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Planning for Brexit: Information for University of Greenwich students

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

 Updates to this page will be indicated below:

30 October 2019
  • This page is under review following the agreed extension to 31 January 2020 for the UK's membership of the European Union.
15 August 2019
  • This page has been updated to remove references to the European Elections which took place in May 2019.
12 April 2019
  • The information on this page has been updated to reflect the latest information available, and supersedes the previous information page published.

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

The bullet points below address the most frequently asked questions at this time. The remainder of this page provides more detailed information that the university is currently aware of.

  • While the UK remains a full member of the European Union there will not be any change to the status or rights of our EU/EEA nationals.
  • Whatever the outcome of the ongoing negotiations about the UK's departure from the European Union, EU/EEA nationals living in the UK can apply for permission to stay here after Brexit.
  • The EU Settlement Scheme is currently fully open and accepting applications. Please see the government guidance at www.gov.uk/euexit

The UK government and European Union have once again agreed to an extension of the UK's membership of the EU until 31 October. This further postpones any direct disruption that might have been caused by a No Deal exit.

We are continuing to track developments and prepare accordingly.

This page represents our best current interpretation of the government's announcements and intentions regarding EU students in the UK, in order to provide some information to our students who may be concerned about their status in the UK beyond Brexit. 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 immediate change in their immigration status when the UK ceases to be a member of the EU.
  • The proposed transition arrangement means there will be no changes to visa requirements or entitlements for EU/EEA nationals and their family members from the date the UK leaves the EU until at least 31 December 2020.
  • The Home Office has launched the EU Settlement Scheme under which EU students who wish to remain in the UK beyond 2020, either for study or for work, can apply for 'settled or pre-settled status' with the government. This will enable EU nationals to remain, work, and study in the UK beyond the end of the transition phase
  • Registration for settled status is open and is currently due to close on 30 June 2021.  More details can be found here.
  • EU students currently studying in the UK, as well as those starting their courses in the 2019-2020 academic year, will continue to have access to UK student loan and maintenance funding for the duration of their studies. Tuition fees will remain at the equivalent level to UK students.

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 before the UK leaves the EU in a 'no deal' scenario".
  • Any EU citizen resident in the UK when the UK ceases to be a member of the EU, including students, 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 who are resident in the UK until at least 31 December 2020.However, EU/EEA nationals arriving in the UK after the UK has left the EU may need to apply for permission if they want to stay here longer than 3 months. Please see Staying in the UK for longer than 3 months if there's no Brexit deal for more information.
  • The government has indicated to Universities UK that it will honour its commitment to allow EU students to access UK student loan and maintenance funding for the duration of their studies, including those starting their courses in 2019-2020.
  • 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 advise students as and when they might arise.

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

Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are eligible to apply for settled status, in the same way as EU nationals. The scheme is currently open and is accepting applications, See www.gov.uk/euexit for more information.

Further queries

The university's International Student Advice Service have published more detailed information on its webpages about the immigration status of our EU/EEA students: www.gre.ac.uk/visa

If you have any concerns or queries we recommend you speak to the Students' Union advice service in the first instance, please note while they can provide wellbeing advice, they are unable to provide immigration advice. You can contact them at suadvice@gre.ac.uk  or advice@gkunions.co.uk

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 Gov.uk 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