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EU Settlement Scheme Explained

EU/EEA/ Swiss Students

The information here relates to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members.

Current Information for EU Students

The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020. The withdrawal agreement includes a transition period until 31st December 2020 and during this time citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland and their relevant family members are able to come to or remain in the UK on the same basis as before Brexit.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or a relevant family member and you are already in the UK (or will be here by 31st December 2020) and you wish to stay in the UK after the transition period ends– you and your family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for application is 30th June 2021.

It is a quick and easy application so nothing to stress about! There is no fee to pay, but you will need a smart phone to download the “EU exit: ID document check” app.

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible if you are eligible in order to secure your status and rights to be in the UK after the transition period ends.

If will arrive in the UK after the transition period ends on 31st December 2020, you will need to apply for a permission (visa) to enter the UK. More information on this can be found on the UK government website (

Please be assured that the UK Government is committed to making it as easy as possible for freedom of movement for educational purposes and we expect any future immigration routes to be fast and simple. As soon as we have any news at all we shall update these pages – so please check back regularly!

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme allows you and your family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK. It means you continue to be eligible for:

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • Public funds and pensions
  • British Citizenship (if you meet the requirements and want to apply)

Who is Eligible?

EU & EEA & Swiss citizens and their family members.

You will not need to apply if you’re an Irish citizen but your family members from outside the UK and Ireland will.

Settled and pre-settled status

As an EU citizen, you can apply for 2 different routes under the Settlement Scheme, dependent on how long you have already been living in the UK.

Settled Status

If you have been resident in the UK for more than five continuous years (you have not left the UK for more than 6 months in that time) you will be eligible for settled status. If you receive settled status this means there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK. Please be aware you will need to make sure that you check how long you can be resident outside the UK after receiving settled status without having it revoked! It should state this on the communication you receive from the Home Office with your decision.

Pre-settled status

If you have been resident for less than five years you will be eligible for pre-settled status. If you receive pre-settled status this means you can stay in the UK for a period of five years. Provided you have lived in the UK for five years (and not exceeded the limits of how long you can leave at a time), you can then apply for settled status. There is currently no timeframe within which you must apply, but we recommend you apply as soon as you become eligible (as soon as you reach 5 years continuous residency).

Further information about continuous residency can be found in the Home Office EU Settlement Glossary Leaflet.

How to Apply

To apply for settled status or pre-settled status, you will need to complete a short online application form. The first part of the application involves downloading an EU Exit: ID document check App. The rest of the application can be completed on any device with internet access. The application will ask for basic information such as your name, address and ID (passport, national identity card, or national insurance number).

The application:

Step 1: Use the EU Exit: ID document Check App. You will need to verify your identity and nationality by scanning your passport, EU National Identity Card or Biometric Residence Card (if you are a non-EU citizen). You will also have to upload a photograph of yourself. Alternatively, you can send all relevant documentation by post.

Step 2:  This can be done on any device. You will also need to confirm your residence, by providing your national insurance number if you have one. In some cases, other documentation may need to be provided. If you are using your status as a student in the UK to prove your residency, there are a couple of documents that you can use and upload to your application. You only need one of these per time period you are evidencing:

  • Registration Confirmation Letter With Term Time Address  - available from ChiView​
  • Student Finance Award notification or repayment statement – available from your Student Finance England online account

Further information about evidence to prove UK residence can be found on the website.

Complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application.

Successful applicants will get digital proof of their status through an online service. Once you receive your status, details will be provided of how to access it on the GOV.UK website. You will not get a physical document unless you are from outside the EU AND DO NOT ALREADY HAVE a Biometric Residence Card.

Family members of eligible EU citizens

Non-EU/EEA family members living in the UK by 31st December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by virtue of their relationship to an EU/EEA citizen.

Close family members that are not living in the UK by 31st December 2020 will be able to join their EU/EEA family member in the UK at any point in the future, as long as their relationship still exists.

Children born or adopted after 31st December 2020 and future dependants will also have their rights protected.

Who are ‘close family members’?

Close family members include spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependant children and grandchildren, and dependant parents and grandparents. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (referred to as non-EU citizen family member).

Study Abroad Students

Some EU students may be worried about the effect of a Study Abroad period on their continuous residence, whether they can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or whether they should be undertaking a Study Abroad placement at all.

If you are a University of Chichester student from the EU, and are currently overseas on a Study Abroad placement or Erasmus placement, you should still be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme on re-entry to the UK. This is because the government has announced that, as an EU Citizen, you will be able to enter the UK for 3 months without gaining prior immigration. You would use this concession to come back to Chichester at the end of your Study Abroad period.

If you are a current EU student who is planning on undertaking a future Study Abroad option, your right to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme will not be affected by your doing so. You should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible. Your Study Abroad period should then fall as a permissible absence under the Settlement Scheme and your immigration status will not be adversely affected.

If you require further information and advice about the information above, please email:



Further Support and Information

There is a lot of further information available regarding the EU Settlement Scheme and application process.

Please visit the website for official information regarding the scheme.

There are also a Home Office FactsheetImportant Information and Glossary to help you.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) are an excellent, reliable source of information and they have a free Student Advice Line which our students can access.

The University will continue to monitor the situation and look for areas in which we can support our students. If you have any questions that have not been answered in these pages please email and Paivi and Jane (International Student Advisers) will help, advise and assist however they can.


Anyone arriving after the transition period ends on the 31st December 2020, will need to apply for immigration permission. Currently, there are no further details about this Scheme or the application itself. The International Student Advisory Service will be monitoring the situation closely and all Chichester students can expect timely information and support once further information is released.