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EU Settlement Scheme for SOAS EU Students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and are intending to live, study and work in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, you will need make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019. 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, work and study here with continued access to public services such as healthcare and benefits.

To retain these rights after 31 December 2020, EU citizens must apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021 (or, if the UK leaves without a deal, before 31 December 2020).

Separate agreements have been made with EEA states and with Switzerland so that citizens of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein and their eligible family members will also be able to participate in the scheme.

Successful applications to the EU Settlement Scheme will give you either:

  • Settled status, if you have been resident in the UK for five or more years. or;
  • Pre-settled status, if you have been resident in the UK less than five years.

Permanent Residence

The EU Settlement Scheme will replace permanent residence. If you already have permanent residence, you will still need to make an application to the scheme to exchange it for settled status or apply for British Citizenship, subject to eligibility. Permanent residence will no longer be valid after 31 December 2020.

Irish citizens

Irish citizens are not required to apply under the scheme but can choose to if they wish. Relevant family members who are not Irish or British will need to obtain status under the scheme, unless they have an independent right to live here under UK immigration law.

Application process

To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to complete a short online application form to:

  • prove your identity;
  • show that you live in the UK; and
  • declare any serious criminal convictions

Verify your identity - You will need to have a valid passport, national identity card or biometric residence card/permit issued by the Home Office. You will also need to use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify your identity. This is currently only available to download on Android devices. A number of local authorities are offering an identity verification service to ensure those who do not have access to a suitable device are able to do so. Details of the locations where this service is being provided will be available on GOV.UK. Alternatively, you can now send your identity documents by post and upload your photograph manually via the online application.

Verify your residence in the UK - You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. There are several ways you can do this, for example providing your National Insurance number (if you have one). There may be cases where residence cannot be proven automatically in this way, and you will be asked to provide further evidence on your application. Information on the other types of evidence you can use can be found on GOV.UK. If you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.

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 applicants.

All applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are now free of charge. 

SOAS are running weekly presentations for students on how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. The next session will be on Monday 21st October between 12:00pm and 13:00pm in the Careers seminar space (SL62) in the Paul Webley Wing.

Currently, while the UK remains a member state of the EU, European free movement rules continue to apply for EU/ EEA/ Swiss and relevant family members in the UK and for UK citizens and relevant family members in the EU/ EEA/ Switzerland. SOAS will continue to liaise with UKCISA and the Home Office about advice to students travelling in and out of the UK after Brexit day and on any future immigration requirements.

Where can I find further information?

Further information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website, including a step-by-step guide on how to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has also produced some useful information for EU/EEA and Swiss students and their family members. 

The Free Movement blog is also a useful source of up to date information.

The information is based on published UK Government information available 8th October 2019. In the current climate, this is subject to change at short notice.