Brexit: what you need to do now
There are important changes to the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals entering and living in the UK, due to the UK no longer being a member of the EU. It is essential that you understand what you need to do. There are advantages to moving to the UK by 31 December 2020.
EU Settlement Scheme for Pre-settled or Settled Status
If you are living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for Pre-settled or Settled Status so that you can continue to live in the UK beyond June 2021. The application is free and the process is straightforward. Please read our guidance about how to do this.
Are you outside the UK now?
If you were living in the UK and have temporarily moved outside due to the pandemic, if you have been outside the UK for less than 6 months, you can make your EU Settlement Scheme application from overseas and re-enter the UK on your pre-settled status. You may find it beneficial to apply for pre-settled Status, so that it is easier to prove your status when you re-enter the UK, work or rent accommodation. However, please read our guidance carefully to understand how absences from the UK can affect your right to re-enter the UK, and your right to remain in the UK long term. Use the information to help you decide when to apply and when you should return to the UK.
If you have never lived in the UK, you need to move to the UK by 31 December 2020 if you want to apply for pre-settled status. If you are considering moving to the UK before 31 December 2020 to apply for pre-settled status and then going back to your home country and not coming back to the UK until 2021, please note that the shorter and the more temporary a person’s stay in the UK is, the greater the possibility that stay would run the risk of not being regarded by the Home Office as residence. Please see the Free Movement article about this for more information.
New UK immigration system
EU students who move to the UK from 1 January 2021 to study on a course of at least six months will need to apply for student immigration permission. Even if you have lived in the UK previously, if you return to the UK from 1 January 2021 and it is more than six months since you were last resident, you will need to apply for student immigration permission. Before coming to the UK you will need to complete an application, pay an application fee (£348), pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (£470 per year of the course) and have a current passport or other valid travel document. You will need to meet specific requirements (including financial) and to pass relevant checks, including UK criminality checks. There is more information in our Guide called Apply for student immigration permission. In order to stay in the UK after your studies, you would need to meet the rules and apply and pay for a relevant visa. So it is advantageous to move to the UK before the end of 2020 and apply for free under the EU Settlement Scheme to stay long term in the UK.