eligible to register for settled status by 29 March 2019, in both a deal and 'no deal' Brexit scenario. However, it has not yet issued any further details of when registration might open for these nationals.

Further queries

If you have any further concerns or queries regarding the effect on you of the UK's departure from the European Union, we recommend you speak to your senior manager or our HR team in the first instance.

Universities UK's latest advice regarding universities' preparations for Brexit, including matters related to citizens rights, student fees, research funding, Erasmus+ and more, can be found here: Brexit and UK universities 

More detailed guidance can be found from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): Advice for students on post-Brexit rules and entitlements and on EU exit: no deal preparations for higher education institutions.

Full details regarding the government's EU settlement scheme can be found here: Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families